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News Index

Poppies on the Green

High Praise for Keepers of Shirehampton Station

Shirehampton Cemetery In Decline Due To Cut Backs.

War Memorial Vandalised.

What Do Friends Mean To You?

There’s a lot happening to make sure that the Shirehampton Community Plan happens!

Scrapbooking With Jess Brown

CLIC Sargent 60 Mile Cycle Ride.

Public Meeting

Can you help SCAF? We are looking for a new TREASURER

Avonmouth & Lawrence Weston ‐ Ward Wide Meeting ‐ For Local residents

Shire Greens, with botanical artist Jenny Brooks, at Bristol Zoo Gardens Reception

Tyningsfield News

Group Knit with Tandem

Celebration Event, BBQ and New Community Building Opening

Careers Week

Is your child due to start school in September 2019?

St Bernards Christmas Fair

St. Mary's News -  November

Shirehampton Methodist Church

2018 Santa Dash…

Nature Notes…

Letters to the Editor

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club.

Christmas Illuminations & Poppy Day

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2018 Santa Dash

See full story below

Poppies on the Green

Shirehampton Community Plan want to make poppies to decorate the trees on the Green to commemorate the Armistice Centenary

In support of Shire Greens, who are knitting poppies for the station, and Shire Illuminations who are arranging poppies along the High street.

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Poppy Poster.   Artwork by Mary Cook

We’d like to invite anyone in the Village who would like to, to knit or make a poppy for the Green. You can bring your contributions to the Public Hall by 4:00 pm on Thursday 8th November. There’s a link below for a knitting pattern for those who knit, but there are other ways of making poppies if you prefer.

So feel free to be creative!

To keep up to date go to

We will need a lot to make a reasonable display for the Green so can you recruit others to do it too?

Join in with our ‘Painting Poppies’ sessions at the following coffee mornings and Craft Exhibition.

St. Mary's ChurchMon 29th Oct 10am - 12noon
Craft Exhibition Hall, Public HallTue 30th Oct 12noon - 2pm
St. Mary's ChurchWed 31st Oct 10am - 12noon
Craft Exhibition Hall, Public HallThu 1st Nov 12.30pm - 2.30pm
Methodist ChurchSat 3rd Nov 09.30am - 11.30am
Craft Exhibition Hall, Public HallSat 3rd Nov 12.30pm - 2.30pm
St. Mary's ChurchMon 5th Nov 10am - 12noon
Public HallTue 6th Nov 9.30am - 11.30am

High Praise for Keepers of Shirehampton Station

I am delighted to announce that the Severn Beach line has retained its Outstanding status in the RHS / South West in Bloom It’s Your Neighbourhood Awards Scheme. This is a fantastic result given the extremely dry summer and reflects the efforts and hard work of volunteers who keep the planters looking great all year round and made extra efforts when lack of rainfall meant that for the first time ever some of the water butts ran dry. We are truly grateful for all you do to keep our stations looking so bright and welcoming.

Our It’s Your Neighbourhood Assessor Ian Murphy will be invited to our annual evening get together to present to certificate. Watch this space for the date.

It gives me great pleasure to inform you of yet more success for community rail projects in our region. At the Association of Community Rail Partnership’s annual award ceremony held in Glasgow last week the Severnside Community Rail Partnership was the winner of the Community Arts Schemes (Permanent) category for the ’Fearless’ at Montpelier station; we took second spot in the Best Community Engagement Event category for ’On the Move Events’, second place in the Involving Children and Young People category for the Cotham School Rail Replacement Film. To our surprise and delight we also won the top award for Outstanding Contribution to Community Rail!

Read the full story here

Thank you once again for your support and here’s to an equally successful 2019 and beyond.

Best wishes,

Heather Cullimore

Partnerships & Social Inclusion Manager

Severnside Community Rail Partnership

Shirehampton Cemetery In Decline Due To Cut Backs.

It’s been seventeen years since Shirehampton Cemetery had its own staff keeping the grave yard well maintained.

It was a place where people could spend their time safely tending the graves of loved ones, as well as taking in the peace and tranquillity of the area to remember past memories. Today it is far from that. People still tend loved one’s graves but the maintenance of the cemetery has declined. I’m not the only one who has loved ones resting at peace here who have witnessed this, many others have too. A small group of people, which is now growing in numbers are now making their voice heard to get things changed for the good.

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I met with two ladies to find out what problems are being faced. Christina finds the subject very upsetting. She visits the cemetery every week, lovingly taking care of her family grave. We should never ever have to accept this second standard of maintenance. It is just unacceptable. Her friend Terri continues the conversation. I’ve been looking after my brother’s grave for 44 years and my parents are buried here as well. I’m here every week, bring all my own equipment to cut the grass and I leave it immaculate. The maintenance of this cemetery is a problem. We ask for the grass to be cut, but we are told ‘we haven’t got the staff because of cut backs and Bristol City Council don’t let them have the resources to be able to use the staff to come in’. People visit and see it is neglected. Others then abuse it. There are kids rampaging all over the place with no adult in sight, people bring their dogs in and let them loose to do their business. And then discover your relatives’ graves have got dog mess on it and we have to clear it up. It’s not very nice. Even I can back up Terri’s words on this.

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You know when the grass is cut because it looks like a bad haircut day. The grass cuttings are not cleared up and left to rot which in turn encourages weeds and overgrowth. It looks untidy and unloved. Some areas remain uncut due to grave surrounds and rarely these grass areas look cut. Nobody comes here and checks what’s been done. They say staff are properly trained but we don’t know that. There is no sense of pride it’s just a job to them but we want it done properly, we want to see a good job done and see it’s well looked after. Shirehampton had two full time staff here and they used to keep it immaculate using push along petrol mowers. Today they use sit on mowers, it damages the head stones and fixing them costs money.

The paths are in a bad state they’ve shrunk, but we’ve been told they’ve got some type of moss killer to put on the paths but we keep telling them the paths have not been maintained as they are overgrown with moss and greenery. Anybody with a wheelchair, mobility scooter or even somebody on crutches would find it really difficult to use and they can be slippery in wet and cold weather. It’s dangerous. said Terri.

Bristol City Council’s response will be printed in the next edition of the Shire.

Kathryn Courtney

PC Utilities pulls the plug on the Internet

After working in the computer business for 37 years Spencer Hall has finally decided to retire and will no longer be able to provide IT support to those living in the BS9, BS10 and BS11 area.

The PC Utilities brand lives on providing hosted Remote Desktop and hosted server solutions but in future will only support commercial customers.

Spencer would like to thank all those customers who supported him in the 22 years he operated from the premises in Westbury Lane, which have now been taken over by JMP Media

War Memorial Vandalised.

Once again the fencing surrounding Shirehampton’s War Memorial at the top of Park Hill has been vandalised.

Whatever the reason for this despicable act, it is disrespectful to those who gave their lives in two world wars, their families and the local community. The broken fencing has been taken away and at present the area looks untidy with the gate and parts of the fencing missing. There are people who do their best to look after the War Memorial area and must have been disheartened when they found the fences broken. This year marks the centenary of the end of WWI with Armistice Day being Sunday 11th November.

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Local Councillor Don Alexander approached Bristol City Council’s Parks Department about the matter and said The Council’s Parks department will ensure that the fence is repaired, also that the shrubs are tidied and spring flowers planted for Remembrance Day.

With any case of vandalism and criminal damage, if you witness such actions please report to the Police.

Kathryn Courtney

What Do Friends Mean To You?

At the end of August ‘FRIENDS Fest’ arrived at Blaise Castle Estate. The American sitcom remains as popular as ever and I went along to the event with my friend Grant to spend some quality time together. The story of six friends was very much apparent and it made me draw comparisons with real life friendships and what friends meant to people in this age of loneliness and isolation that is continually reported in the newspapers. “FRIENDS Fest” was fun, giving the chance of taking part in some of the activities that were in the show and the Central Perk coffee shop played a part in the day for everyone for obvious reasons.

they accepted each other…

Grant gave his thoughts on such comparisons. I thought attending &lsqu;FRIENDS Fest’ was brilliant because it was about a group of friends who were very different but they accepted each other for who they are. They stayed together for years no matter what happened in their lives. I’ve been lucky to develop friendships that I can happily say are for life. It’s really important, not just for me but for everyone’s wellbeing. I’ve struggled with mental health and having good friends help when feeling low or lonely at any age.

Family friendships can be different. You can be best friends with parents, being there for them too. Having a sense of trust and support from other family members too can be so beneficial when times are difficult. Friendships can span different generations, I know that because I have friends of many different ages older than myself I can relate to. Age doesn’t matter, friendship does said Grant

Friendship can be incredibly important

Jess is one of the crew members at &lsqu;FRIENDS Fest’ and friendship is incredibly important to her. I don’t think anyone could ever get through every day without friends. You need to be surrounded by people who love you and some people don’t even have a family perhaps. Friendship can be incredibly important for your well being and metal health. I once read an article that you need five positive touches from another human being and also mentally to get you through the day. I found that really interesting especially working in a job like this. Sometimes interacting with customers can be quite impersonal. When friendship is personal it makes a massive difference just having a brief conversation with someone.

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I have made some very good friends on this tour. We share rooms and get on so well. It may only be three months of working together and it would be so hard to let them go so we’ll all be staying in contact with each other, definitely.

I bumped into our local Vicar Helen at the event and she said It was good fun. I think it is something everyone can enjoy. Friendship is so important to me. Being a Vicar can be quite a lonely job and its quite isolating. You tend to move away from close family and friends, so to have those friendships around you is just so important. I love meet up with my friends over a cup of coffee on my day off to share all that’s been going on, it just keeps me going.

It’s nice that we can give each other a ring…

Sherralee is a full time carer for her mum. I’m very lucky that I have friends that I grew up with and still see. Most of them I chat with and a couple I still have a close friendship with. It’s like having an extended family and I can talk to them about anything. I think that’s because in whatever way you are connected you have references on your past, present and future. Having close family there for you as well, I don’t think I’d be able to cope without their support. It’s nice that we can give each other a ring, and chat about problems mum and I face and be able to sort things out trying different ideas.

Friends you make at work are really on another level, you don’t have the same connection. I’ve found that once you leave you keep in touch, but aren’t on the same level anymore therefor everything changes. Personally my family, friend, work related friendships are like a Venn diagram where some overlap. I’m very lucky in that I can overlap family into the friends circle and friends into the family circle.

No one quite understands the pressure…

Emma is a student nurse and a mum: I have found friends for life during my nursing degree. No one quite understands the pressure of the degree as well as the emotional strain as a children’s nurse. My fellow student friends understand exactly what I’m going through, with the pressure of the assignments on top. My partner, parents and friends have been an amazing support. We have children going through primary school and now secondary school together. As friends we can relate to the strains of bringing up preteens and support each other through motherhood. I know have friends for life.

Robin can see friendships from a different view. Friendship is a mutual interaction between people, animals or sentient or even non sentient beings or things. I count plants, songs, pictures, belongings, video clips among my friends. Some friendships are intense and die out, others go dormant and reignite, others stay level for lengthy times, peaking and troughing. Very occasionally strong love underpins long friendships, many grow or wane depending on individual needs, circumstances, common interests, geographical movement, work, health for example. A long lasting relationship is also dependant on these criteria but also relies on a wish of those concerned to be tolerant, understanding of their friends and to know when to help and support them and when to just let them be to find their own solutions. All friendships complex and multifaceted but can rely on a simple word or deed which is done or not done.

I’ll always be very grateful for that

Maura is 80 years old and moved to Bristol 36 years ago. She has long lasting friendships that were formed at a vulnerable time in her life. We moved to South Shields from Liverpool when I was fifteen years old and I started a new Grammar school. It was a very difficult time for me. I knew no-one at all in that part of the country. I had a strong Liverpool accent and sometimes I was ridiculed. Margaret and Sheila were the only two people who readily involved me and included me in their existing friendship. I’ll always be very grateful for that. We used to go dancing, youth clubs, various places. I’m not sure how I would have actually managed to go to these places if I didn’t have them as my friends. We have trust and understanding having shared experiences over many years. We’ve been able to support each other, we are there for each other, shared confidences when we’d rather not worry family members and have the ability view situations because you are one step removed, on the outside looking in. Close enough to care and understand the issues.

Our friendship is so strong that it would have seemed to be cutting an umbilical chord just to not to have it anymore. We’ve all continued on that journey of friendship with interest, what we were all doing with our lives and as we became older. We’ve found ways of adjusting as health no longer allows travel so we write letters and have weekly telephone conversations. Friendships are a two way street. That is how they survive.

it does help combat loneliness…

Sarah is a chartered physiotherapist and specialises in rehabilitation, in particular with the elderly. She runs a gentle excercise class for the over 75’s at Shirehampton Heath Centre. I asked her what role did her classes play with friendship and combating loneliness. Many people live on their own. It gives them the chance to interact with other people who want similar things and actually members of our class here can be seen to help others in getting equipment in the right position or being proactive in what the others are doing. Exercising improves range of movement of joints, strengthening of muscles and people feel more confident. Their balance is better. There’s a proven incidence in the reduction of falls because of that. Also you have the psychological benefits of group work and people feeling they are part of the group, it does help combat loneliness. Some already know each other and they introduce them to others in the group. I think people feel very included and therefore they feel confident to chat and tell others about themselves.

I met up with Helen, Vicar of St. Mary’s Church a few days later after the FRIENDS Fest and wanted to know what role the Church played in friendship and being part of the community. I think it is very important for people to have a sense of belonging and have something in common that doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with church but a common goal or aim that unites them. For young people that might be the youth group or the Stomp dance group. The arts and craft group for the older generation, sharing a love of art together.

I think the young people really want to make a difference.…
Our church choir is where you can see friendships that span across the generations. We have young children and the oldest joining together through their shared love of music. You see the older ones support the younger ones and vice versa, so there is a great sense of unity with that group. I think the young people really want to make a difference. It’s the company though, it makes a difference. We have messy church each month and some of our older members will join in and help families that come along. They have more time to spare to help families with activities and it’s lovely to see a mix of ages working together.
a place where people feel safe…
People who come into the church for the coffee mornings. They meet with the same people most days, sometimes they meet new people where they get to know each other and in some cases develop deep and lasting friendships over cups of coffee. The church happens to be the building that they all meet in. There is no hidden agenda, we have opened up to the community so that people are welcome to come here and use the building different activities. I think its just good to have a place where people feel safe to meet and don’t feel in any way intimidated whether its the church, public hall or local coffee shop. There should be no limitations or obstacles on people.

Kathryn Courtney

There’s a lot happening to make sure that the Shirehampton Community Plan happens!

The Community Plan steering group have had an initial meeting with Council officers to talk about how to spruce up our High Street.

There is £40,000 available from the Port Community Resilience Fund to spend on making our High Street more attractive with new seating, planters, cycle racks, bins and similar. The steering group is putting together a display of possibilities and everyone is invited to comment and to add your own ideas. You can do this at two meetings:

SCAF will host the Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston open ward‐wide meeting at the Public Hall on Wednesday 7th November 7pm ‐ 8.30pm. The High Street proposals will be on display for comment along with many other projects and issues relevant to the ward.

There will also be a chance to ask questions and put your ideas forward at SCAF’s Full Forum meeting at the Public Hall on Wednesday 12th December 2pm to 4pm.

The first meeting of a new Shire Youth Forum was held at the Public Hall on Thursday 25th October. Residents, community organisations, and young people who are interested in investing time and their resources into developing activities for young people attended. The Forum will work together to achieve the aims in the Our Future ‐ Our Young People action plan.

Scrapbooking With Jess Brown

Scrapbooking is growing in popularity and Jess Brown has been running regular Scrapbooking and Card Making Workshop Classes for sometime at Shirehampton Baptist Church.

She is a Stampin’ Demonstrator who also runs home parties that are perfect for most occasions. When I arrived it was a relaxed but welcoming atmosphere with people creatively working away happily on their latest projects.

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The Scrapbooking Workshops are held on the third Saturday of each month at the Baptist Church from 10.30am until 4:30pm. The cost is £8 for the whole day and £4 for half a day. Most people come along with their own photos together with their projects that they want to do. I provide stamps, inks, dyes and punches that are all available for people to use, especially if it’s their first time. They can try out ideas and materials such as glues and dyes, they can buy them from me in their next class. People enjoy the relaxed environment and they can get on with what they want to do. If they have any questions, they can ask me and I can help and advise. For example, what colours to use to mount photos or what colours to use for stamping and punching. It is sociable, they share ideas and ask if something needs to be enhanced to look better for example. I also do demonstrations for the class if people have seen something I posted on Facebook and they’d like to see how it’s done. I also run Card Making classes here too. The cost is £10 and that includes materials to make three cards or two cards and a 3‐D project.

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People seem to scrapbook everything. From day to day life, family outings, birthdays, children’s parties seem to be popular with parents, christenings, baptisms, travel, animals, holidays, walks and food. I like taking pictures of food and if people know me they’ll see I post a lot of that on Facebook as well as documenting every day things. Scrapbooks are usually a personal thing but they also make great gifts. I did a mini album for a hen do weekend for a friend that featured photos of all the fun things we did and gave that as a gift to the bride making it a lifetime memento. said Jess

Minimum age for classes is 10 years old, there is no upper age limit. Parents and Grandparents are always welcome to take along younger family members if they wish to make it shared activity. Most classes are held in Shirehampton but Avonmouth and Sea Mills classes are held from time to time.

Kathryn Courtney

CLIC Sargent 60 Mile Cycle Ride.

On 19th September CLIC Sargent’s ‘60 window display’ was put into action.

It was all in aid of highlighting their campaign calling for a ‘Young Cancer Patient Travel Fund’ to help families with travel costs of cancer. There was an ongoing petition in the shop which many customers signed. Both online and paper petitions were collected together right across the country and presented to the Department of Health on 26th September to pressure for change and show the government that young cancer patients and their families go through enough without having to worry about the costs of travel for treatment.

Shirehampton’s local branch had a cake sale which raised nearly £100 that day. They also had an exercise bike in the shop where an attempt to cycle 60 miles by the end of day was duly achieved by three determined ladies who were cheered on by colleagues and customers as the day went on. Linzi Simpson cycled 45 miles, Lisa Hayward cycled 7 miles and local personal trainer Linda cycled 8 miles to complete the challenge. All had fun doing it and maybe felt a bit fitter at the end of it.

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Susan Kiernan, Deputy Manager said: The 60‐mile cycle challenge was to highlight that travelling can be just as challenging as receiving treatment for cancer itself. Some patients have to travel a long way and it’s not cheap especially if you are young patient who needs the support of family and friends. We all hope the cycle challenge has highlighted this issue and that the petition will have a positive outcome in the future.

Kathryn Courtney

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Public Meeting

At a meeting of our Building Sub‐Committee it was decided that a Public Meeting should be held at the Hall to discuss the Architect’s plans for the future of the Hall.

This will be held on Saturday 24th November from 10am‐12noon.

Many thanks

Amanda Parsons (Hall Manager)

Can you help SCAF? We are looking for a new TREASURER

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

We are a registered charity and not for profit company limited by guarantee established in 2001 to work for the benefit of everyone in Shire. Work areas include Community Safety Action Group, Free Shire Door to Door Shopping Trips for the over 60’s, ‘Shire Greens’ ‐ Lots of fun & varied environmental projects, 2 Free Walking Groups (Nomads & Walkie Talkies), Planning and development issues including Shire Planning Group and working to deliver on the 5 year Action Plan from the recently completed Shire Community Plan.

We are looking for a new Treasurer to join the Board of Trustees. The Board meets every 4‐ 6 weeks on a weekday evening at Shire Public Hall at 7pm. The meetings are usually about 1.5 hours long, occasionally longer, but always finish by 9pm.

We would welcome any enquiries about being our new Treasurer or a New Trustee. Please contact Dianne Frances at or Ash Bearman, SCAF’s Community Development Officer at or 0117 982 9963 if you would like to talk over the roles. You can also attend a Trustee meeting as an observer ‐ without any obligation ‐ just to see what goes on.

Avonmouth & Lawrence Weston ‐ Ward Wide Meeting ‐ For Local residents

Wednesday 7th November 7‐8.30 at Shire Public Hall, Station Road, Shire, BS11 9TU

Open table discussions topics include:

  • Port Community Resilience Fund ‐ Jobs Training & Enterprise Hubs & Thriving High Streets
  • Ambition Lawrence Weston ‐ Updated Community Plan
  • CIL/Area 1 Committee update on local projects
  • Libraries ‐ Newly announced Library Strategy (3.10.18)
  • SCAF ‐ New community Plan
  • Iron Bridge Update
  • LinkAge Network Update

Shire Greens, with botanical artist Jenny Brooks, at Bristol Zoo Gardens Reception

Shire Greens have been participating in Bristol Zoo’s award‐winning Bristol Community Plant Project since it began seven years ago.

The project involves schools and community groups around the city growing different varieties and species of Calendula, more commonly known as pot marigold.

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Shire Evergreens

The collection is managed centrally by gardening experts at Bristol Zoo Gardens but the plants are grown at different sites across the city, including Shirehampton. This reduces the chances of cross‐pollination and the plants not growing ‘true’ to their original form the following year.

This is the first time a plant collection has been managed in this way and it is the very first ‘seed dispersed national plant collection’ and Royal Horticultural Society Plant Heritage Collection.

Plants grown by the participating groups were on display, along with a specially commissioned artwork featuring Calendula plants by local Shirehampton artist Jenny Brooks.

Thomas Pursey, gardens senior supervisor at Bristol Zoo said, The Bristol Community Plant Project is designed to teach and nurture practical skills, a love of nature and to enrich participants’ quality of life as well as aiding personal development. We are pleased to see so many participants at the reception and celebrate another successful year of the project together.

Bristol Zoo currently holds 12 species of Calendula and, as well as the plants, horticulturists at the Zoo have created a seed bank and a herbarium of dried, pressed plant specimens. In the future the team also hope to establish a digital pollen record for the plants.

Tyningsfield News

Harvesting veg over the October months pumpkins, apples, blackberry and raspberry, Kale and Spinach.

Jim has cut the grass for winter.

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Here the smallholding is set for winter basking in the last few days of autumn sunshine. Members are digging over and sowing green manures covering plots and edging up ready for nature to cleanse the ground with frost and snow. We are looking out for second hand garden wooden tables and benches useable condition not plastic. Also, if you are wanting to grow veg next year and want some growing space please make contact. We have a waiting list for bigger areas at the moment but some smaller areas can get extended.

Group Knit with Tandem

Tandem Arts was invited to contribute to the Fun palace event at the Avonmouth Community Centre on Oct 6th.

There is a strong knitting group in Avonmouth but they had never before done a group knit! It was quick and good fun, the knitting became as large as the material available would allow it to grow.

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Group Knit

Fun Palaces is an annual, free, nationwide celebration of culture at the heart of community, using arts, science, craft, tech, digital, heritage and sports activities as a catalyst for community engagement. This takes place over the first weekend in October every year. Fun Palaces are created by and for local people and can be held in almost any location.

Tandem Arts now have a Facebook page:

Celebration Event, BBQ and New Community Building Opening

On Wednesday 22nd August, Lawrence Weston Community Farm held a Celebration Event and BBQ. This was to celebrate the finishing of the new Community Building which was officially opened by the Lord‐Lieutenant of the City and County of Bristol, Mrs Peaches Golding OBE. In March 2017 the old Community Building was destroyed by fire, however, the replacement building marks a new beginning. It was brilliant to see hundreds of local people at the event and enjoying themselves with all the activities available, as well as tucking into delicious farm sausages cooked on the BBQ.

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Careers Week

Careers Week at Shirehampton Primary School saw the children immerse themselves in discussions, talks and presentations about their future aspirations.

The finale event even saw makeshift catwalks for the children to show off their prospective ’career uniform’.

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Careers Week Shirehampton Primary School

Over the week the School had a number of visitors who talked to the children about their career choices and what it took to get them into the job that they are now doing. The visitors included a Chef, a Nurse, a Professor of Philosophy, a Pharmacist and a Managing Director of a large catering business.

The children where left in no doubt that with the right focus and determination at school, there isn’t anything that they cannot achieve later in life.

Is your child due to start school in September 2019?

Nova Primary School is holding a series of open events for you to have the opportunity to look around our amazing school.

You will meet some of our wonderful children and our Senior Leadership Team.

The open events will be taking place on the following dates:

Friday 16th November 2018 @ 9.30am

Friday 7th December 2018 @ 9.30am

There is no need to make an appointment ‐ just come along and meet us. There will be toys and supervision for young children if they accompany you on your visit. If you are unable to make either of these dates then please contact the School Office to make an appointment for an alternative visit.

We look forward to meeting you!

0117 9030 446

St Bernards Christmas Fair

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St Bernards Christmas Fair

St. Mary's News -  November

Hi Folks!

The clocks have gone back, Christmas is around the corner and once December appears we are into the first month of Winter. Those lovely balmy days of Summer now seem so far away.

Golden Oldies

As I write these notes in church I am being serenaded by the Golden Oldies who are appearing here for the first time since moving from The Tithe Barn.

There must be eight or more enjoying themselves singing songs from the past.

Their next session in St Mary’s will be at 10.30 am on Wednesday 7th November ‐ so come on in and join them as they are enjoying themselves so much!

Annual Memorial Service

This year the Memorial Service will be at 3.00 pm on Saturday 10th November and is the time when we have the opportunity to fill in the little Memorial Cards on which we enter the names of lost loved ones.

These will be collected during the service and placed on our Tree of Light on Advent Sunday, but more of that later.

Remembrance Sunday

The very next day is Remembrance Sunday, which this year actually falls on 11th November and is exactly 100 years since the signing of the Armistice to end the First World War.

The war that was supposed to end all wars. Sadly, this was not the case, and just over 20 years later, the Second World War erupted and lasted for over five years.

Our service at St Mary’s will commence at 10.00 am with an Act of Remembrance in the church, when the Roll of Honour will be read out before we process to the War Memorial on Shirehampton Park for the 11.00 am national tribute to the fallen of all wars.

Don and Maureen Geddes have once again kindly agreed to open Shirehampton Cricket Club to provide refreshments after the service. Let us pray for fine weather!

Messy Church

This month’s Messy Church will be in the church from 3.30 pm until 5.00 pm on Thursday 15th November.

Don’t miss out on the fun and the food!

Annual Christmas Fayre

Please note that our Annual Christmas Fayre is on Saturday, 24th November and not as previously published, due to an unexpected change of church business.

It will be open from 10.00 am until 12.00 noon when all types of goodies connected with Christmas will be on sale. Please come and give us your support as all funds raised will all go to St Mary’s.

Advent Service of Light

At 6.00 pm on Sunday 2nd December we are holding our Advent Service of Light.

It is the time when all the Memorial Cards completed during and since our previous Memorial Service appear on our Tree of Light at the west end of the church. All are welcome to attend this service.

Shirehampton Area Choir

At 7.00 pm on Saturday 8th December the Shirehampton Area Choir will be performing their Annual Christmas Concert in St Mary’s.

This year all money raised will be donated to BRACE (Bristol Research into Alzheimer’s and the Care of the Elderly).

Please come and support this event and really start to get into the Christmas mood, which by then is only just over a fortnight away!

Just a simple question before I go. Q. What kind of vehicles are mentioned in the Bible?

A. Jehovah drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden in a Fury. David’s Triumph was heard throughout the land. Also, probably a Honda, because the Apostles were all in one Accord.

’Bye for now! C.M.E.

Shirehampton Methodist Church

We recently held a Dementia Information Day, the highlight of which, in the afternoon, was the performance of the very moving play Don’t Leave Me Now, written by Brian Daniels.

He wrote the play after having a friend diagnosed with early onset dementia, and then meeting other people caring with friends and family members living with dementia.

As part of our commitment to becoming a ‘Dementia Friendly’ church, we incorporated the Dementia Information Day into our popular monthly Coffee Morning, serving delicious bacon and sausage butties and home‐made cakes throughout the morning. We are very grateful to our lovely local butcher, Paul Wood, who supplied the bacon and sausages!

Local organisations who provide services to people living with Dementia were invited to come and were available throughout the day to chat and give advice. After the play the audience shared in conversation with a panel of experts, including a Consultant with many years’ experience in the field of dementia; a person who had cared for her husband who lived with dementia for several years prior to his death; a solicitor who specialises in advising individuals and families; and a 61yr old man who’d been diagnosed with early on‐set dementia just one year ago.

In spite of the subject ‐ the dreaded ‘D’ word ‐ it was an incredibly joyous and uplifting day! From feedback received we know that it was helpful to many, both inside and outside the ‘church’. Yesterday I met a person who doesn’t go to church but had come in because she has a family member living with Dementia. Her comment was ‐ I didn’t know the church cared about this sort of thing.

By the time you read this we shall have enjoyed our Harvest Festival Service and are now busy planning for Christmas!

We are expecting a little upheaval in the coming weeks as we have taken the decision to replace the much‐loved, but rather well worn, cinema seats in the church. They will be replaced by comfortable seats that we will be able to move around, or stack away, which will give us the opportunity to use the space for different events.

Some of the cinema seats have already been sold at auction but there are still some available; if you know of anyone who might be interested in buying some please contact Colin on 0117 968 6860.

All our usual events continue ‐ Coffee Morning (with bacon butties!) on the 1st Saturday of each month; Film Club or Chatter Club at 2pm on Mondays; and, of course our Sunday morning service at 11am.

With other churches in the village we also share in a service at The Cotswold Centre at 4.45pm on the 2nd Sunday of each month. We’d love to see you at any, or all, of these events!

2018 Santa Dash…

Sneaking Santa Shire Santa Dash is back, and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever with the addition of a dedicated under 5s event ‐ Elf Sprint!.

Elf Sprint will take place before the Santa Dash around the field at the PBA, being cheered on by hundreds of Santa’s. All participants will receive an elf suit, medal and certificate. Enter now

We have increased capacity of the Santa Dash as a result of last year’s sell out to 500, so please join us for an action packed family fun day. If this sounds a little too energetic why not join us afterwards at the PBA where you’ll find many stalls selling festive items, everything from cakes to cushions!.

We shall be offering the opportunity for cash sign ups and suit collection on the following dates only:

Saturday 3 Nov, Shire Methodist Church (opposite Lloyd’s Bank) 9.30am‐ 11.30am

Thursday 15 Nov, the PBA club Nibley Road. 7.30‐9.00pm

Prices include Santa Suit (Elf Suit for under 5s) and finishers medal

Adults £10

Age 11‐15 £7

Age 5‐10 £5

Under 5s (Elf Sprint) £5

twinkling christmas lights

Finally, you’ll notice the Christmas lighting is up early this year, this was to allow the electrical contractors plenty of time to install new bolts and cabling for the continuous lighting system which we are thrilled about.

As a result, we have depleted our funds for this year and may not be able to offer the small Christmas trees above shops.

Thank you to all who’ve supported us throughout the year but please bear with us whilst we fundraise for the remaining parts of the village.

Merry Christmas ‐ Team Shire Christmas illuminations

Nature Notes…

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"Did someone say NUTS?"

This little beauty stayed still just long enough! We had taken our grandson to Brandon Hill for a few hours back in the summer, and it was time well spent. The squirrels are so used to visitors, it gives children plenty of opportunities to see them up close.

Much closer to home I have listened to the tawny owl across the river most dark nights recently. Their call is truly haunting, I love to hear it.

Reports of hedgehog sightings are worryingly low around here this year, with just a couple of my friends having seen them. However, my daughter,s garden has a regular visitor, just the other side of the village thankfully.

We had an unusual event a couple of weeks ago, when my grandson came rushing in with a find whilst climbing a tree on the riverbank, just along from our home. He handed me a perfect round, white egg! It was about 2inches long I guess, but the amazing thing was, it was very warm! He had found it in a nest high up in said tree! He and his sister thought they had seen a pigeon close by, so, assuming that this was an egg being incubated, I urged this very expert tree climber to put the egg back as fast as he could clamber! We will never know if the egg produced a chick, but it’s nice to think it did......

Happy nature watching all. Bobbie Perkins.

Letters to the Editor

Have your say eMail ‐‐>

 Do You Remember Jean Simpson?‐ Tom Hillman

Dear Editor

Jean married Mike Dodd in the 60’s and emigrated to South Africa. Jean, now known as Mrs Opitz, is hoping to come to the UK around Christmas time. She would like to meet her old friends. Some of the names she has mentioned are Janet Westlake, Rosalind Mead and Janet Cummings.

If you are one of her friends could you please drop a line, with your name and contact details to:‐

Jean Opitz, c/o Tom Hillman, 1 Stile Acres, Lawrence Weston, BS11 0PZ.

I will then pass them on to Jean when she comes over.


Tom Hillman

Thank you for your kind donation. Ed

 McMillian Cancer Care at the Cotswold Centre‐ Bridget Williams

Dear Editor

£503.73p was raised for McMillian Cancer Care at the Cotswold Centre on Saturday 22nd September 2018.

Very grateful thanks to all who came and supported this worthy cause.

A huge thank you to all who helped on the day and to those who made cakes.

Many Thanks again

Bridget Williams.

 scooter knocked over‐ Ed Wiffen

Dear Readers

At approximately 9pm on Tuesday the 2nd October my scooter was knocked over by a blue Ford Focus attempting to reverse park on Bradley Crescent. The scooter has been damaged as has my car that was hit by the falling scooter. The driver then stopped trying to park and drove off hastily without stopping to report the accident.

As a low income single parent I would be really grateful for help in tracing the driver so if anyone from the Shirehampton community has any information about this then I would be really keen to hear from you.

Given the time of night there is a fairly high chance that the driver is a local resident.

And if you are the driver or know the driver please remember it is never too late to do the right thing and come forward.

Yours sincerely

Ed Wiffen

 MacMillan Coffee Morning‐ Tess Good

Dear Editor

I would like to thank friends, family and neighbours who contributed to and attended my MacMillan Coffee Morning on Friday 28th September. I raised £200.

Best wishes.

Tess Good


Are you a member of a local sports club, be it football, table tennis, keep fit or under water soot juggling!

Then why not make a monthly contribution to YOUR local Shire newspaper.

Our readers are interested in your events, achievements and topics of interest.

Send your articles to and why not include photos. (except the Soot Jugglers…)

Editorial comment: It is not our intention to upset or decry the skill of the international Soot Juggling community but honestly what you gonna see!!!

News from your local MP

I was back in Westminster for two weeks in September, before the palace was closed again for the party conference season.

I’ve been back at it in the House of Commons from early October ‐ and it looks like it’ll be a bumpy few months ahead of us with anything from a no deal Brexit to staying in the EU on the table. Put your hard hats on! At the time of writing, all I know is that I’ll have to decide how to vote in what will likely be the most important vote of my time as your MP at the end of October/early November. To help inform how I vote, I held several pre‐Brexit Briefings (including one at Shirehampton Public Hall) as well as a live Q and A on Facebook. I also undertook live polling on my new Powered By You app. Given print deadlines, it can be tricky to promote my events to you ‐ I therefore encourage you to check out my website or Facebook for updates.

As regular readers will know, I’m continuing to call for transport investment in Bristol North West. I hosted a Transport Forum on 19th October to gather your views, thanks to everyone who joined me. I’ll be launching a transport survey soon to gather your input on the suggestions put forward, and I’ll keep lobbying to secure the funding we need for much needed transport upgrades.

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I’ve also recently visited several local charitable causes. The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity is raising funds to buy their new helicopter base, just North of Bristol. GWAAC provides critical care and air ambulance services for 2.1 million people across our region and rely nearly entirely on public funds to cover their costs. The Southmead Hospital Charity also put together an inspiring visit, where I saw first‐hand the positive impact donations can have on the lives of patients at Southmead Hospital ‐ including their whizzy new prostate removal robot, operated by surgeons at a computer screen. This bit of kit, paid for by donations, gives patients a much better experience and quicker recovery time whilst saving our NHS surgery costs too.

Lastly, I’ve set up my own charitable trust ‐ the Henacre Trust ‐ our purpose being focused on ‘unlocking opportunity’. The Henacre Trust (named after the street I grew up on in Lawrence Weston) will make small grants to young people from less advantaged backgrounds like my own from across Bristol North West with a focus on ‘unlocking opportunity’. That might be the price of a bus pass to college, a rail fare to a university open day or the price of a school uniform or suit or dress for that first job or apprenticeship interview.

But before we can make grants, we need to raise at least £15,000. That’s why we took part in the Quartet Fund’s Bristol Giving Day (on October 10th) where donations can be made to the Henacre Trust on the website (just select Henacre Charitable Trust as the recipient). I am delighted to be launching the charity at an event on 2nd November at Kings Weston House.

Darren Jones

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club.

The final game of the 2018 season was a four rink mixed friendly against prestigious Ardagh, who have been playing on the same green at Horfield Common since 1926. The result was a win for the hosts but the real winner was the game of bowls, with bowlers enjoying the final chance to bowl outdoors until next April, and then to relax and share stories with like‐ minded people after the final wood of the day had come to rest.

awaiting photo

But, at the City and Port of Bristol Club the end of the season does not mean the end of activities until the spring ‐ far from it. The club will play three indoor games, the first against the City and County Club on November 3rd at 2pm. The game will be followed by a meal, a drink and lots of bowling chat. The subsequent two games are on January 19th and March 2nd, both against local club opposition.

Sunday social events got underway with an evening of skittles on October 7th. Always popular the event saw bowlers, family and friends come together to try their hand at knocking over pins rather than bowling to that elusive jack. A very enjoyable evening ended with Eve Williams winning killer and Ken Davies coming out on top in the two ups competition.

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The club was pleased to welcome Barrie and Thelma Tillett to the event. They came to the green to try bowling shortly before the season ended and are now looking forward to the new season when they can bowl again.

November 4th will see the return of Beetle Drive and lots of frustrated people trying to roll that elusive six to start. A seasonal favourite, guaranteed to bring smiles and grimaces in equal measure but always great fun.

A change to lots of head scratching and memory searching on December 9th when Gordon Dimond will present his excellent quiz.

The Annual Winter Bowling Break will be in March, once again in Torquay. This is not only indoor bowling, at the hotels four rink arena but also many other things. The pool is excellent and there is a very good games room, complete with ten pin bowling and snooker. Alternatively, the sea front is just a short walk down the hill and the town of Torquay a short bus ride away.

The Annual Dinner and Presentation Evening will this year be at the City and Port of Bristol Social and Sports Club on Friday November 23rd.

The sport of bowling is for people of all ages and abilities, many of the most successful bowlers at county and national level are young people but there are also successful bowlers who started to bowl later in life.