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News Index

Shirehampton Launches Community Plan

Local Charity Becomes a Centenarian

Local Hero

Do you know this lady?

Jeff Hawkins Retires

A Fond Farewell To Hawkins Newsagents.

Kings Weston School Join Forces With Clic Sargent

Our High Street: A Day In The Life Of Bobbetts

What the People Say

Interview with Darren Jones

Local Photographers Teresa and Colin Momber Retire

AGM Announcement

Found Property

Shire Stitchers Success

Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association

Cotswold Community Association Celebrates Asset Transfer (and Bumper Plant Sale!).

Shirehampton Model Railway Club 25th Anniversary Exhibition

What would you do?

St. Mary's News -  July

Botany in the Shire

Nature Notes…

Vehicle crime in Shirehampton

Letters to the Editor

Robin John Conway

Albert Mervyn Harrow (Merv)

Darren Jones MP

Bristol Manor Farm F.C. Youth under 12 and U11 team.

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

Smelters Belters Hat Trick

Shirehampton Launches Community Plan

On Saturday June 9th Shirehampton formally launched its Community Plan for 2018 ‐2023.

The Plan is the result of two years work surveying local residents for their views on living in the Village. It sets out in detail the kinds of improvements to our community that local residents want to see. Asked how the Launch had gone Dianne Francis, Chair of the Community Plan Steering Group, and of Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF), replied:

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’The launch of the Shirehampton Community Plan was what we had really hoped it would be; lots of local people of all ages coming in to talk about the plans for the improvement of the village.

As a steering group, we are very happy at how supportive and involved local people have been throughout the development of the Plan. The numbers of residents getting involved has grown a lot over the last two years and the launch brought in even more new people who want to help improve their village. Increasing the numbers of residents involved will help to make sure that the changes that residents have said they want will become a reality. Local Councillors and the MP have already promised their support too.

get involved in making sure things happen…

The steering group will meet again in June to gather all the information we were given at the launch and to work out a detailed work plan for the next few months. With the support of SCAF, we will bring together people who want to get involved in making sure things happen in the village. We will also be talking to partners and organisations such as the councillors, churches, community centres, traders, sports and leisure organisations about what they see is their role in making changes in the village. We want to include everyone who can help to make the plan a reality.

there’s lots of work to do!

There is no age limit. And there’s lots of work to do! Anyone who wants to get involved in any of the action plans or the steering group can contact SCAF via the website, Facebook, email or telephone. We will put regular updates in the Shire every month and we hope to have some new community notice boards in the village in the next few months.’

Copies of this plan can be found on Shirehampton Community Action Forum: Or contact us on: Telephone: 0117 982 9963; Email:

Facebook: SCAF: Shirehampton Community Action Forum

Local Charity Becomes a Centenarian

Some of you may know that the Avon University Settlement (Community Association) [AUSCA] runs the Shire Advice Service and you would have been familiar with the sign that used to be outside 115 High Street (Ilex Cottage) proclaiming that.

What you may not realise is that the origins of our charity reach back to 1918 hence a celebration of our centenary year.

University Settlements came out of a Victorian social conscience and Bristol University’s Professor Tyndall was one of the inaugurators. The settlements provided accommodation for university students from the higher classes. They were based in poor areas, so that those students who were to become doctors, clergymen, lawyers etc would have come into contact with the poor whom they would later serve. It was also hoped the students would pass on a desire to learn.

without much social or neighbourhood guidance

The Barton Hill University Settlement was supported by the Wills family and a warden called Hilda Cashmore realised in 1918 that the growing district of Shirehampton was without much social or neighbourhood guidance, so Settlements Cottage was opened under a nurse named Mrs Perry, largely for medical aid and assistance to children and the elderly. It was a forerunner to what we now think of as the Welfare State.

In 1920 Miss Rotha Clay, an academic and daughter of Canon Clay, came to Shirehampton to take the post of voluntary organiser. Many local people became the Settlement’s early supporters. Miss Clay worked unceasingly for the physical, mental and spiritual needs of the people of Shirehampton. In 1920 she founded the ‘Old Age Pensioners Club’ now still going as the Evergreens under the watchful eye of Norman Sims, a former trustee of our charity, and a little later she set up a ‘club for mothers’. Miss Clay operated from her own home in Kingsweston Avenue, and later in Old Quarry Road. She initiated youth work, ultimately getting use of the farmhouse premises in Groveleaze. She also established pre‐natal classes and student classes under the aegis of the Workers’ Educational Association [WEA].

In 1934 Rotha Clay purchased Twyford House to be used as an Adult Education Centre leaving the farmhouse in Groveleaze to concentrate on youth work. After WW2 she purchased Ilex Cottage next door and lived there until her death. In 1945 Rotha Clay conveyed Twyford House to the Shirehampton Settlement. At this time the Barton Hill Settlement was still overseeing the work in Shirehampton but after the war they advertised for a Warden at Twyford House, University Settlement. Fred Gould applied and with his wife Dorothy took over the job, living in Twyford House, getting the house into a state suitable for welfare services and classes and tackling the jungle of a garden. There will still be people around who remember the wonderful classes, sports, outings, and recreational facilities available at Twyford House. There were societies formed to put on pantomimes, operas and plays of a very high standard that graced the stage of the Public Hall.

starting up of the Shire newspaper

In 1956 the Barton Hill Settlement allowed the work at Shirehampton to be run by a Board of Trustees endorsing the work done here and ensuring progress won further recognition at national and local level. Rotha Clay died in 1961 and in 1970 Fred Gould purchased Ilex Cottage which was then used as a headquarters for what became the Avon (University Settlement) Community Association. Fred Gould and his band of helpers from the community started the Shirehampton Community Association and were involved with the starting up of the Shire newspaper, guaranteeing printing costs. Fred was the first editor.

In 1977 the Trustees of AUSCA decided to initiate a free advice service which operated at Ilex Cottage and became our core activity. In addition they were still involved with the Evergreens and also the Beachley Walk Lunch Club, a project overseen by John Miller who served as our chairman for many years. The cottage also hosted advice sessions run by Age Concern (now Age UK) and the Severn Four Credit Union for a while. Eventually a decision was taken to move the advice sessions to the Shirehampton Health Centre which was more accessible for people and the cottage was just used for admin and follow up work.

In 2013 when a long serving advisor decided to move on and it was difficult to recruit a suitable replacement, the trustees decided to out‐source the advice service to North Bristol Advice Centre. The cottage was sold and is now a private residence.

drinks and nibbles

Now in 2018 we have a committee of 5 voluntary trustees and are always looking for more, especially those with close community connections. On Thursday 13th September we will be having a short AGM followed by a Centenary Celebration (drinks and nibbles) and an opportunity for people to find out more about the history of the charity and look at the wonderful Twyford scrap book. This is an open meeting ‐ please come and help us celebrate! Judy Helme (Hon Sec)

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An Avon University Settlement party at the Groveleaze Farmhouse ‐ can anyone date it, name the occasion and/or identify faces?

Local Hero

SHIRE received this letter from Martin Ackerman asking about Roy Bentley:

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Roy Bently

I recently read that the last member of England’s 1950 world cup squad had passed away at the age of 93, I was quite surprised to read that Roy Thomas Frank Bentley was born and bred in Shirehampton, he went to Portway boys school and played for Avonmouth before playing for the two Bristol clubs, Newcastle Utd, Chelsea, Fulham and QPR.

He is most famous in Chelsea colours and captained them to their first ever trophy in 1955 (League championship) they bought him for £11,000 (a large sum at the time)

He is regarded as one of Chelsea’s finest and is currently their 5th all time leading scorer.

He played for England 12 times scoring 9 goals. Playing in the 1950 World Cup in Brazil he scored the winning goal against Scotland to qualify for that tournament.He was hated by the Scots and was known as "The man who robbed Scotland of Rio"

Roy also served in the WW2 with the Royal Navy.

I was wondering if there is any further info on this local legend (sadly pretty unknown locally) it would be interesting to find out where he lived in Shire etc

So we did some research, checked out Ethel Thomas’s book on Shirehampton and came up with the following:

Roy Bently, Professional Footballer - Extract from The Continuing Story of Shirehampton by Ethel Thomas

Thomas Frank Roy Bentley, son of Arthur and Ada Bentley, was born at Barrow Hill, Shirehampton on 17 May 1924. A few years later the family moved to 39 Meadow Grove, Shirehampton, where they lived for the next 56 years. In the meantime Roy grew up to become a talented professional footballer.

In August 1935 Roy Bentley joined Portway Senior Boys School, where his exceptional sporting skills were immediately recognised and encouraged. He was appointed Captain of both the School’s cricket and football teams. In January 1938 he played for Bristol Schoolboys at Ashton Gate ground in the English Schools Shield Divisional Final versus Cheltenham Boys, which the Bristol Boys won three goals to one. Roy helped clinch the game by scoring the third goal from a hard cross‐shot and earned high praise in the newspapers of the day.

Roy left Portway School in July 1938, and as a young sportsman he made training sessions his very first priority, which, no doubt, was the secret of his successes. In September 1941 he was signed by Bristol City Football Club for their Junior team.

The Second World War interrupted his career, during which time Roy served in the Royal Navy in a destroyer and also in a minesweeper crossing the Atlantic at least 25 times, but always having football in mind and arranging games whenever and wherever shore leave would allow.

After the War his talents were being sought after by First Division Clubs, and in 1946 he was transferred to Newcastle United where he played for two seasons, 1947 and 1947 appearing 48 times and scoring 22 goals.

In 1948 Roy was transferred to Chelsea Football Club, and stayed there until 1956, making 324 appearances and scoring 128 goals. After this long stay with Chelsea he was transferred to Fulham until 1960 playing 143 games and scoring 23 goals. His last transfer came in 1961 when he went to Queen’s Park Rangers for two seasons, 1961/62 playing in 45 games but scoring no goals. He then ended his playing career, during which time he had played for England twelve times ‐ an excellent achievement indeed.

At the height of his career Roy Bentley wrote his autobiography Going for Goal published in 1955. He and his wife Vi had two daughters.

The Continuing Story of Shirehampton by Ethel Thomas

Our researcher also chatted to members of her history group. One recalled the family living in Meadow Street and another had heard that Roy went to Shirehampton School and that his name was carved on a desk. We’re sure there will be other readers who can also add memories of Roy in future editions.

Do you know this lady?

Many in the village will know Margorie Walliker.

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Margorie Walliker.

Although not Shire by birth. Margorie was born in a small Welsh village near Risca South Wales during the depression years and her parents looking for work were given the choice of emigrating to Canada or moving to Bristol. Fortunately they came to Shirehampton when Margorie was five. It was here she met Fred her future husband. When war broke out Margorie was called to serve in the ATS and Fred to the RAF. Four years later they married and a few years later bought their family home where Margorie still lives. Fred was an insurance collector and they had three children Jean, Hilary and David.

Margorie has been a member of our church for many years and has served as a deacon and a Sunday school teacher. She ran a coffee morning and did many other jobs. She is very proud of her war effort and until very recently attended the march at the Cenotaph at College Green every year. Margorie still attends our church services and also enjoys her morning coffee at Saint Mary’s Church. On July 19th Margorie will be 95 and we wish her a very Happy Birthday. We are glad she came to Shirehampton!

Jeff Hawkins Retires

As you know, Jeff has retired from Hawkins Newsagent after over forty years, forty years of which I’ve worked for Jeff, and the shop has been a big part of the Village. I’ve seen many changes over the years and worked with some great people. At one time there were eight of us working there. We had some great fun especially when I worked with Jean Ackland who had the same wicked sense of humour as me, and we would be in fits of laughter.

I’ve worked with lovely people over the years and I often look back and think how lucky I was. Not only did we work together, but every couple of months four of us used to go out for a meal together and we would laugh all night ‐ great times!

I’ve had lots of lovely customers over the years and watched their families grow up and have families of their own which has been lovely to see. I’d just like to say thank you all for being a big part of my life. I’m going to miss you all. I wish you all well. No doubt we will bump into each other in the village and have a little chat.

To Jeff, have a great retirement, and to you and Gaynor I wish you all the happiness for the future.

Lots of Love

Jean Nurse

A Fond Farewell To Hawkins Newsagents.

Ernie and Gwen Hawkins arrived in Shirehampton High Street in 1973 where they opened up their family run newsagent shop.

In 1978 their son Jeff took over the business and like them he became one of the memorable characters and much loved shopkeeper in the village. On the 28th May 2018 Jeff closed the doors to his shop one final time and embraced retirement once and for all. There was no big farewell, he wanted to leave without a fuss, a quiet goodbye. He has never been one for interviews or quotes and was also very camera shy.

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Hawkins Newsagents

It is here that I asked people for their memories of Hawkins Newsagents and Jeff, with many people sending good wishes to him and Gaynor for a happy and rewarding retirement. Being such a character Jeff will be greatly missed for many reasons.

“If my nan Mrs Peters couldn’t be found she was usually in there chatting to Jeff and the other ladies. He even gave her a seat. We used to spend ages deciding what sweets to have as the choice was endless.’ Kelly Godbeer.

“Working at Hawkins was my first job, working after school. Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings, firstly for Mr Hawkins Snr then Jeff, with the lovely ladies the two Jean’s and the two Chris’s. Lovely memories.’ Tracy Wyatt‐Hunter.

“I remember buying some sweets from Mr Hawkins, went to go out the door and Jeff sprang at me saying I’d stolen them. What a cheek! As if I would. He frightened me to death.’ Shelley Boyle‐Stewart.

“I used to love going in there as a child. Jeff used to sell all the old fashioned sweets like the chocolate cigarettes and the spice girls sweets when they were popular.’ Danielle Lee.

“Jeff always quoted in pounds, shillings and old pence when you bought something from the shop. And who can forget the cockle lady sat outside every Saturday, whatever the weather.’Richard Barnard.

“I used to spend all my pocket money on Superman and Batman comics in Hawkins. I remember Mr Hawkins Snr being kind enough to let me go through the new arrivals in his store cupboard before they were put on the shelves. It really is the end of an era with Jeff calling it a day.’ Peter Hill.

“Thanks for the job. Great to see how a visit to the shop could really make someone’s day. So many things that could be said, always good service and great banter.’ Karen Damsell.

“It was the essential stop‐off on our way home from Portway school. I remember Jeff and his dad always being friendly and chatty. It was a lovely place.’ Claire Bridgewater.

Thank you to Shirehampton Chat and NextDoor for allowing me to gather memories that will be long lasting to everyone and showing Jeff Hawkins that he made his lifetime impressions on many people. You are missed already! Enjoy your retirement and lie‐ins Jeff.

Kathryn Courtney

Kings Weston School Join Forces With Clic Sargent

It’s been a couple busy months for the pupils of the post 16 class at Kings Weston School.

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They have embarked on an exciting new episode in their lives and have linked up with the charity Clic Sargent in Shirehampton High Street. Every Friday pupils have been volunteering to help out in the shop and have found it fascinating and fun to do.

Nicki Ryszka teaches the post 16 class at Kings Weston School and she was with Callum Grunshaw and Nanaki Kaur on the day I visited the shop. Callum and Nanaki were in the stock room sorting out clothes, toys and other items in readiness to put out into the shop area. They were happily chatting away with occasional laughter being heard between the three of them.

“We’ve been coming here for quite a while now teaching them different skills, either checking the electric lamps, looking at the wiring or checking through the clothes looking for what we can sell or cleaning the toys. We are teaching them really valuable skills like matching and observing things carefully. They clean up toys, do up the buttons and zips on clothing and listen to instructions. They are also learning social skills as well. They’re chatting to people in the shop and volunteers who work here. Sometimes talking to unfamiliar people can be quite daunting and quite scary for them because they’re used to working with the same people all the time,so it’s quite good for them to get out and meet people from the local community.’ said Nicki.

“They always ask me on Monday ‘are we going to the shop on Friday? What are we going to do today? Are we going to do clothes toda,y are we going to do lamps?’ And things like that. They are quite excited about it, have fun and really love what they are doing. They just get on with what needs doing.’

“At the end of day I always ask what their favourite thing is, what they enjoyed the most? Callum seems to enjoy dealing with the lamps and doing the electrical side of things and Nanaki really loves the clothes so we try and give her time to look around the shop and chat about what we can see which is really good for her communication skills as well.’ said Nicki

“We like to teach children and other pupils about helping people so they’ve got an understanding that when they come to this shop we try to make as much money as we can to help young people with cancer. As a school we do a lot of enterprise projects as well so pupils have an understanding of making money to help people. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the pupils at Kings Weston School and we want to do this for as long as possible.’ added Nicki.

Kathryn Courtney.

Our High Street: A Day In The Life Of Bobbetts

Scott Robson and Ross Arnold are business partners.

Sixteen months ago they took over ‘Bobbetts’, a name well known in the High Street for over fifty years. In light of issues affecting the High Street today I thought we could all gain from understanding more about running a small business. With at least fifteen years business experience between them I asked Scott to tell me about a typical day.

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Bobbetts team

“I get up around 4.30am and get to the market about 5.00am. Not only do we have to buy stock for the shop but also for wholesale deliveries to the care homes, pubs, the Golf Club, and offices as well as for customer orders we receive through our web site. Some orders are received late at night or even at 4.00am so I’m checking my phone to see what additional stock we need to pick up. I go round each section of the market to buy and keep an eye out for any deals. We have two vans so we load them and Ross will load the bigger van with fruit because he does the office deliveries straight from the market and can make up the boxes in the back. We leave around 6.30am.’

“I get back to the shop to unload and set up the shop with a member of staff. The night before we do a stock take and a lot of stuff is put in the fridge to preserve it over night. That is taken out of the fridge for the shop. At the same time I make up the orders for deliveries. That is all done by around 9.00am and I’m then out doing our wholesale deliveries for a couple hours. When I return to the shop I sort out the fruit and veg boxes and sacks of potatoes. By the afternoon at least one of us is in the shop and the other does some afternoon deliveries, but a lot of the time we deliver after work. We’ll shut at 5.00pm, pack everything away and we’re doing home deliveries. I generally get home by 7.30pm.’

“Cherise takes care of Facebook page and web site orders because we struggle to find time and she sends them through after 8.00pm for the following day. We try and do the books every other day rather than daily if we can but we both work on average 80 hours or more a week and pay ourselves less than the minimum wage.’

“With the rates, being a big shop we are paying around £9,000 and the rent, actual bills of running the shop you are looking at around £30,000 a year total. That’s not taking into account stock, staff wages and what we pay ourselves. It is a big challenge but we knew it was going to be long hours and hard work however we stay focused on our aims for the business.’ said Scott

To order your fruit and vegetables boxes from Bobbetts please go to:

Kathryn Courtney

What the People Say

The Launch Open Day gave local people the opportunity to comment on the Plan and its proposals.

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Launch day
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Ruth Morris said “Well we would all like to live in a safe and community minded place so if we started with small localised areas, perhaps street by street etc, once people see how things could be they would join in, even if it was just picking up dropped litter in and around just where they live.’ But how to get people involved? “Tricky that one, maybe lots of small events ‐ not just in church halls but outside in the open ‐ the Green where the Christmas carols are sung, park at the back of the cemetery.”

Jess Brown thinks “it is important to have ideas & suggestions from the community on what people believe is required in the area. The plan highlights the main key issues that residents raised.

The plan indicates what needs to be done or achieved within the next 5 years. From small things like notice boards in key areas of the village to more competition with regards to shops.

People need to get involved with events and meetings that go on in the area to have their say & take part in. That can be done through going to SCAF meetings, Church events, local Facebook groups & keeping an eye in shop windows. The SHIRE newspaper is also a great source for finding out about local events in the area especially the what”s on page with so many things to support that is just on our doorstep. My opinion overall is that the community plan is great to showcase things for the future. It is just getting the people involved to support & ensure the actions take place over the next 5 years. That is my only slight concern is the manpower as the plan did suggest that people were too busy.”

Kath Goessens spoke for many when she said: “I want to see the pride returned in the village.” So did Eddie Shaw:“I hope the local community plan will achieve security, attractiveness of the village to visitors. It would be nice to walk round the village, especially some of the places where there”s no rubbish thrown about. I hope people”s confidence in things being done in the village will grow and people become more caring about their surroundings”.

Marilyn Gorry congratulated the steering committee on their work. She thinks “people will want to be involved, they now know that having their own Plan enables them to put their views on issues, like, New Development, Changes to Public Services, Investments, Open Spaces etc, things that are important them.” She recognizes that “Having the contact with the local Councillors is essential, this gives them the opportunity to give detailed information about what is important to the community to Bristol City Council.”

Councillor Don Alexander promised his support: I see my role primarily as one of helping the community to achieve a constructive relationship with the Council. The community has set the goals and some, but not all, of these require the support of the Council. That”s where it’s my duty to help. I want to be available to help but I am clear about where leadership lies and the need for councillors to support rather than usurp!

Article and photos by Kathryn Courtney

Interview with Darren Jones

Saturday 9th June marked the opening of Shirehampton’s Community Plan, which aims to address a number of key issues identified from a community‐wide survey.

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Darren Jones discusses the plan with Angus Bucknell

I interviewed Darren Jones, our local MP for Bristol North, about matters arising from the plan and his thoughts on the issues it identifies.

Overall Darren is very pleased with the plan; it addresses some key issues within Shirehampton which he has seen himself. Our conversation naturally started with his support for the plan. He made it clear he’s been a strong proponent for the plan since its inception and has attended some of the steering group meetings in the past, but other than that he hasn’t been directly involved with the construction. However, he hopes to play a stronger role in the plan’s implementation by helping to identify any difficulties facing the plan, negotiating with the UK Government and other parties, and finally chairing meetings between Shirehampton action groups and the appropriate parties to ensure change does happen.

Darren looked at how the plan might help Shirehampton in ways previously not considered such as by conferring elevated legal status for action groups such as SCAF on matters concerning the Shirehampton community. He pointed out that Lawrence Weston has gained elevated privileges by introducing a similar plan powered by a local community action group

Darren said he feels the two biggest challenges facing Shirehampton are getting more facilities for a younger generation and reversing the decline of local businesses on the High Street. Both of these are key aims to be tackled by the plan. Darren has seen the effects of these issues on the community as a whole, and hopes to help tackle these himself as well. Previously, he too has faced difficulties in connecting with the younger generation of Shirehampton, and realised that improving his online social media presence might help. He thinks there is an underlying issue with the younger generations not being given a voice within the Shirehampton community. Furthermore, he hopes to help tackle the issue of antisocial behaviour with the development of youth‐centered facilities, providing young people with more activities within the community, such as swimming pools and youth clubs. He would like to improve the areas where antisocial behaviour is most prevalent by installing better lighting and making the environment more friendly and safe.

The Community Plan is aiming to fix big issues within Shirehampton.

Darren fully backs the plan and hopes it will succeed in addressing the large issues discovered via the survey, and is fully confident that it will be a success in the time to come.

Local Photographers Teresa and Colin Momber Retire

Colin Momber grew up in Shirehampton. One of his favourite memories is going to the local Savoy cinema in Station Road watching adventure films and B‐movie westerns. This led to the couple organising regular events for almost twenty years with famous actors from the USA attending and even staying at the couple’s home. They even enjoyed a champagne breakfast with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in California!

Colin and his wife Teresa are both professional photographers. They opened their business, ‘Shirehampton Studio’, in Pembroke Road in 1968, whilst raising their family of four children. They have to be the longest running business in Shirehampton and their work portfolio is vast. Weddings, family portraits, passport photos, events, brochure photography, business photography, Lord Mayors and Royalty all feature, as well as Colin writing and producing a couple of books and videos on Bristol’s seaports.

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Teresa Momber
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Teresa Momber is the recognisable face of the photography business in the area. She is the person who is always in the shop , the one we see wandering through the village each day. You can guarantee you’ll see her chatting to someone in the High Street, always with a smile. “We’ve done well over two thousand weddings in the area. Shirehampton, Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston for example, mainly local churches, and further afield. It’s always been recommendations from the parents, then their children and so on. People travel from the other side of Bristol to get their photos taken, even passport photos. Some are regular customers who have moved away from the area, others through recommendation.’

With over fifty years in the business, photography has moved on. “It’s changed phenomenally over the years. We didn’t think it would all go computerised as it has and digital as it has, but it did. We still use film and we like film. We’ve always done all of our weddings on film. Colin likes his digital photography but I prefer film. I don’t want to take thousands of photographs, I want to keep it to the minimum. I like a bit of tradition. However film photography has become more expensive and in particular for passports. They’ve ceased making that film and that’s another reason for me leaving’ said Teresa.

Now in their 70’s, Teresa and Colin they have decided to retire at the end of July. “Colin has plenty of interests: music, opera, history, he reads and has many subjects to follow. I’ve always wanted to join a choir, I like singing. Perhaps I will join a choir. I’ll still do some photography as a hobby with a digital camera. We have family. We’ve travelled to many places in our lifetime. We’d like to thank all our customers for their custom and loyalty over the years, we will miss them. We’ve always been a family orientated business.’

It is hoped that the shop will re‐open as a Mortgage Brokers but in the meantime we wish Colin and Teresa a happy and healthy retirement together.

Kathryn Courtney

AGM Announcement

Shire Newspaper AGM

Shire Newspaper will hold its Annual General Meeting on

Monday 6th August 2018 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.

Found Property

Black POLO RALPH LAUREN spectacles case containing pair of black framed prescription glasses and two pens.

On the afternoon of Monday 11th June, I found the above item under a bench in the field between the Lamplighters pub and the City & Port of Bristol Sports Club field. Please contact Shire for my contact details so you can be reunited with your property.

Shire Stitchers Success

Shire Stitchers evening meetings have proved so successful we are now starting a new morning session “Shire Stitchers Pop Up Group’

The group will start on Friday morning 6th June and run between 10:00 and 12:00 and thereafter run on the first Friday of every month between 10:00 and 12:00.

The group will meet in the small ground floor room of the Public Hall, Station Road, Shirehampton. There will be a cost of £2 per session per person.

The group is open to all and the aim of the group is for likeminded people to get together socially over a cup of tea and sew. Help will be on hand passing on and sharing ideas and techniques to improve sewing or start to sew with no previous experience. Sewing will be primarily based on patchwork techniques.

For further information call Brenda Teakel 01454632982

Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association














The Trustees at the Hall are always looking for volunteers and new members. 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. If you would like to make a donation to the upkeep of this incredible building why not try our JustGiving page? The link is‐public‐hall‐community‐association. Many thanks in advance for all your support.

Cotswold Community Association Celebrates Asset Transfer (and Bumper Plant Sale!).

The Cotswold Community Association has had some wonderful Plant Sales in the past, but they were surpassed this year when we completely sold out, for the first time.

The gardens of Shire will be looking even more beautiful now. Many thanks to all those who came along, we raised just under £500, all of which will go towards improving the facilities at the hall. Many thanks also to Coles Nursery in the village for supplying the plants, and also others who’d donated some too. On top of that, we were delighted to officially confirm our Community Asset Transfer from Bristol City Council and welcome our MP Darren Jones for this occasion. The Asset Transfer means that we have much more flexibility in managing the building and have more opportunities for grant funding in the future.

The CCA goes from strength to strength. All our regular events are very well attended and we’d like to thank all the people who come along and make it such a happy, thriving community hall.

Shirehampton Model Railway Club 25th Anniversary Exhibition

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Railway station

Did you know? After fishing, model railroading is the nation’s favourite participative hobby. Founded in 1992 as an independent club, we celebrated 25 continuous years of operation in 2017.

We are a diverse group of people with a common interest in all things to do with modelling and model railways. We are thriving with both regular and occasional members meeting every Wednesday at Shirehampton Village Hall, Station Road, Bristol BS11 9TX from 19:00 to 22:00 hrs. We currently have a membership list of around 20 including several of the original founding members.

We model in all the popular scales from N (2mm: foot) to the more popular OO (4mm) and O gauge (7mm), plus some larger garden size railways. While we generally model UK outline we also have interests in US and European themes.

Catering for a variety of people of all ages from beginners to experienced modellers, a key advantage of membership is the wealth of knowledge and help available to those starting in the hobby. Railway modelling is all about enjoyment and things can be kept as simple or complex as you like.

If you do need help, we have the people to talk to. Many of our members have built and developed high quality layouts and some have featured in the popular model railway press or won prestigious model railway society awards and prizes.

This year, we’ve developed a new Website which has already helped us connect with a whole new audience.

What would you do?

Pupils at Nova Primary School have had the opportunity to work with Unique Voice (a drama company) and Crimestoppers during Terms 4 and 5.

Through weekly workshops, pupils have explored themes such as healthy relationships, controlling behaviour and gang culture, developing a greater awareness of what constitutes unsafe behaviour within their local community and how to report concerns anonymously.

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Pupils from Nova Primary School

11 pupils were subsequently selected to participate in a performance at the Colston Hall in front of an audience of several hundred, including many of our own families and staff. Given how little time they had to rehearse, and how daunting a performance of this nature was, the Y5s from Nova were incredible (especially since we were given the most lines of any school, including some at the very last minute). We also won the first prize to design the programme cover, along with several runners up awards.

All pupils who participated in the event were presented with medals at Celebration Assembly. A big well done to both classes and their teachers for all of the additional work that this entailed.

St. Mary's News -  July

Hi Folks!

Here we are in July ‐ and almost at the end of the school year.School holidays are rapidly approaching much to the delight of our children. Let us hope we have a fine August so the kids can go outside and enjoy the fresh air, before the start of the next school year.

On Sunday, 3rd June we had our Church Picnic at the Lamplighters Field overlooking the river. It was a gorgeous hot day and approximately 60 adults and children took advantage of the wonderful weather. The adults were able to relax while the children played games which had been organised for them.It was a resounding success and worthy of repeating again next year!

Sunday, 17th June was not only Father’s Day, it was the day when at 10.00am we held another of our Cafe Church services. The Bacon Rolls were an absolute delight ‐ and if that doesn’t encourage you to come to our church I don’t know what else to suggest!It is a very relaxed form of service, ideal for anyone who has not been before.

At the end of May our Tuesday Art Group, held a display of their work in the church. It is amazing what talents are hidden, as there were some excellent examples of their work for all to see.

  • Summer Fayre Saturday 30th June

    Hopefully this edition of Shire will reach you before Saturday 30th June when we are holding our Summer Fayre from 10.00 am until 12.00 noon There will be lots of things tempting you to buy ‐ so do come along.Refreshments will also be available.

  • Patronal Festival Sunday 1st July

    The following day, Sunday 1st July, is the date of our Patronal Festival. The church will be decorated with flowers with the theme this year being “Fruits of the Spirit’. Patronal Festival is always when St Mary’s looks its best! What is a Patronal Festival some of you may ask? Well, it is the day when we give thanks for St Mary ‐ the mother of Jesus, after whom our church is named.

  • Holy Communion Service first week of July

    The flowers will be on display during the first week of July when the church is open between 10.00 am and 12.00 noon. That Sunday’s services will be as usual ‐ Kids Klub Service will be at 8.30 am followed by our Holy Communion Service at 10.00 am. All are most welcome!

  • Messy Church Thursday, 19th July

    Messy Church this month is on Thursday, 19th July, from 3.30 pm until 5.00 pm in the church building. All children are welcome! There will be no Messy Church in August, but it will resume in September.

  • Youth Group every Tuesday evening

    The Youth Group who meet in The Tithe Barn every Tuesday evening, should note that the last meeting before the Summer Break will be on Tuesday, 17th July.It will re‐open again in early September.

We have five Weddings booked for this year. If this is something you may be contemplating please contact our Vicar ‐ The Rev Helen Johnson ‐ who will be pleased to advise you and give any further information you require. St Mary’s is a beautiful light church, which has a long central aisle, ideal for the Bride to show off her Wedding Dress as she walks in to join the Bridegroom waiting for her at the Chancel Step.Now come on all you romantics ‐ do I detect a little tear at the prospect of such an occasion?

The original I‐Pad?Did you know Moses had the first tablet that could connect to the cloud!

’ Bye for now. C.M.E.

Botany in the Shire

The Wild Plants of the Shirehampton area

Woad! I expect it is still taught in Junior School History lessons how the Ancient Britons would daub themselves with a blue dye made from Woad, to try to frighten off the invading Romans. The dye was made from the narrowly arrow‐shaped leaves by drying, powdering and fermenting them. Indeed, it was still grown as a crop at Wotton‐under‐Edge and Saltford in early Victorian times, but cultivation died out when indigo became available from the tropics.

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A friend recently alerted me that there were a lot of different yellow‐flowered plants from the cabbage family flowering beside the new cycle track in Avonmouth beside Kings Weston Lane, which ends near the Recycling Depot. These plants tend to look very similar until they set seed, at which time they display a huge variety of different shapes of seed‐pods, long and thin, sometimes with swellings, or short and broad like those that give the common Shepherd’s Purse its name.

A couple of these plants at first defeated me. One, fittingly enough, turned out to be Bastard Cabbage. The other, pictured here, by the time the dangling flat winged pods had begun to develop, was obviously Woad. There are just four plants. I think I last saw Woad forty years ago, growing on a soft cliff above the Severn at Tewkesbury. But it does turn up now and then on re‐sown road verges or as an escape from ‘curiosity’ cultivation.

Taking the train from Shire to Bristol the other day, I was delighted to see a few plants of another curiosity, the root vegetable Salsify, flowering in the long grass opposite the platform at Sea Mills. This tall grassy‐leaved plant with purple dandelion‐like flowers and seeds on larger blow‐away parachutes, had been discovered in 1773, half a mile south, in the meadows under Cook’s Folly, most of which is now the Avon Wildlife Trust’s Nature Reserve with the Wicker Whale. There it grew wild for half a century. It was next seen in 1878 on railway land, and then occasionally up to 1965. I wondered, could my Sea Mills plants have been their descendants? Maybe, but my dream was spoilt when I later found another Salsify plant on the river bank at the entrance to the nearby allotment and heard from my friend that it had also invaded an abandoned tennis court near Henleaze.

Clive Lovatt

Nature Notes…

This beautiful great tit’s nest was kindly given to me by a good friend and neighbour , who, like me , enjoys watching all of nature’s comings and goings every season. The structure is so impressive. Incredibly light and so soft you are hardly know you are holding it! The rest of the brood hatched quite successfully, leaving just one egg, probably unfertilised, for us to marvel at.

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great tit nest

As befits a nest built near the river bank, there’s plenty of dog hair to provide essential warmth for new born fledglings!

Other chicks provided me with an entertaining time just a few days ago. Baby starlings arrived in the back garden with very attentive parents, who proceeded to demonstrate the art of bathing in our water feature! The adults hopped in and out, splashed about, shook their glistening wing feathers, and then stepped aside. The chicks sat around the edge of the bowl, tested the temperature, (as you do!), looked at it a bit more. Enter parent‐ another demo or two, then......hey presto! they were in! It was quite a spectacle, and a pleasure to watch. I love starlings.

Another day, and different sights. Great numbers of sparrows coming with young to feed from our seeds and fat balls. The babies were lined up along the garden wall, (I nearly broke into ’10 green bottles’‐ you can picture the scene!). Great fun!

I haven’t seen much of the hedgehogs yet, but feel sure there is plenty of food available in nature at the moment. Work will start with them much later this year I guess. In the meantime, plenty to see and enjoy. Happy nature watching, Bobbie Perkins.

Vehicle crime in Shirehampton

There has recently been an increase in reported vehicle crimes across the Shirehampton area.

In particular wing mirrors are being damaged or removed from parked vehicles during the evening and overnight.

If you have suffered from such a crime in the last 2 months and have yet to report this to Police, please can you consider reporting via 101 or on line reporting. Details can be found on the Avon and Somerset webpage.

If you have any information that could assist in the investigation and help to identify the offenders please Contact the Police or your local Beat Manager, PC Amanda Patterson.

Letters to the Editor

Have your say eMail ‐>

  Revoked Driving Licences‐ John Knight

Dear Editor

Car drivers whose Group 1 licence has been revoked because of a sight impairment, may now be offered refresher lessons before taking a driving assessment to restore their licence. Drivers have to meet the exceptional case requirements supported by letters from a GP and an Opthalmist / Optician. This is likely to be drivers who can read a number plate at 20 metres and have visual acuity of 6/12 or better, but whose horizontal field of vision is less than 120 degrees. Although the DVLA Medical Group Advisory Panel agreed in March 2017 that refresher lessons should be available, in my experience refresher lessons were not offered in March this year. Drivers who had not driven for 12 months or longer, were assessed in an unfamiliar car on unfamiliar roads. An answer to Parliamentary Question 146323 on 24 May 2018 confirms that a period for refresher lessons should be offered prior to assessment. Whether Disability Mobility Centres who carry out the assessment can cope with demand is yet to be established.

John Knight

  Bee Bank in Lamplighter’s Marsh‐ 


In reference to the item in Shire regarding the installation of a Bee Bank in Lamplighter’s Marsh Nature Reserve.

I am very supportive of all measures to develop and maintain suitable habitat for all wild species and am a keen supporter of the initiatives at the Reserve so when learning that the Bee Bank had been constructed was interested to view it.

Having seen it I am most concerned in regard to its design; it is clear that the gravel core has been constructed by simply placing in the bags in which it was delivered and then covering in sand. You will note that the delivery bags are made from a non‐biodegradeable plastic material and on no account should they be allowed to pollute a vital and essential habitat. Certainly in this era of growing awareness of the blight of plastics pollution of the environment it is quite unacceptable that this material should be left in the landscape and in its construction the gravel should have been emptied and the bags disposed of appropriately. If left at the site they contribute to an ecological time bomb and I trust this was not the intention of the designers.

Yours sincerely

  Pill Ferry History‐ Michael Cech‐Lucas

Dear Editor

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Pill ferry departing Pill slipway showing the gangplank.

I was interested to see Richard Coates’ history of the ferry.

His story was correct in every detail.

My mother Florry Sharp had a part time job in the toll booth from around 1949‐59.

I used to accompany her and recall it was a very cold shed!

I used the ferry from 1960‐64 to take my bike across to cycle to Avonmouth docks as a messenger then junior clerk with the PBA.

I vividly recall my Uncle Albert the ferryman dodging ’ icebergs’ in early 1963 caused by lorries in Bristol dumping snow into the river after the heavy snowfall!

Uncle Albert was famed for hanging his bottles of Georges home brewed over the side to keep them cool!

He knew every inch of the river that could be treacherous due to fast running water and currents, many ships going to and from Bristol docks, and regular fog in season.

The ferry was a lifeline to numerous dock workers from Pill and Portishead.

Happy days.

Ken Sharp.

  Pill Ferry by Ricard Coates‐ John Hastings

Dear all

Here’s a link to a marvellous article by Richard Coates on the history of the Pill Ferry from the Shire on the Web website, some great photos too. Enjoy:


John Hastings

(Richard Coates History of the Pill Ferry appears on the SHIRE website . The Editor)

As 'r mum used to say There's a ferry at the bottom of our garden. Les. webmgr

  Portway Swimming Club‐ Claire Silcocks

Dear Editor

I would like to update the information for Portway Swimming Club.

I am the new membership secretary. I have taken over from Caroline Wilkins.

In addition to the swimming times listed we now also have a session on Monday nights from 5 to 6pm.

As the current Club Secretary for Portway Swimming Club I am trying to find out the date the club began as I would like to find out how old the club is. It originally started in the old Shirehampton pool I think.

Many thanks,

Claire Silcocks

  Portway SC‐ Nicola Gilbert


I am the treasurer of Portway SC & we are trying to find some history of the club.

The club used to swim at the baths in Shirehampton and we can see that your website has an old photo of a 1945 Portway Swimming Club girls team on there. Do you have any more information on the club or do you think it would be possible to ask your readers? We are particularly keen to find out when the club was first established.

Many thanks

Nicola Gilbert

  Fly tippers‐ G. Peacock

Dear Editor,

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Fly tipping

On the night of 27th May , fly tippers dumped what appears to be two different loads of rubbish in the access lane behind the Bean Acre and Merrimans road . This has prevented some vehicles from leaving or returning to their homes. Residents in Shire should beware and keep a lookout as these people will dump rubbish anywhere . Attach some pics of the incident .

g peacock

Robin John Conway

Robin John Conway father of Tanya Brown and Darren Conway, passed away on 5 May 2018 at Southmead Hospital.

A former resident of 60 St Andrew's Road, Avonmouth he moved to Haven Lodge, Portishead in July 2017 when his medical condition (Parkinson's Disease) deteriorated. He will be greatly missed

Albert Mervyn Harrow (Merv)

The Harrow family of Avonmouth Road sadly announce the death of Albert Mervyn Harrow (Merv) at the age of 96.

Merv was born in Kenfig Hill, near Bridgend in South Wales and having volunteered for the Royal Navy at the outbreak of the Second World War, he served with distinction, earning, among others, a medal from the Russian Government for being part of the Arctic Convoys on the HMS Renown.

At the end of the war, Merv was sent to Avonmouth Docks to supervise the removal of guns from merchant shipping, and in the cake shop opposite the Telephone Exchange, he met Patricia Eves, who was to become his wife in October 1947. They married at St Mary’s in Shirehampton, where Pat’s father was a Police Officer.

The couple settled first in two rooms on the Portway, then in a council house in Lawrence Weston, before scraping together enough to buy their house in Avonmouth Road where they raised four children, Jane, Louise, Caroline and Neil.

When Merv was demobbed from the Royal Navy, he joined Fisons Fertilisers and remained with them until his retirement in 1983.

Merv was never happier than when he was helping his children and grandchildren, DIY was a great hobby of his and his talents were put to good use over many years.

A devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather – he will be very much missed by all who loved him.

Caroline Bannister (nee Harrow)

Bye for now


Darren Jones MP

Member of Parliament for Bristol North West


Over 430 local residents have now contacted me to share their views about the proposed YardArts site on Penpole Lane. The majority are against the plans, or at least what we know of them at the time of writing, and are concerned about more cars on a tricky junction, impact on local ecology and wildlife and residential use next to Kings Weston Estate. Most respondents wanted to hear more from YardArts so I arranged a public meeting on Friday 29th June at the Shirehampton Methodist Church. Both YardArts and the landowner, who has been undertaking a number of permitted works and has recently submitted a new planning application for self‐store units, were invited. There were updates from my survey, discussion of the YardArts planning application and the opportunity to ask questions. (There will be a full account of the meeting in the August SHIRE. Ed.)

Cotswold Community Centre

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Cotswold Community Centre Committee with Darren Jones MP

I recently hosted my first coffee morning at the Cotswold Community Centre. This was very well attended by regular centre visitors as well as lots of new faces. Many topics were covered including ASB and crime in the local area. This is sadly something I’m hearing across large parts of the constituency. The police are doing all they can with reduced budgets but their jobs are made incredibly difficult with such low numbers on each shift. I’ll continue to support Sue Mountstevens, the Police and Crime Commissioner, by calling for more police funding from government. In late May, I also had the honour of being asked to announce that the Centre has officially passed from council ownership to the Cotswold Community Association. Thanks to John Hastings and his team for hosting me and giving me the honour of unveiling the community asset transfer.

Shirehampton Community Plan Launch

On the same day as my coffee morning, I also attended the launch of the Shirehampton Community Plan. This plan has been driven by the hard work and dedication of the Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF). Community Plans are very useful in shaping the local area ‐ providing evidence of what’s needed and wanted by residents and what types of planning applications residents are likely to support ‐ they can also help push for investment. Make sure you get involved and support SCAF where you can.

Bristol Manor Farm F.C. Youth under 12 and U11 team.

On the weekend of 12th ‐ 13th May Bristol Manor Farm hosted a youth tournament at the Creek, on the Portway.

Teams came from as far as Weston‐ Super‐ Mare and Bitton to enter the competition. Bristol Manor Farm U 12 had already won the Avon U12 Youth league ten days before so went into this competition as favourites.

And they did not let themselves down winning the U12 Cup Final on the Sunday. The the U11 also won the Fair Play Cup.

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The the players reading front row Right to left are.:‐ Josh Scanlan, Robbie Oflaherty, Brody Eastwood,Yunis Sert. Rear row:‐Arron Beya Bwanga, Saul Lewis, Cody Winkler, Riley Gregory, Tristan Morgan, Jonathan Harris, Maddox Payne, Finley Samuels, Spike Weaver, Tom Cheeseman.

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

The Ladies League Team Captained by Gill Hinksman has made a very strong start to the season, recording wins at Portishead and Yate, then a very impressive home win against Olveston B to take them close to the top of division two.

But that’s not all! Having come close to winning their Top Club game at Henleaze on May 21st , the margin was just three shots across singles, pairs, triples and fours, just five days later there was a more successful outcome in the Inter Club round one game against Bristol Arrow. In this competition one rink is played at home and one away ‐‐‐ the winners are the club with the highest aggregate score. Each side won their away leg but City and Port won theirs by a few more shots and now move on to the next round when the opponents will be Olveston.

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The men’s league team Captained by Bill Hatherall has been less successful but did record their first ten nil win, over Bristol B on June 7th.

There was a remarkable start to this game when the rink skipped by Trevor Scanlon achieved a hot shot all eight shots possible, on the first of the seventeen end game. On Trevor’s rink were Phil Cormack, Alan Coolstring and Ken Grimes ‐ all now eligible for the Hot Shot badge and certificate.

The GBA Two Rink game against Tewkesbury B did not happen because Tewkesbury conceded. Next up will be a home tie against GB Britton A.

David Hinksman travelled to the Kingswood and Hanham Club on June 8th to play Pete Cross in the Champion of Champions Competition. There was some very good bowling, with both players taking shot from the other on several occasions. Pete Cross eventually came out in front 21‐10 after just over an hour of very competitive bowling.

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Ferry to Fry Island.   Reminds I of Pill Ferry, yer werz thee plank gone?
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Bohemian club

Sunday May 27th saw 31 bowlers, family and friends board the Blue Iris Coach for a return trip to Fry Island to play the Island Bohemian Club. The sun shone on a very enjoyable afternoon ‐ the short boat trip to the island was very smooth and the club was made most welcome by the hosts who sang the traditional Island Bohemian song after the excellent meal that followed the game. The result of the game ‐‐‐ played on six rinks ‐‐‐ was much less important than the pleasure gained from being a part of it but ‐ the hosts did come out in front ‐‐‐ winning four rinks whilst the visitors drew two.

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President’s Day Burger flipper - Bill Cook

Presidents Day took place on June 9th under a sunny sky and saw twenty three bowlers including newest recruit Howard Surman taking part. It started with a spider, won once again by David Garrod . There followed by fifteen ends of bowling between teams of four ‐ the winning team was, Sally Coolstring, Lis Davies, Julie Looker and Merv. May. And it ending with an excellent barbeque presented by Bill Cook.

Smelters Belters Hat Trick

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Tyler Davies (white shorts) and Sam Smythe (black shorts)

National Smelting Co. Boxing Club known as the Smelters had three of its boxers compete over the weekend June 8th & 9th. Friday night saw professional boxers Lightweight Tyler Davies (in white shorts) & Super Welterweight Sam Smythe (in black) both secure points wins with impressive displays of skill. Both won points 40‐37 in very entertaining and competitive bouts.

Smelters Head Coach Garry Cave said: “Sam boxed first on the bill at Ashton Gate Stadium and had to resort to a bit of infighting as Cummings had a reach advantage. A cagey first round but he picked up the work rate in the last three rounds to run out the clear winner. Cummings came to win and really had a go. Sam picked up a very small cut above his eye from a clash of heads. The Dr glued it up for him after the fight, no big drama. He’s improving all the time, out next in September, date TBD.’ Moves to a record of 2‐0.

“Tyler boxed superbly against a very tough strong opponent, Jamie Quinn from Manchester with an impressive 65 bouts, he’s never been stopped. A very entertaining fight, Quinn could really bang and he let Tyler know a few times. Tyler’s movement, defence and punch selection was first class. A bit of good natured show boating from both lads in the final round gave the crowd something to remember. Now 4 won 4 as a professional.

16 year old stablemate Logan Dorrington boxed on the Horseshoe Boxing Club on Saturday night in Swindon. His 9th bout of this season. The Smelters prospect now is an impressive 13 wins from 15 contests in only two seasons of boxing.

Smelters next home show is scheduled for Saturday 20th October at 7pm, Sea Mills Community Centre. Tickets priced only £15 over 16s and £5 under 16s.