Edition: 577
Twitter: @ShireNewspaper
February 2020
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Farewell to Sandra’s Penpole Lunch Club

The Penpole Lunch Club was the inspiration of Sandra White BEM, 24 years ago.

photo of Sandra White
Sandra White MBE

It's home was the Penpole Community Room, The Ridge in Shirehampton. This much needed community service has seen many volunteers and diners come and go during these years. It also played the role of a social club to the older generation in the community, including the odd game of bingo.

Every Tuesday afternoon a two course lunch has been served from 12 noon to the diners. This is followed by tea or coffee and cake at a cost of £3.50 per person. However, with attendance dwindling and due to her own deteriorating health, Sandra made the incredibly difficult decision to close the doors on the Penpole Lunch Club for the final time on 17th December. Although a sad day, diners and guests celebrated years of achievement and shared good memories whilst tucking into the special Christmas lunch that was being served.

I would like to thank everyone for the many, many years of support given to Mum in this wonderful endeavour that has brought so much joy to so many lives but, in particular, the joy it has brought Mum. said Sandra's daughter, Tracey Zehtabi.

Rose Birch said The lunch club has been wonderful for me. It's sad that its closing but Sandra has been wonderful. She can't do enough for us all.

It's a day out for me and I thoroughly enjoy the lunch club. I'm going to miss it but Sandra has been the top of the class. A big thank you to you and your volunteers. Said Eileen Allen.

Jono said: The lunch club means an awful lot to me. I wish it could go on for another 24 years. Well done Sandra, you're the best.

Alderman Peter Main was one of guests who has enjoyed many lunches provided by the lunch club, since his first meeting with Sandra in 2012 when he was Lord Mayor of Bristol. It's been a privilege to be here on Sandra's last day. The city owes her a great debt of gratitude for running the lunch club for 24 years. Shirehampton is a fantastic place and, week in week out, the lunch club has provided a much valued service for the older generation and a place to socialise. Thank you very much, Sandra, for your dedication during all these years.

Sandra's success with the Penpole Lunch Club will remain a testament of community spirit and what can be achieved on a voluntary basis. Enjoy your retirement, Sandra.

Kathryn Courtney

Mr. Knapp ‐ A Short Story

Mr. Knapp was different. He was a little man and had an extreme curvature of the spine, which gave him a hunch‐back.

He dressed in black: black suit, black tie, black trilby hat, black shoes and socks ‐ and a black cape. As a little boy, I had never seen any other man wearing a cape, so this really set him apart. On reflection, I think he wore the cape to try and deflect attention from his hump.

Mr. Knapp lived in a little, black wooden house set in the big hedge which lined one side of the Rocky Road and around the corner into the top of Walton Road. The Rocky Road (that small section of road between Severn Road and the Pembroke Road/St Mary's Road crossroads) was so‐called because, at that time, it had not been made up and adopted and named by the council. There was a gate at the side of Mr. Knapp's house and a path leading to the door. In the front was a big window, overlooking the Rocky Road. There Mr. Knapp was to be seen, writing and looking over his glasses at the passers‐by. Being so small, he must have been sitting on a high stool to be able to see out of the window.

We little children in Walton Road were frightened of Mr. Knapp. He seemed menacing and scary in his blackness and was so different to everybody else. We used to run quickly past his window on the way to the village, in case he would ‘jump out and get us'.

As I grew older, I learnt that Mr. Knapp was in fact the rent‐collector for Mr. Heard, the builder and property owner, and that his little black wooden house was actually his office and that he really lived in one of the big terraced houses in Severn Road. The big hedge was part of the perimeter of Mr. Heard's own property, where he lived in a very large detached house facing the terrace next to the Co‐op in Pembroke Road. Mr. Heard's house may have been called Waverley House, which would explain why the Rocky Road is now named Waverley Road because, when Mr. Heard's house was pulled down and the flats built in its place, people living there needed a postal address. I believe Mr. Heard owned the plot of land opposite Mr. Knapp's office, which was then allotments. My father rented the allotment on the Priory Road side of the plot. This would explain why my mother seemed to know Mr. Knapp quite well ‐ he would have collected the rent for the allotment every week.

As I got older, I became interested in philately (my twin brother's interest being numismatics). The postage stamps certainly increased my geographical knowledge. However, I was horrified when one day my mother said: ‘I told Mr. Knapp that you collected stamps and he's invited you up to see his stamp collection.' I could not tell my mother that I still had this innate fear of Mr. Knapp. It was with trepidation that I knocked on his door, around the corner in Severn Road. He lived by himself, so he and I were to be alone together in his big house. I had never even spoken to him before and was extremely nervous.

To my great surprise, the real Mr. Knapp turned out to be the most friendly and kind gentleman (and I mean gentle man). He did not talk condescendingly to me and showed me his impressive stamp collection. He also gave me some stamps to take home !

This was my very first life‐lesson in not judging people by their appearance, not making assumptions or jumping to unwarranted conclusions. It helped teach me to confront my own prejudices and keep an open mind in the future.

Gil Osman


A thought for this day
If you smile at me
I smile at you
Happiness will be shiny bright
For all of you
No words need be spoken
Just Smile !

John Barrett

A New Lease of Life for the Public Hall

The new Trustees of the Public Hall have been discussing their vision for the Hall's future.

1. They are already outlining an ambitious refurbishment plan for the Hall:

  • a new toilet block,
  • a catering standard kitchen,
  • a 21st century sound and light system,
  • refurbished rooms throughout put to more flexible uses.

And all of this to make the Hall an open, welcoming Community Hub hosting community groups and activities of all kinds.

The Hall already has many loyal user groups and stages many well‐loved events like the annual Craft Fair and the Grainger Players' performances. But the facilities are inadequate, the entrance hall is unwelcoming and the meeting rooms are dreary.

2.  The trustees hope to change all that over the next three years of their tenure.

Lark Ascending ‐ premier held 15th December 1920

They plan to launch the refurbishment project by celebrating the 100th anniversary of the premiere of The Lark Ascending, Britain's favourite piece of classical music. The Lark Ascending is a short work by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams inspired by the 1881 poem of the same name by George Meredith. The premiere of the violin and piano version was held at Shirehampton Public Hall on 15 December 1920. The Bristol Ensemble orchestra will play the piece at the Public Hall on December 15th of this, its anniversary year.

3.  Of course these projects will need the support of the people of Shirehampton.

The trustees need advice from people with skills in

  • fund raising,
  • human resources,
  • and marketing.
  • They want to consult with current user groups about their needs.
  • They want to know what the people of Shirehampton want their community Public Hall to be.

This will be an exciting project and a chance to use skills you may have and discover new ones working with a strong, committed team of friends and neighbours.

Renee Slater

Pembroke Road Market Garden

The market garden was owned, or at least occupied, by the HOLMYARD family in the late 50s ‐ 60s. I was at St. Bernard's School at that time and one of my classmates was Gillian Holmyard. She had a younger sister I believe named Catherine. The family emigrated to New Zealand or Australia in the 60s as far as I know. People of Shire may recall one large American‐type truck with massive, heavy‐tread wheels always parked in the yard next to the cottage.

The land, now Churchleaze, was an orchard, stretching down to Springfield Avenue. From the lane (rear of Bradley Crescent) there was the GLEBE YARD, which would have been associated with St. Mary's Church opposite presumably, then the market garden and yard; next, there was a detached white house where my mother was born ! On the corner of Pembroke and Waverley Roads was situated a grand‐gated detached house owned by the Wilky family. Mr. Wilky used to supply local newsagents with the newspapers, delivered from his lockup garage opposite, in his Morris 1000 car.

Pat Armour

Window Wanderland 2020

I'm very pleased to announce that there will be a Window Wanderland taking place in the Four Villages of North West Bristol ‐ Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston, Sea Mills, and, of course, Shirehampton, over the weekend of Saturday 29th February and Sunday 1st March 2020.

Wanderland poster
Window Wanderland 2020

Window Wanderland is a phenomenon which started in Easton in 2015. It is designed to inspire communities to set up fun, local, all‐people‐friendly, window‐display‐based walking trails then share them with the world. Come out and see your neighbourhood in a new creative light! There are currently 13 other events happening in the area so we certainly didn't want to miss out.

We will also have access to materials via the Children's Scrapstore and can supply some if asked. There will also be the opportunity to attend a workshop with Annalies Egli of Tandem Arts at the Public Hall, who can help with lots of ideas for displays.

For more information, and if you'd like to participate, take a look via this link to the website: www.windowwanderland.com/event/4‐villages‐2020/ and also on the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/events/1001303470211641/

There will be lots of information circulating the area via schools and community groups during the next few weeks. If you'd like to display a poster or have some flyers to distribute in your street and get the neighbourhood involved, email: 4villageswindowwanderland@gmail.com

Finally, there will be a workshop with Annelies Egli of Tandem Arts to help people with ideas for their displays, materials provided, on Thursday 13th February from 3:15pm till 5:15pm in the Public Hall.

Many thanks,

John Hastings

Climate Emergency News

It has been a very wet and often dismal Christmas break.

Many of us have been deeply affected by the fires in Australia and by the response of the Australian government. But we know that change for the better is still possible and that we must keep the Climate Conversation going. Shirehampton Climate Emergency Group is meeting again, second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at the Cotswold Community Centre. Everyone is welcome.

Looking ahead, we are busy finalizing arrangements for our Flood Risk event on Saturday March 7th in the Public Hall. We know that the biggest impact of climate change on the UK will be flooding, and while there is no place in the UK that will be immune to flooding those of us who live in coastal areas and on rivers and estuaries will be seriously at risk. We hope that many of you will be able to come on March 7th.

Perhaps some of you saw the encouraging article in the business section of The Telegraph on 14th January reporting on large corporations and financial institutions cancelling their investments in the fossil fuel industry. That article also suggested simple actions each of us could take now that would make a difference: switch to LED lighting; choose not to eat meat one day a week; raise the tyre pressure on your car to save fuel. We each have a part to play.

Renee Slater

Betty Francis

100th birthday on 19th January 2020. Congratulations, Mum !

Have a lovely birthday with all your family and friends.

All our love,

Julie, Susan, Christine and families xxx

Volunteers Needed For Shirehampton Markets.

Market photo Market photo Market photo

Who are Shirehampton Markets?

We began with the local community plan survey which highlighted local markets and community events as a need in Shirehampton. We went one step further and wanted to share our markets and events with the four villages ‐ Avonmouth, Shirehampton, Sea Mills and Lawrence Weston .

We realised the local High Streets were suffering and we wanted to support them, so our High Street Markets could provide goods for sale not widely available in our shops. We wanted to compliment not compete with shops such as fruit and veg, butchers, bakers, pet supplies, florist, carpet shop.

We integrated the idea of stopping by for a cuppa and cake where people could meet up with family and friends for a catch up in a relaxed atmosphere and this in turn would help tackle isolation and loneliness of all ages. The market would be a place where all are welcome.

Shirehampton Markets is a non profit community organisation and part of Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF).

Without their help Shirehampton Markets would not exist. We started with zero and SCAF stepped in to pay for the initial costs to set up our first market at The Tithe Barn in Shirehampton. After months of research, 15 market traders took a chance with us and became part of our High Street Market history. Our very first event opened on Thursday 5th September 2019. Since then we have progressed to running a successful local community market for all our local communities to use. It is growing in popularity and we have a good mix of lovely market traders, some who are local to our area.

Ash Bearman, Katherine Birth and Kathryn Courtney are the core team of Shirehampton Markets.

They have a good mix of experience of community, events, fundraising, management, media and PR. We are all volunteers and we love doing what we do. And we have some fabulous volunteers who help on market day. We couldn't do without them and their help is always greatly appreciated and valued.

However we do need more volunteers to help with our monthly High Street Markets and our quarterly Saturday Fayres. We need help with setting up the markets and events from 8am onwards and packing up from 3pm onwards, help in the kitchen serving refreshments and cake, leaflet drops, distribution of event posters. All ages welcome. Without our market traders, our volunteers and you, our customers giving your support in many ways, we would not exist.

Our High Street Markets take place the first Thursday of every month at the Tithe Barn, High Street, Shirehampton from 10am to 3pm.

Our first Spring Fayre will take place on Saturday 18th April at the Public Hall, 32 Station Road, Shirehampton from 10am ‐ 3pm, our Summer Fayre 11th July, Autumn Fayre 17th October and our Christmas Market 21st November, all taking place at the same venue.

Kathryn Courtney

A Year at the Cotswold Community Association

Another very successful year was had at the Cotswold as we go from strength to strength.

Over the course of the year, our regular Breakfast Clubs, Coffee Mornings, Bingo Nights, and Quiz Nights attracted excellent attendances, and our weekly Pilates, Fitness, and Personal Fitness Classes are always very popular. Our Plant Sale was the best one yet, raising well over £600, and the Charity Fundraising Events did exceptionally well. We also held our annual Christmas Pensioners Lunch and this year a Children's Christmas Party.

Last year we successfully applied for grant funding from Bristol City Council's Community Infrastructure Levy, matching the amount raised with monies from the events we've held. This will pay for a new Car Park and Ramp at the front of the building, with 2 Disabled Parking Bays, and improve accessibility significantly. We also have a fabulous garden, including a newly planted hedgerow, which is beautifully tended by volunteers. We have also applied for funding (and received it with help from SCAF) for a Community Noticeboard by the Nibley Road Shops. This will be installed soon.

We have an active committee, with members giving up a lot of their time to help foster a great community spirit. However, we would like to welcome new members too. If interested, please email: cotswoldca@gmail.com or ring 07943‐401575.

John Hastings (Treasurer)

Friend of Shirehampton Library.

A Happy New Year from Friends of Shirehampton Library.

Our regular Library Living Room is open on Tuesday afternoons from 3 ‐ 5:00 pm.

We've closed the Living Room on Thursday evenings for the winter.

We hope to re‐open on Thursdays when the clocks go forward.

    Do drop in on a Tuesday , we'd love to see you!

Renee Slater

Lawrence Weston Community Farm

Farm Tots Wednesdays 10.30‐11.30am £2.50 Help feed the animals. For under 5s and their carers. Drop in most Wednesdays. Please check Facebook for any changes.
Walking Group Wednesdays 2‐3.30pm Improve your health and meet new people by joining our free, friendly, weekly walking group. If coming for the first time, please arrive at 1.45 to sign up.
Gardening Group Fridays 11 ‐12.30pm Interested in getting involved in gardening on the farm? Come along Fridays to help with our gardens. Call Ian 0117 9381128 for more details.
Herbs for Health First Friday of the Month 11‐12.30 Help sow and grow a range of herbs and learn about their uses. Have a go at using them for cooking and wellbeing. Meet new people and spend time outside.

These sessions are for people living locally to the farm. Free. No experience necessary.

Contact Kerry@lwfarm.org.uk 0117 9381128

Free Family Half Term Activity

Outdoor bread on a Campfire, Weds 19th Feb 1‐3pm We'll be making a big fire and having an outdoor bread‐making theme. Come and learn how to make bread on an open fire, mix it, knead it, watch it rise and eat it! All ages. Free for families. Please enquire for prices if you a childminder or club.
Woodland Skills, Mondays 10‐1pm Feb 24th ‐ March 30th 2020 Meet other people, enjoy being outside, gain confidence. Have a go at whittling, fire making, weaving, using tools and more on this 6 week course.

To book a place call Kerry on 0117 9381128 or kerry@lwfarm.org.uk. This course is aimed at people with few or no qualifications or living with mental health issues.

Functional Skills Maths and English Courses Spaces ‐ North Bristol

Functional Skills maths at Henbury Court Children's Centre Mondays 9/9.30 ‐ 11.30am
Functional Skills maths at Long Cross/Four Villages Specialist Children's Centre in Lawrence WestonMondays 9.15 to 11.30am
Functional Skills English at Sea Mills Children's Centre Thursdays 9.30‐11.30am
Functional Skills English at Long Cross/Four Villages Specialist Children's Centre in Lawrence WestonThursdays 1‐3pm

These are FREE courses for adults aged 19 years plus who have lived in UK/EU/EAA for the last 3 years or who fit other eligibility criteria; and who do not have a GCSE A* ‐ C grade or an equivalent qualification.


Contact: 0117 9030072

Stoke Lodge Centre, Shirehampton Road
Stoke Bishop

Suzanne Gaffney

St. Mary's News ‐  February

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Hi Folks!

Here we are with all the titbits for February.

Have you noticed how the nights are gradually opening out? I always reckon by the time February arrives it will be light enough to enjoy our teatime in daylight and not behind closed curtains. I was bound to have a smile when my wife went into the Co‐op on the day after Boxing Day to discover that Hot Cross Buns were for sale ‐ retailers certainly take advantage of the Christian Festivals to promote their goods!

I expect many of you know Betty Francis who lived at The Orchards ‐ she reached the age of 100 years on the 19th January ‐ and we all offer her our Congratulations. Betty has now moved from Shirehampton and is living in Stoke Gifford. We wish her well in her new home!

  • The Golden Oldies ‐ 10.30 until 11.30 am on Wednesday 5th February

    The Golden Oldies group will again be brightening our day from 10.30 until 11.30 am on Wednesday 5th February in the church with their enthusiastic singing. There are the regulars who are there every month and wouldn‘t wish to miss a session!

  • Messy Church ‐ Tuesday, 18th February from 3.30 pm until 5.00 pm

    Messy Church this month is on Tuesday, 18th February from 3.30 pm until 5.00 pm ‐ if you have not been to a session why not try it this month? It is entirely FREE.

  • Jo Sargent ‐ our local Councillor ‐ 10.00 am until 12.00 noon on Friday, 21st February

    Jo Sargent ‐ our local Councillor ‐ will be holding another of her Surgeries in church from 10.00 am until 12.00 noon on Friday, 21st February and I am sure she will be only too happy to discuss any local issues you may have!

  • Ash Wednesday ‐ Ash Wednesday evening at 7.30 pm

    Ash Wednesday falls this year on 26th February which leads us into the church season of Lent. This always reminds me that Easter is then not that far away and hopefully we can enjoy some warmer Spring weather. On Ash Wednesday evening at 7.30 pm there will be a service at St Peter's, Lawrence Weston and all will be most welcome to join us there.

  • The Living Well mission group is to run our Lent Course this year.

    The course will be on Wednesday evenings from 4th March until 1st April inclusive, 7.00 pm (refreshments); 7.30 pm ‐ 8.45 pm.

    The course will move around the Avonside Mission Area churches on the following dates:

    • Wednesday 4th March ‐ St Andrews, Avonmouth:
    • Wednesday 11th March, St Mary's, Shirehampton:
    • Wednesday, 18th March, St Edyth's, Sea Mills:
    • Wednesday, 25th March, St. Peter's, Lawrence Weston:
    • Wednesday, 1st. April, St Mary's, Stoke Bishop.

    Please put these dates in your diaries.

Finally, did you hear about the chap who ate a clock? It was very time consuming!

’Bye for now! C.M.E.

Christingle in the Cotswold Community

About 45 people gathered in the Cotswold Community Centre on 8th December to enjoy a Christingle service.

Each person decorated an orange as a reminder of God's love and blessings for the world and the coming of Jesus, the light of the world. We sang carols and heard readings from a member of the community and representatives from each of the Shirehampton churches. The service finished with us all standing in a circle with the candles on our oranges lit and the lights out as we sang the last carols. It was a very lovely occasion and over £51 was raised for the Children's Society ‐ helping vulnerable children in the UK.

Margaret Wilkins
Margaret Wilkins
picture of 90th birthday cake

Mince pies, tea and coffee were enjoyed afterwards with an extra special celebration and cake. Margaret Wilkins (who usually plays the piano for our regular meetings) was celebrating her 90th birthday on the same day and she came along and shared her birthday cake with us all. We meet on the second Sunday of the month at 4.45pm for tea, coffee and cakes with a short Thought for the day or personal reflection, song and prayers at 5pm. All would be welcome ‐ especially if you do not go to church!

The Cotswold Christian Community comprises folk who live in the area and are members of the various churches in Shirehampton.

Hello from Shire Methodist



It's February 2020 already, and yet some of our news is from December last decade! Our KiGglle (young people's) group organised a brilliant Candlelight Carol Service, just before Christmas.

They were keen for the service to be inclusive and not boring. The front of the church was decorated beautifully and colourfully with the Christmas tree and a colour‐changing, flashing star. More than a dozen members of the congregation aged from 6 to 60 plus (!) took part in reading the story of the birth of Jesus. It was a really wonderful occasion and we would be delighted for KiGglle to lead our worship again.

We are probably the only church with a group called KiGglle. The letters stand for kids included in God's greatness; learning and leading everyday. The young people chose this name for the following reasons. It is a name not a word (e.g. not explorers). It is original. They want to be part of something bigger in the church, not to be seen as just children. They want it to be clear that they are able to include and welcome others, people with differences and similarities. They want to say that they are on a journey, hence learning but they also feel that they should be listened to, hence sometimes they are leaders. The other part of being leaders is that they feel they sometimes have good ideas that help others, their conversations increasingly have quite a social‐political feel to them. The group meet on Sundays but they wanted to express that being a Christian is not just for an hour on a Sunday morning, hence everyday. They also have a laugh, so kiGglle is not far from giggle!

During Advent, we watched a video of people who attend and help at the Methodist Centre in Lawrence Hill, at the beginning of each Sunday service. We were reminded that everyone has a story and something to offer and yet we can so easily make quick judgments and write people off or ignore them. Our church continues to support the Methodist Centre's vital work in helping people, in our city, who are struggling for their basic needs including food, shelter and kindness from other people.

We continue to meet every Sunday at 11am for Morning Worship. We also hold two regular social events which are open to anyone in the local area: Bacon butty and coffee morning on the first Saturday of every month from 10am until noon and Afternoon Tea every Monday from 2pm until 4pm. We hire out our building to many local groups. If you are interested in hiring our premises, please contact Bridget Williams (0117 982 0586).

May God's peace be with you all during February.

Everyone at Shire Methodist

Shirehampton Baptist Church

January is a month when the magic of Christmas is over and the mornings and evenings are dark and often wet and windy.

February shows signs in nature that Spring is round the corner, come rain or sunshine. The Mainly Music parents turn up each Tuesday and two new babies arrived during the Christmas break. As in many organizations in the village, most of the helpers are getting on in years. We love being with younger people, even if it means a lie down when we get home ! It would be good to get some younger help and we are so glad to welcome back Joanne Pickford who, since we started, has led the music session. She has had a year's break due to health problems but has returned to her usual energetic self and looking great. We are very grateful to those parents who stepped into the breach and did a splendid job during her absence.

Our January service at the Cotswold Community Hall, Dursley Road, was on January 12th and we meet again on February 9th. We hope to see many new faces join us this year. Paul and Katy Rhodes, our minister and his wife, are getting to know us and make a good team. Katy has a session with the children during most of the service so we would encourage families to come along but, whatever your age, you are most welcome on Sundays at 10.30 am in Station Road.

Mair Blandford

Fun Dog Show ‐ 19th January

On 19th January, 2020, a Fun Dog Show was held at the Avon Riding Centre, Kingsweston Road in aid of Bristol Based Greyhound & Lurcher Rescue.

All breeds were welcomed and there were classes for every type of dog but especially Greyhounds and Lurchers.

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Little & Large
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Judging by Maria Lowe from Viking Vets
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Please, please I can be a greyhound…
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NOooo…, last time I saw you you had a big thermometer in your hand!

The menage, which is the large arena used by riding for the disabled, was surrounded by lots of stalls, tombola, refreshments and hundreds of dogs with their owners. The classes were judged by Maria Lowe from Viking Vets, who handed out dozens of brightly coloured rosettes. My little dog, Naina, got a place in the Final of ‘Dog with the most appealing eyes’ and received a tin of dog food but no rosette alas!

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Dog food…YES! You can’t eat a rosette!

Bob Pitchford took the photos and one, in particular, is entitled Little and Large - you will see why! The other photos show the judge, Maria, making her final choices in the classes. We were blessed with a beautiful day though it didn't really matter as the event is under cover! It really was a great day out for all dog lovers.

Nature Notes…

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Phoning the moon

I know this doesn't really do it justice, but I thought I'd share last week's full moonrise with you anyway!

It was stunningly golden and huge as it broke over the horizon. I was on the riverbank with the dogs, so quickly gave them a shout and legged it home to get my phone! Within the few minutes it took me to make it back indoors, (believe that if you dare!), the moon had risen much further, and appeared much smaller but incredibly bright and, well, just magical!

All in all, I feel it's another sign of Spring approaching, and to confirm that feeling we have been privy to the wonderful song of a song thrush on the riverside. This is such a rarity these days, so I just stood and listened as long as I could, and told all my passing friends to enjoy the moment too. The plovers have been up to their aerial antics today while the gusty wind was blowing. They are always worth a ‘stand and watch' moment!

We have had recent visits from both blue tits and long‐ tailed tits, but they have moved on for now. The sparrows have also deserted us, but I think the relatively mild weather, plus the large amounts of rainfall, has provided them with other sources of food and water for now.

FISHPOND OWNERS ALERT! The herons began arriving back to their nest sites at the beginning of January, so the air will soon be filled with their raucous, stone‐age cries!

Happy nature watching all!

Bobbie Perkins

Letter from the editor

Although, if requested, we will not print the name of a letter written to the Editor, we cannot accept an anonymous letter.

Could the ‘fly tipping' writer let us have his or her name perhaps so that we can then print the letter ? Many thanks. Ed.

Letters to the Editor

Have your say    editor@shire.org.uk

 Kathrine Stewart Andrew Stewart

Dear Editor,

Please accept this small donation to acknowledge our grateful thanks for the recent entry in Shire in respect of the recent passing of Katherine Stewart.

Many thanks,

Andrew Stewart (Thank you for your kind donation. Ed.)

 Christmas, Sunny day Sheila F.

Dear Editor,

Last December I very much enjoyed a stay at my son's home in Shirehampton. Christmas Day was so sunny and bright that we went for an early walk down Woodwell Lane, where we came upon a blaze of wild flowering white snowdrops in a hedgerow. Such a lovely unexpected sight in December ‐ early blooms indeed !

Yours sincerely,

Sheila F.

 The Market Gardens in Pembroke Road Chris Eynon

Dear Editor,

Regarding the mention of ‘The Market Gardens in Pembroke Road', I am grateful to two older residents of Shirehampton for correcting the original information I was given. Mr Humpy Hayward owned the shop on the corner of Pembroke Road with Pembroke Avenue. He had no connection with the Hayward family who ran The Market Gardens. The two ladies who gave me this information are too modest to have their names mentioned here but they are adamant they are correct.

Chris Eynon

 Bristol After Stroke Lucy Stockall

Dear Editor,

The Portway Stroke Support Group which is a weekly group held on Thursday afternoons between 1.30 ‐ 3.45 at The City and Port of Bristol Sports and Social Club in Shirehampton has been running for over 30 years and currently has 20 ‐ 25 members. Some of the group's members have been going for a long time and strong friendships have formed. The friendly group do a variety of activities, whether it's listening and singing along to music, playing skittles and bingo and some members look forward to a weekly semi‐competitive Scrabble challenge! The group also go on occasional outings, particularly in the summer. For its members, the group is a vital part of their week which they see as important for their long‐term recovery from stroke.

Pauline has been going to the weekly group for over 5 years and says to anyone who might be interested in attending a Stroke Support Group to Give it a try, you don't know if you don't try. The Portway group is very welcoming and supportive. It's traumatic having a stroke; its 100% one of the best things I've done.

As the group is so popular and we want to make it accessible to as many stroke‐affected people as possible, we rely heavily on volunteers. If you have a few hours each week to help by serving refreshments, chatting and making people feel welcome, putting up a skittle or two or helping in group activities we would love to hear from you. In return, we provide full support, training and an annual celebration.

Have your say    editor@shire.org.uk

Shire Community Grants

newspaper is once again inviting applications from local organizations for a grant.

If you wish to apply please advise us of;

  • the name of your group and
  • how you serve the community.

If you require a specific sum for a particular project please let us know the amount. We regret we cannot issue grants to individuals.

The deadline for applications is 31st March.

You can leave your application in the Shire folder in the Library or email it to chairperson@shire.org.uk.

The committee will consider all requests at their meeting in early April.

Appeal for Volunteers

Many of you will, I hope, have read the leading article on last month's front page of Shire.

It will have given the residents of our village quite an insight into what is required to keep this popular and vital publication alive. Following on from that, as Distribution Coordinator, I am throwing myself onto your sense of community, to ask for volunteers to help deliver Shire. We have experienced an unusually high level of retirements of people who have been going door to door for a very long time in most cases. There are perfectly understandable reasons for people hanging up their paper sacks! For some it's their age, others it's illness, and, for one, it was sadly their death, after many, many years helping.

awaiting photo

If you feel you might help us in your immediate area, here are the rounds we need to fill:‐

  • Penpole Lane ‐ 45 papers
  • Home Ground and Broadleaze ‐ 68
  • Park Rd. Trafalgar Cottage and houses leading up to Golf course ‐ 24
  • Kilminster Rd ‐11
  • Granger Court ‐ 20

The delivery of these papers needs to be done as soon as possible after you receive them. Drivers will bring a bundle to your door after they have been counted and labelled on the last Friday of every month, so quite often you will get them on that Friday evening. Date‐sensitive articles mean that the papers need to go to homes as soon as possible.

The average time to deliver any of the above bundles is around 15 to 20 minutes, with the exception of Home Ground, which takes 2 people 20 minutes! I know, because my husband and I are currently covering it!

Please take time to consider if you could happily take on one of these rounds.

My number is on the second page of Shire: Distribution. distribution@shire.org.uk

Happy New Year!

Bobbie Perkins.

Local MP re‐elected

I am delighted to have been re‐elected as our local Member of Parliament. Thank you to all of you who voted for me.

I've always said that we don't just vote for our politicians, we pay for them too. That means you should always expect the highest quality of service from my team and me. So, whether you voted for me or not, if you have a personal, local or national issue please do get in touch.

As we move into the New Year, with Brexit now secured by the government, I'll be focusing on key issues such as transport, housing, child poverty, energy and climate change. If you think I should be working on other issues ‐ whether it's related to Shire or the country ‐ please do let me know.

I wish you and your family a very happy and a healthy New Year.

Darren Jones MP

photo of Darren Jones talking to MOP

Darren will be continuing his schedule of street stalls (including outside the Co‐op in Shirehampton), surgeries, coffee mornings and pub politic sessions. If you'd like to find out more information about these events, please visit: www.darren‐jones.co.uk or his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/darrenjonesmp

If you think there's something Darren can help with ‐ for example, if you're appealing an ESA or PIP decision, you're having problems with housing or your Universal Credit claim is facing on‐going delays, please get in touch by emailing darren.jones.mp@parliament.uk or calling 0117 959 6545.


Sam Taylor (Office and Communications Manager)

Constituency Office of Darren Jones MP

Member of Parliament for Bristol North West

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

With the 2020 season just over two months away, it is time to look forward to what the club has planned between April and September.

The Start of Season Meeting will be on Thursday March 12th but, before and after that, much work will be done to ensure the start of the bowling in the middle of April.

The Green‐Keeper has been working hard through the winter and will continue to do so in order to maintain the surface for 2020. Volunteers from within the club have supported the Green‐Keeper to carry out a variety of jobs along the way.

Fixtures Secretary Phil Cormack has been busy putting together a list of friendly fixtures and the tour committee has worked hard to arrange a return to the Langham Hotel in Eastbourne for the Summer Tour late in August. The previous visit was in 2016 which was very enjoyable and very warm!! Back at the green, the Monday Night League will hopefully have more teams this year; in 2019 only four teams competed.

Bowls is a game played for pleasure, but can also be very competitive, either as an individual or as part of a team. Mixed Friendly games, played on Wednesday afternoons or at week‐ends are very much for the pleasure of playing the game.

The Ladies League Team came close to promotion from Division Two of the Bristol Ladies League last season and will be competing to go one better in 2020. Captain Gill Hinksman hopes to do well in the Inter Club and Top Club Competitions.

The Bristol and District Men's League Team, captained by Bill Hatherall hopes to improve on last seasons mid‐table finish in Division Four.

There has been a change in the rules, allowing up to three ladies to play in Division Four Men's League games this coming season. This decision was taken at the League AGM on December 1st and is the first time in the leagues almost ninety year history that it has been allowed.

Individually, Julie Looker and Ken Davies will play in their respective Champion of Champions competition, David Hinksman will play in the Gloucester County Singles and with Ken Davies in the City and County Pairs. The final Sunday evening Social Event of the season will be a Quiz on March 29th.

Looking back at the early days, the club consisted entirely of men predominantly from the port. When the green opened in 1974 only men bowled on it. But, by the early 1980s, ladies started to appear and it is thought that Angela Simmons and Ivy Gingell might well have been the first. They were followed by Joan Dixon and Pat Warren followed by Min Wilson, Eileen West, Doris Hart and Edith Straker who recently celebrated her 100th Birthday. Congratulations to her on reaching this marvellous milestone.

For further information about the club and its activities please call David Hinksman on 0117 9082713.

PBA News

We have taken down the Christmas trees and decorations and packed them away for another year.

We had a successful festive period with many events including a 100th birthday party (Edith Straker), and would like to thank those that visited the club and hope you all enjoyed yourselves.

We now begin the New Year with a lot of enthusiasm and hard work to come to ensure the PBA Club will be operating with a new structure and securing a new lease. Our management will be restructured and we are actively looking for trustees particularly with the expertise skills in sports and building that will assist bringing the PBA Club into the 21st century. We have secured funding to help us write our business plan to include our vision for the future of the club.

2020 membership renewals

We are now taking membership subscription renewals for 2020. To renew, you will need to complete a renewal form which is available on the desk at the club and post it in the box, together with the subscription of £26. Renewals will be processed and 2020 membership cards will be available from the bar. We will not be issuing any new door fobs for new members. To qualify for any of the benefits of membership you will be required to present your 2020 membership card. We are always looking at benefits for our members, so keep an eye on our noticeboard for any offers.

As we will be introducing regular news updates by email and surveys to our members, it would be appreciated if you completed the form including an email address. This will assist us in establishing and, where possible, implementing what our members want from the PBA Club.

Ballroom decoration

The decorating of the ballroom will begin on the week commencing 13 January. After completion of the ballroom, we will phase the rest of the club for decorating. There should be minimal disruption to the users of the ballroom.

Regular activities held at the PBA Club

Each of the different activities at the club are always looking for new participants to join them. If you are interested, there is skittles, bowls, line dancing, Zumba, martial arts, bingo, darts and youth football. There are also weekly meetings for the stroke club every Thursday and, every third Tuesday of the month, PBA pensioners. We would also like to welcome Fusion Dance to the club on Wednesdays from 5pm to 6.30pm, commencing on 15 January. The Sunday Roast is always popular so keep your eye out for the next one. There are also consideringone or two other activities and, when these are confirmed, you will be informed.

We regularly hold live entertainment and special events, details of which can be found on our noticeboards and Facebook.

If you would like to speak to any of the committee about any issues, suggestions or, even if you are willing to volunteer, please contact me.

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