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News Index

A Performing Arts ‘Village’ in Shire?

Who are YardArts and what do they do?

Bee Bank in Lamplighter’s Marsh Nature Reserve

Royal Wedding Celebrations In Red, White And Blue.

Shire Craft Exhibition ‐ 2018

Anne Celebrates 30 Years With Co‐op.

Volunteers Week Highlights the Need for Volunteers.

Shirehampton Launches Community Plan

Shirehampton Public Hall News

BOPF Open Forum Meeting/AGM

Lawrence Weston Community Farm Events

Talking Tables Cooking Sessions

Shirehampton Primary School

St. Mary's News -  June

Shirehampton Baptist Church

Stepping Out Highlights the Pollution Scandal in Avonmouth

Botany in the Shire

Nature Notes…

Call for More Foster Carers in Shirehampton

Letters to the Editor

Maureen Grant ‐ 24th July 1930 ‐ 25th April 2018

Shire Community Grants

Your Local MPs Report

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

A Performing Arts ‘Village’ in Shire?

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YardArts creative director Christo performing at the Public Hall meeting

When YardArts announced their intention to create a ‘Performing Arts Village’ on derelict land at Penpole Lane, they unwittingly kicked up a hornet’s nest of suspicion and hostility among local people. There was a great deal of misinformation circulating about their proposals, but it was obvious that work was being carried out on the site.

best loved and most used beauty spots…

Local people were up in arms about the work and packed the Shirehampton Community Action Forum meeting on May 2nd to hear what YardArts had to say, and to voice their indignation at what many saw as a high‐handed intrusion on one of Shirehampton’s, and indeed all four villages’, best loved and most used beauty spots. Bristol City Council issued a Planning Enforcement order forbidding further work until the planning position could be investigated

We learned that YardArts were interested in the site, but, unfortunately for them, their proposals for a Performing Arts Village coincided with the landowner’s unexpected development works that had caused so much concern to local people. Planning officers visited the location on May 10th and confirmed that the works are within the landowner’s permitted development rights and therefore don’t require planning permission.

Planning permission

However, YardArts proposals for the use of the site will be subject to planning permission. Our local Councillors have advised YardArts to engage with the usual planning process going forward and the Councillors, as well as our MP, Darren Jones, will be consulting local opinion in a series of meetings over the summer.

See ‘Your Local MPs Report’ later in this edition for more comment.

Who are YardArts and what do they do?

YardArts sent Shire the following statement:

  • YardArts is a performing arts organisation that specialises in physical theatre (circus). Its ultimate goal is to champion, facilitate and help showcase as broad a section of the arts as it can.
  • YardArts believes that art and fitness are an essential part of staying happy and healthy. YardArts is a creative hub that has time and again been shown to galvanise communities.
The new company grew quickly

YardArts began at a small location in Old Market, Bristol, when its CEO and creative director, Christo, came to the end of 20 years of touring with performance companies and circus troops. The new company grew quickly and soon moved to a bigger but derelict site in St Paul’s. YardArts turned that site into a thriving hub of creativity described as ‘an oasis in the City’: the crime rate in that area dropped by 70% in the time YardArts were based there. They hosted a wide variety of events, and engaged with the community with creative outreach workshops, aimed at local youth groups.

space to expand

A year ago YardArts circus moved to Kingswood where they helped accommodate Circomedia students and continued to support its professional members. However, the location was too small for their own unique venue so YardArts continued to look for other opportunities. When YardArts were offered the location on Penpole Lane team members and performers were filled with enthusiasm and inspiration.

YardArts Circus Village

YardArts Village would house YardArt’s unique geo‐dome venue for performance, training, space hire and for running classes.

They plan to host a summer season of performances of all kinds. As well as circus, they offer performance classes, open to all ages and abilities.

Over time they envisage offering a variety of opportunities, facilities and experiences in addition to their shows.

They would like to provide

  1. 15 rentable workshops: workshop/ start‐up spaces for small arts and crafts businesses, spaces where artists could create and sell their products.
  2. Living quarters: comfortable living space and facilities for our YardArts team, practitioners and workers at YardArts.
  3. A bespoke tented circus stage; The YardArts dome has already enjoyed some notarioty locally across Bristol. We will continue to host our shows in our unique geo-dome.
  4. They hope to host craft fairs and markets at The Village, with stall hire open to all.
  5. They hope to open an environmentally friendly Cafe/gallery which might provide jobs for local people and wall space for artists to display and sell their work.

Once The YardArts Circus Village is established, we will expand this further with a rural inclusive tour and workshops for people with high dependency needs, including people with altzimers.

Bee Bank in Lamplighter’s Marsh Nature Reserve

Our bees and other pollinators are in decline and need help.

The Friends of Lamplighter’s Marsh (FOLM) do what they can by supporting the Bristol Urban Buzz project run by Buglife. FOLM have just finished a Bee Bank for solitary bees in the Lamplighter’s Marsh Nature Reserve.

The Bank, made from 13 tonnes of aggregate and sand, is partially protected from the wind by a “dead hedge” of branches. We couldn’t have built it without a generous grant from the People’s Postcode Lottery and magnificent help from the Environment Agency volunteers who shifted the 13 tonnes by hand! You are going to be curious but you can help by not disturbing the bank and dead hedge. If you come to our free guided walks during the summer, this may be part of the walk. ‐ John Knight

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Bee bank at Lamplighter's Marsh

Royal Wedding Celebrations In Red, White And Blue.

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Co-op Royal wedding.

Co‐op staff dressed in red, white and blue, whilst Clic Sargent did a window display to mark the occasion. St. Bernards Primary School also did a red white and blue theme but Mr Fisher’s year 3 class went one better with Prince Harry and Meghan making an appearance along with best man and princess bridesmaids, plus guests including Head Teacher Mrs Wilson. Meanwhile Barbara Franco held a royal wedding tea party complete with a bottle of champagne celebrating with friends Ruth Morris, Sylvia McCann and Lyn Coleman after watching the event on TV. Congratulations to the royal couple.

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Barbara Franco, Ruth Morris, Sylvia McCann and Lyn Coleman enjoy a bottle of 'bubbly'.

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St Bernards Primary School. Mr Fisher's year 3 class with 'Meghan' and 'Harry'.

Shire Craft Exhibition ‐ 2018

The sun is out and waking us up to the fact we need to start thinking about the annual craft exhibition.

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Dates for your diaries. Exhibition opens on Tuesday 30th October ‐ Saturday 3rd November open 10.00am till 4.00pm daily with a late night on Thursday till 8.00pm.

There are a few changes this year, the major one being we are having to raise the entrance fee to £1.00 with concessions for senior citizens 0.50p, accompanied children free. Don’t forget once you have paid an entrance fee you can revisit as many times as you like.

We are cutting out some of the fees, so if you are just putting in items to exhibit and not for sale then there will be no charge. Usual fees will apply for those selling exhibits and other items for sale (more information available on the application forms).

With the introduction of the village Owl Hunt last year the exhibition became a real community event. Thanks to all the shops who took part. We expect to have another hunt this year, the rumour is the cats were jealous and maybe taking over this time ‐ more news nearer the time.

Longer daylight hours means more time to take up again those crafts you have put on hold, or want to start, so get crafting ‐ have a great summer.

If you want more information or an application form then contact Gail or Ed Amphlett telephone 07776170053 or email

Anne Celebrates 30 Years With Co‐op.

During April Anne Lockyer (nee Spence) celebrated her 30 year anniversary working for the Co‐op in Shirehampton.

The Co‐op management had already acknowledged the long service and loyalty that Anne had given to the company but her friends and colleagues wanted to mark this achievement with a separate presentation of a commemorative glass and large bouquet of flowers. It was a huge surprise for Anne and she was persuaded to have her photo taken to mark the occasion!

Kathryn Courtney

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Anne Lockyer with friends and colleagues

Volunteers Week Highlights the Need for Volunteers.

Did you know that Volunteers’ Week takes place from 1st June ‐ 7th June? And did you know that the estimated value of volunteers helping UK charities is an estimated £22.6 billion a year?

Volunteers Week began in 1984 by Volunteering England and is now an established annual event across the UK. It recognises the work of many volunteers that help charities and other non profit and community based organisations. Their help is invaluable and diverse.

Volunteers are from all walks of life

This year highlights volunteering for all and celebrating the huge range of people who give their time in so many ways. People who volunteer are not just the assumed older generation. Volunteers are from all walks of life, from students to those looking for work experience. Unemployed people wanting to gain additional skills and work experience, adding to their CV. Volunteers help a local charity, organisation or event to help raise funds and awareness, in some cases giving back to their local community. Some may volunteer a couple of hours a week, others half a day or a couple of days a week. It is something they reach agreement with the organisation of choice. It’s not just charity shops you can volunteer for but a wide range of activities too that are beneficial to the local community. From trustees and campaigners to carers and fundraisers, the choice is vast.

we couldn’t work the way we do…

Volunteers have a major role in charity shops as they give us their time for free. If it wasn’t for our volunteers we couldn’t work the way we do. Not only do they help with their time they also help raise awareness of what our charity is all about. said Sarah Forse, Manager of Clic Sargent, Shirehampton.

There are 165,801 voluntary organisations throughout the UK and in our area alone we have a number looking for volunteers to help them out now.

If you have a couple of hours free or more a week here are some charities and organisations you can get in touch with yourself.

  • Break,
  • Clic Sargent and
  • St. Peter’s Hospice shops in the High Street.
  • Penpole Lunch Club,
  • Shirehampton Craft Exhibition (Stewards),
  • Shire Newspaper (distributors),
  • Tynings Field Community Group,
  • SCAF,
  • Shirehampton Public Hall,
  • Shire Greens,
  • Lawrence Weston Community Farm,
  • The Rock Lunch Club,
  • Avonmouth Lunch Club,
  • Kings Weston Action Group,
  • local Scouts and Brownie groups and food banks.

Just a couple of hours a week could make a difference, in addition to meeting new people, making new friends and gaining additional work experience.

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Shirehampton Launches Community Plan

Shirehampton will launch its new Community Plan with an Open Day at St Mary’s Church on Saturday June 9th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The event will give residents and anyone supporting Shirehampton an opportunity to learn about the Plan. There will be information available on the day and a chance to talk to others about what we can do to make it happen.

The Community Plan is the result of a year long consultation with residents, who have given strong evidence of their commitment to Shirehampton, and of the ways in which they would like to see it improved. The Plan suggests practical actions based on residents’ ideas to help bring about those improvements.

There will be a buffet at the launch with tea and coffee to welcome visitors. Our MP, Darren Jones, will drop in to show his support for the Plan as will our local councillors. We hope to see a large number of residents as well.‐ RS

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Shirehampton Public Hall News

Some dates for the Community Diary!

  • Saturday 21st July at 7pm ‐ Community Quiz led by John Hughes of the 70s tribute band FAB208 ‐ Teams of 6‐8 ‐ £5 per ticket available on the door or in advance from the Hall office ‐ BYO drinks and refreshments.
  • Saturday 4th August ‐ Community BBQ in collaboration with YardArts
  • Saturday 1st September ‐ Community Flower Show (tbc)
  • Saturday 27th October ‐ Halloween Disco (tbc)
  • Saturday 24th November ‐ Community Film Night and American Supper (tbc)
  • Saturday 22nd December ‐ Community Christmas Party (tbc)
  • Saturday 5th January 2019 ‐ Community New Year Disco and fun! (tbc)
Volunteers will be needed for these events otherwise they will not happen!

Also: Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association AGM 7.15pm Tuesday 17th July at the Public Hall.

All Welcome

Anyone wishing to vote at the AGM must become a Member of the Association before the meeting (£3 annual membership). Please contact the Hall Manager on 0117 9829963, email, or message us on Facebook!

BOPF Open Forum Meeting/AGM

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Bristol Old Peoples Forum held an Open Forum Meeting on Thursday 24 May 2018 with the Speakers, Tony and Zia, showing their photos and video and sharing their experience of the BOPF Skydive Fundraising Event. Avon Fire & Rescue Service talked about the Vulnerable Persons projects involving Walking and Cycling in Bristol and Nicola Murdoch, Chief Executive of All Aboard Watersports, talked about Watersports Projects and Activities for those aged 50+. More details are available on our website:

Next Open Forum Meeting/AGM: Thursday 12 July 2018 , 10:30 ‐ 12.30 Broadmead Baptist Church, Union Street (next to Tesco Express), Bristol, BS1 3HY. Speaker: Lord‐Lieutenant Peaches Golding.

Lawrence Weston Community Farm Events

Free Family Fun Afternoon Weds 30th May 2‐4pm
Help us to celebrate the completion of the roof on our new Office and Community Building. Woodland Games, Juicy Blitz Juice Bar, den building and wand making, pizzas from our Pizza Oven.
Talking Tables Cooling Sessions Every Tuesday 12th June‐31st July 10‐1
Aged 50+ and want to feel more confident with cooking and meet new people? 6‐8 week cooking sessions will provide you with skills and knowledge to cook nutritious and tasty food. Contact LinkAge Network 0117 3533042
Introduction to running a small holding Sat 23rd June 10‐3 £30
This workshop is suitable for people thinking about, or just starting out, in smallholding. Covering poultry, fruit, security, land management and larger animals. To book intro‐small‐
Make a Woodland Mallet Sat 14th July 10‐2 £30
Using materials coppiced from our woodland you will use traditional tools to design and shape your own wooden mallet. To book make‐a‐woodland‐
Fire by Friction ‐ Introduction to the Art of the Bow Drill Sun 15th July 10‐2 £30
Get in touch with your inner hunter gatherer. Creating an ember and fire with a bow drill is hard work but leads to a fantastic sense of achievement. To Book fire‐by‐
Spoon Making Sat 11th August 10‐4 £45
Starting with a log, you will use traditional tools to split, axe, shave, carve and whittle. Unwind in our lovely woodland and make something useful and beautiful. To book spoon‐

Talking Tables Cooking Sessions

Free for the over 50’s at Lawrence Weston Community Farm

Local Bristol charity LinkAge Network, is delighted to launch new cooking sessions for people aged 50+ at three of Bristol’s city farms; Lawrence Weston Community Farm, Windmill Hill City Farm and St Werburghs City Farm.

The Talking Tables project is funded by Bristol Ageing Better, and is made up of several 6‐8 week free cooking sessions. The aim is to support the over 50s in a fun and friendly environment to feel confident in cooking tasty food.

By running the cooking sessions at the city farms we hope that it will provide participants with the opportunity to enjoy the open air, harvest produce and socialise with other local people.

Kerry from Lawrence Weston Community Farm says, “You don’t need any cooking experience to join us! These sessions are about having fun, meeting and learning from others and coming together to make and eat some delicious food.” Jo Stokes, Chief Executive Officer at LinkAge Network adds, “Eating with others is such a pleasure; good food, good company, what more could you want!”

Want to get involved? Sessions at Lawrence Weston Community Farm will take place every Tuesday between 12th June ‐ 31st July and 25th September ‐ 13th November 2018, from 10am ‐ 1pm.

Talking Tables endeavours to be accessible to people with all access requirements, so if you have an access requirement, please contact us and we can discuss how we can meet your needs.

Get in touch.To find out more about the sessions and to book your place, please contact LinkAge Network on 0117 353 3042 or email

Shirehampton Primary School

Year 1 have been working hard at Maths this term!

We had a problem solving morning where the children worked in pairs or groups to solve mathematical challenges. Firstly they worked in pairs to work out “Sam was sunbathing on the beach. He woke up to see 14 legs. If there were people, dogs, snails and crabs on the beach which creatures did he see? Is there more than one answer?"

The children really enjoyed drawing the solutions to this conundrum! Then they were told I had taken shapes out of a jar which contained circles, squares and triangles. I counted the sides and found I had 20. Which shapes did I take out of the jar? The children were told there were 16 possible answers and worked in small groups to find them. 1 group managed to find 12 different ways! Super problem solving Year 1!

St. Mary's News -  June

Hi Folks!

Well, I got it right at last ‐ May was that much warmer and what a scorcher we had over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend.

A real treat for all those holiday makers who had a disappointing Easter weekend. Lots of smiling faces and suntan!

Please keep Sunday 3rd June in your Diaries as after the 10.00 am All Age Holy Communion Service, we shall be holding our Church Family Picnic from 12.00 noon until 4.00 pm by the river at The Lamplighters Field. Please bring your own food and drink, together with chairs and blankets. This will be held in the Tithe Barn if the weather is not kind to us. Please note that on this Sunday there will be NO KIDS KLUB SERVICE in the morning.

On Saturday 9th June it? the Launch and Open Day of the Shire Community Plan and this will take place in the church from 10.00 am until 2.00 pm, when our Local Councillors will be present to discuss the outcome of the recently held survey. This is your opportunity to hear what has been proposed and presumably to discuss it further.

Sunday 17th June is Father? Day (HOORAY) and our 10.00 am service will be a Cafe Church service when bacon sandwiches will be provided (a SECOND HOORAY). They are my favourite! You will be able to recognise me as I will be the one standing at the head of the queue or waving my arms about to be served first!!! Please note there will be NO KIDS KLUB SERVICE on this Sunday.

Messy Church this month is on Thursday 21st June and will be held as usual in church from 3.30 pm until 5.00 pm.

On Saturday 23rd June the Stomp Dance Group, led by Amy Boucher, will present their Summer Dance Explosion Concert in church from 2.00 pm until 4.00 pm. Come along and give these enthusiastic youngsters your support.

Finally, I have to remind you that on Saturday 30th June we shall be holding our Summer Fayre in church from 10.00 until 12.00 noon. There will be numerous stalls with items to tempt you to buy. The Fayre will be in a similar vein to our Spring Fayre which proved popular before. Light refreshments will be available. So please pop in and give us your support (and hopefully money). All money raised will go to support church finances.

Now before I go I have to ask you this ‐ Q. How do we know Peter was a rich Fisherman? A. By his net income!

’Bye for now. C.M.E.

Shirehampton Baptist Church

For many years our Church has run a Parents and Toddlers group but eight years ago we started a new venture called ’Mainly Music’.

This has become very popular.

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The morning consists of an hour of free play with a variety of toys. At 10 a.m we transfer to our spacious Church building where we enjoy a variety of songs, lots of movement and actions where the children get to learn numbers, colours and rhythm but, above all, have fun. This is followed by drinks and biscuits for the children and tea or coffee and homemade cakes for the adults. More free play then home.

We meet every Tuesday during school term‐time at 9 a.m until 11 a.m. We usually number 30 children and often have a waiting list. There are a few spaces if you are interested. Come and see us and our team of helpers will be glad to answer any questions.

Mair Blandford

Stepping Out Highlights the Pollution Scandal in Avonmouth

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Cast of Stepping Out

This June, Stepping Out Theatre is standing tall like the chimneys that litter the skyline at the heart of industrial Avonmouth and staging a performance which will belch out the uncomfortable truth about the pollution scandal in the area.

‘The Rise and Fall of Ronald J Dump’ tells the satirical ghost tale of the eerie village of Hallen, once the dumping ground for Bristol’s unwanted citizens, for the ones who’d lost their homes and their minds, and the place where they burnt ‘witches’. Now a dumping ground for industrial waste, it is at even greater risk when evil American waste product entrepreneur Ronald J Dump sets his sights on Avonmouth.

The play runs from 11th to 21st June and is a site specific immersive production which takes place at Kings Weston House ‐ a magnificent 18th century mansion on the outskirts of Bristol, which offers unspoilt views of the panorama of pollution that is Avonmouth docks. Audiences can expect lots of ghostly goings‐on during the performance which takes place in the Great Hall of the house that is itself home to many modern day ghost hunts.

It is an original play written by Mark Breckon for Stepping Out ‐ the country’s leading mental health theatre company. Cher Douglas, who has worked with Stepping Out for 20 years, is directing the play alongside another long term member Gareth Pitt who said “Audiences can expect an eye‐opening experience, but also a very entertaining one. The play is very funny and we are expecting people to leave with both a chill down their spine and a grin on their face.”

Founder of Stepping Out Theatre and show producer Steve Hennessy says “Our production draws parallels between environmental vandalism here in Bristol and the impact of the current U.S. president’s policy on global pollution and climate change. Ronald J. Dump is a morality tale for our times whose ending isn’t known yet. Will Trump be impeached? Will Dump be dissolved in a vat of his own acid? I could not possibly comment, but perhaps come see the show to find out?”

In August, Stepping Out are also heading to MielenTilat (Mindspaces) ‐ an International Mental Health Theatre Festival in Tampere, Finland. To celebrate their 20th anniversary, they will be performing a programme of shorter pieces from many different performers offering windows into their different mental health experiences and evoking the many journeys we all go on with our mental health. Extracts from ‘The Rise and Fall of Ronald J Dump’ will be included in this.

Botany in the Shire

The Wild Plants of the Shirehampton area

“And then I came to a field where the springing grass
Was dulled by the hanging cups of fritillaries
Sullen and foreign‐looking, the snaky flower
Scarfed in dull purple like Egyptian girls”

So wrote the bohemian poet, novelist and gardener Vita Sackville‐West in her epic poem, The Land, published in the 1920s. It was something of a surprise when, stopping for a walk near the War Memorial on the Shirehampton Road I came across several hundred flowering plants of the Snake’s‐head Lily, or Fritillary, some chequered and, as usual, a few a creamy white.

British botanists presumed it native in riverside meadows, particularly by the Thames and its tributaries, which were deliberately flooded in winter to bring in naturally fertilising silt. On the Continent it grows in similar habitats by the Rhine. Flowering as it does around May Day it has sometimes become absorbed into local traditions in association with tea parties and Morris dancers. There is even a National Nature Reserve where it plays a starring role.

John Gerard writes of it in his herbal of 1597 as a garden plant. However, the subsequent history of this most delightful flower is somewhat perplexing. It was first reported as a wild plant in Britain only in 1737. In 1785 it was reported in meadows in Oxford, no great distance from the oldest botanic garden in the country.

The 1912 Flora of Bristol has it supposedly native in a dozen places, going back to 1829, such as at Bitton, Stoke Gifford, Winterbourne and Barrow Gurney. There are some suggestions of bulbs washing downstream and founding new colonies. Everywhere, farmers became irritated by trespassers picking bunches and dug up the fritillaries or ploughed the land they inhabited.

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Here in Shirehampton the Fritillary is obviously planted, and apparently naturalised as it soon does in gardens. The latest DNA analyses suggest that widespread British wild samples have a common Continental origin. If it matters at all, for no‐one remembers the gardeners who planted it, this snaky flower is not just foreign‐looking but foreign.

Clive Lovatt

Nature Notes…

Oh the joys of Spring! Where to start?

  1. Sitting with a book at bed times, listening to a tawny owl in a nearby tree, calling and calling for several minutes.
  2. Just yesterday, watching a sparrow come to the feeder and then back to its chick on the garden wall.
  3. Canada geese honking loudly as they raced along over the river.
  4. A friend from along the road eager to catch me at my front door, to tell me that he’d just spotted the first swifts flying in!
  5. Lots of my Cotswold friends welcoming back the hedgehogs.
  6. Being amazed at the sudden appearance of various butterflies, as the Spring sunshine returned with a vengeance! All on the same morning.
  7. Reports from more than one source of a cuckoo calling on the Cotswold!

What a great time of year. Happy nature watching everyone. Bobbie Perkins

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I wasn't me! Honest…

Call for More Foster Carers in Shirehampton

Keeping a child coming into care close to their community, their school and friends is very important in helping them cope with the trauma of leaving family to live in foster care.

So it is really important we have carers in all areas across the city.

Right now we are particularly in need of more foster carers in Shirehampton to ensure children from the area and from neighbouring Lawrence Weston do not have to be moved from the area. We already have 4 fantastic carers in the area but really need more. One Shirehampton carer Tracy has this to say to encourage people to consider fostering: “ I have been a foster career with the Council for 7 years. Our story began when we became kinship carers for a young friend of our son. For 2 years we watched this young person gain confidence, grow and become independent. We enjoyed our experience so much we then decided as a family that we would like to become foster carers, to make a difference to another young person’s life. The process to becoming foster carers was very easy and we soon progressed to having our first placement. The role can be hard work but the rewards are greater. As a fostering family we are able to give a child/children a loving family home, security and a happy childhood, making amazing memories every single day. Time, love and a spare bedroom is all you need to make a difference.”

Letters to the Editor

Have your say eMail ‐>

 Thank you Lee Hill Partnership ‐ Sue Husher

Dear Editor

A big thank you to Lee Hill Partnership, at the rear of the shops in Station Road, for auditting the annual accounts of the ’Shire by Post’.

Sue Husher‐ Shire by Post

 Elizabeth Watts  ‐ Bryan, Rebecca and Helen

Dear Editor

Liz’s family would like to say a big Thank You to all friends, neighbours and The Bristol Port Company for all the kind and generous donations that you gave in memory of Liz. The donations of over £1000 were split equally between St Peters Hospice and The Lullaby Trust. Thank you also for all the cards and support that you have given to the family.

With sincere thanks

Bryan, Rebecca and Helen.

 The Author Hal Jons  ‐ Neil Robson

Dear Editor

I write regarding your article about the author Hal Jons in the April Shire. Just to say I did know him. I was a very young and rookie employee of the dock company in 1974 and was sent to the Haven Masters dept as a messenger boy.

Others told me of ’Hal’s’ literary achievement’s, he himself never mentioned them in my hearing. I remember him as a quiet man always seemingly buried in his work, always pleasant. He loved his tea I remember. On one occasion in my first few days, he saved my bacon! I had visited one of the departments far‐ flung outposts; the place had a fabulous view, I was keen to linger and enjoy the view, but was cut across sharply by the ’on duty’ person. Upon returning to the office I started to recount my disappointment and was surprised when ’Hal’ ably supported by Ray (who also worked in the office) started to intervene vigorously in the conversation and, shall we say, steered me off my complaint. I was puzzled, but discovered later that the unknown lady present was the duty person’s wife!! Troopers indeed.

Yours sincerely

Neil Robson

 Still Looking for Old colleagues/friends.  ‐ Ken Sharp

Dear Editor

I have contacted you before. I would still like to contact the following people and I hope you can print another request in the next edition.

From PBA 1960‐63 ‐ Ron Hodges, Fred Combes, George Balsdon, Des Villis and Roger Mooney.

From Avonmouth Sea cadets 1956‐59 ‐ Edward De Sousa, Les Teague and Jan Francis.

Please send any information to ‐

Many thanks

Ken Sharp.

 Missing Bike  ‐ Alvin Schadenberg

Dear Editor

On Sunday morning May 6th I went for a mountain bike ride from Shirehampton, across the M5 Bridge, through Pill and along the towpath to Leigh woods. As usual my dog Rufus accompanied me. This should have been a great start of the day. On the way back, just before crossing back over the bridge, Rufus suddenly refused to walk any further. He seemed to have a minor injury to his paw. After giving him some rest, it was clear he needed to be carried back to the car on the other side of the M5 Bridge, particularly as it was getting hot quickly that day. As I could not take both my bike and dog, I decided to leave the bike behind a fence, out of sight, and retrieve it once Rufus was back home.

Sadly, when I went back at 10.45 am, approximately 45 minutes later, my bike was gone. I’m hoping that whoever reads this and knows about my black‐blue Trek full suspension MTB is kind enough to get in touch and hand it back. While having had the idle hope that someone picked it up in good faith and reported it, I fear you cannot leave anything unattended, even in an emergency, without someone feeling at liberty to take it. £100 will be rewarded for getting my bike back. Thankfully Rufus recovered completely that same day. However, for now we will miss our morning rides together.

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Regards, Alvin Schadenberg

Maureen Grant ‐ 24th July 1930 ‐ 25th April 2018

The many friends of my wife Maureen will be very sad to hear that she passed away peacefully at the age of 87 in Southmead Hospital on 25th April 2018.

She led a very busy life until then, as she was a dedicated volunteer with St Peter’s Hospice shop in Shirehampton for 29 years, since the shop opened. She was the third longest serving volunteer with the charity. She wished them every success with their current Room to Care Appeal ‐ Building a 21st Century Hospice for Bristol. We wish them every success in their endeavors. Maureen’s request at her funeral was for family flowers only, or donations to St Peter’s Hospice.

Maureen’s other main interest was helping the Bristol Branch of the Merchant Navy Association to raise £100,000 in order to build a long awaited memorial in Bristol City Docks to these seafarers who sailed from Bristol or Avonmouth over the ages, in peace or war. The appeal was launched in 1998 by our Branch President, Richard Hill, on the s.s.Great Britain. Some said that it couldn’t be done, but with the help of Maureen and her fellow members the sum was raised by 2001 and now the Memorial is a permanent tribute to those who ‘go down to the sea in ships,’ some never to return. For the next seven years Maureen served as the branch treasurer. When the Rev Philip Auden became chaplain to our branch we formed a friendship which has endured for the last twenty years.

Maureen was a devoted member of her church in Shirehampton, the Rev Patrick Stonehewer’s Methodist church on the High Street. She served on many of their committees and worked hard, helping the church survive, in these difficult times.

Maureen loved her family and friends and was in turn much loved by them. Her immediate family and I will miss her very much. Maureen left sons Alastair and Peter, her granddaughters Emily and Charlotte, Maureen’s brothers Colin and Brian, her sister Diane and Maureen’s daughter‐in‐law Felicity, (wife of her eldest son Alastair). Maureen was important to them, her wider family and many friends. She will be sorely missed by them all.

Hamish Grant

Shire Community Grants

As you know, Shire newspaper is a not‐for‐profit community paper produced every month by a dedicated team of volunteers.

No one working on the paper receives any money. We are fully dependent on our loyal advertisers to cover our costs. Each year any advertising revenue that remains after our expenses are met is disbursed in Community Grants. We invite community groups to apply for grants in January and February.

This year we received eleven applications. We were able to make awards to;

  • The Orchard Community Garden,
  • Christmas Illuminations,
  • the Dragon Club,
  • the Pillow Lace Group,
  • SCAF, the Public Hall,
  • the Grainger Players,
  • Penpole Lunch Club,
  • Avonmouth RFC,
  • PBA Youth Football Club and
  • to the Methodist Church, which kindly allows us to use their hall for our meetings free of charge.

We hope our advertisers will be pleased to know that in supporting Shire they are also supporting some of our vital community groups.

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Shire's own Grainger Players received a grant to cover the cost of new, permanent theatre lights for the Public Hall. The lights will be available for other users of the hall.

The Public Hall (SCAF) received a grant towards the cost of repairing the clock tower.

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Photo by Bob Pitchford
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Photo by Bob Pitchford

Your Local MPs Report

YardArts Circus Village

Many local residents have contacted me about the proposed YardArts circus development on the edge of Kings Weston Estate on Penpole Lane (on land privately owned next to the small warehouse currently in place).

I met with YardArts, local residents and the land owner on Saturday 28th April to hear each side of the story. YardArts hope to install a circus tent, a cafe and various wooden cabins to put on creative and artistic performances for local residents. In addition, they want to provide a space for temporary housing for the artists who will perform to live in.

We all know how valuable and well‐used this beautiful area is, and so local residents must be consulted first. I have therefore made it clear that I will only support the YardArts development if it has the consent of local residents. Please can you let me know your views, by completing my survey at or by writing to my office. In that survey, you can also let me know if you would like to come to a public meeting to hear from YardArts, the land owner and Bristol City Council as well.

Flies in Avonmouth

I also had hundreds of messages from residents over the bank holiday weekend due to the increase in the number of flies in the area. Hot weather will lead to more flies, but we have to be particularly careful in our area due to waste businesses in Avonmouth. That’s why reporting early on is key, and making sure that local businesses know they have to comply with the rules. As your MP, I have spoken with the Environment Agency, Bristol City Council and the CEOs of various businesses in Avonmouth about this. And I will be sharing information with you soon about how best to report any suspected breaches of waste regulations so that quick enforcement action can be taken.


Lastly, since becoming your MP I’ve been championing the rights of parents to access affordable and high‐quality childcare. I’ve heard from many of you who have found it incredibly challenging to wade through the minefield of government schemes, access childcare ‘codes’ on websites that don’t work and spend hours on the phone trying to sort out your claims that in many cases have to be renewed every 3 months. I visited the Shirehampton branch of Snap Dragons Nursery recently to meet parents and staff to find out how they’ve been getting on. Many nurseries are finding that the payment the government provides per hour for ‘free’ childcare does not cover their true operational costs ‐ so they’ve been making a loss or recouping costs from parents.

In advance of the closure of Childcare Vouchers to new entrants, I’m making parents aware of changes that could leave them worse off ‐ fortunately parents have time to think as the Government has delayed the closure until October following pressure from Labour MPs. You can find out more online: www.darren‐

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Darren Jones at Snapdragons

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

Sunday 15th April was a day of firsts

The first home game of the season against Bristol Arrow, the first game captained by new week‐end captain Merv May, the first game back for returning bowlers Sally and Alan Coulstring and the first time the new club flag was hoisted on the new flagpole for a game against a visiting team. This remarkable afternoon ended with the visitors coming out in front after a very enjoyable afternoons bowling.

The first hoist of the flag was on Friday 13th April, green opening day, celebrated with a toast and some first day bowling by four or was it five, club bowlers all keen to bowl on the long awaited day. Fourteen people were present at the flag hoisting ceremony performed and presented by Trevor Scanlon who is the club Master of the Flag.

The ladies have eight friendly fixtures this season and they made a good start by winning the first two. At Avonmouth on April 19th playing two rinks they came out on top by just two shots. A week later ‐at home to Canford, and playing three rinks there was further success, by just six shots.

The first of fourteen Bristol and District Mens League games took place on Thursday 26th April, at home, and the visitors were St. Annes Park. Always formidable opposite the visitors won two of the three rinks and the game overall to take eight of the ten points available.

The programme of over forty mixed friendly games is well underway. Enjoying the game of bowls is paramount in these fixtures but winning does add to the pleasure and there has been early season success away from home against Page Park and Begbrook Green.

On a more competitive note, the ladies have been drawn to play Henleaze in the Top Club competition and Bristol Arrow in the Inter ‐Club.

The Club League is running with five teams this season and winners in the first round of games, played on May 8th were Exiles and A.N.Other. Each team will play twelve games of eighteen ends between May and September plus the cup competition starting in June.

Presidents Day will be on Saturday June 9th and competition finals days over the week‐end September 8th and 9th.

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