Downend Voice June 2024

Page 1

A teenager from Mangotsfield took time out from her GCSE preparations to compete in a world championship for cheerleaders – and came home with a trophy.

Full story: Page 3

A SCHOOL that has been open for 74 years is to close in the summer as it is "no longer financially viable".

Gracefield School is an independent preparatory school for children aged four to 11, based in Overndale Road.

The school's owners said in a statement that


"falling pupil numbers, the challenging economic outlook and pressures from the cost-of-living crisis have meant that it is no longer financially viable for the school to operate".

The school will close at the end of the summer term, on July 12.

Turn to Page 3

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Keycutter Peter shuts up shop

Peter Reiss, who has run Express Key and Locksmith Services in Staple Hill High Street for 35 years, has retired.


Roll up for 2024 festival fun

The 32nd Mangotsfield Festival will take place at Pomphrey Hill on June 8 thanks to a £5,000 grant from Emersons Green Town Council.


Nurses go Dutch for charity ride

Two Bristol Children's Hospital nurses from the Downend area are cycling from London to Amsterdam to raise money for the hospital charity.


Craig Anthonys Tel: 01179 571551 1 Willow Centre, Downend Road, Downend
Ava takes on the world
School to close after 74 years

Ava shines in world cheerleading contest

A DOWNEND School student picked up a medal as her cheerleading team secured a podium finish in a world contest.

Ava Morgan, 16, took time out from preparing for her GCSEs to head to Orlando in Florida for the 2024 Cheerleading Worlds, a contest that pitted them against teams from across the globe at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World.

Mum Tracey said it was the latest achievement in 10 years of cheerleading for Ava, who lives in Mangotsfield.

Ava's team, Ladies of the Crown, won bronze in their division, International Open Senior level 6, behind two Canadian teams.

The team is part of Gymfinity, a club in Tredegar, Wales, where Ava trains twice a week, and Tracey said they were the first Welsh team to win a Cheerleading Worlds globe trophy.

Tracey said: "Ava has been involved in cheerleading since she was six years old.

"She started with a club based in Downend, called Starlight Cheer Squad, and her love of the sport grew from there.

"Over the years she has

moved clubs to enable her to develop as an athlete and this is why she now trains in Wales - there are very few clubs that compete at level 6 in the UK."

It is the third time Ava had been to the Cheerleading Worlds. Last year she represented Team England as well as her club, and competed in the All Girl Premier division.

Ava said: "I felt very proud to be able to compete at this level on a world stage. The hard work that the team has put in over the past year paid off."

Tracey was out in Florida for a week to support Ava and her teammates, who were in the US for two weeks, including training ahead of the competition.

She said: "It was a great experience. I feel very proud of Ava and all that she has achieved. I’m always amazed when I see Ava and her team perform."

With GCSEs looming, Ava took school work so she could revise between training sessions.

Tracey said: "It was quite a tricky balance, to be honest!"

Downend School head teacher Linda Ferris said: "It really is an amazing achievement and we're so proud of her."

Final term for Gracefield School

From Page 1

Gracefield opened in 1950, and has been run by the current owners, Elizabeth and Ivan Morgan, since 2002.

The school, which charges fees of £2,427 per pupil per term, has been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted in six consecutive reports, most recently last summer, when inspectors said many pupils "use the word ‘fun’ when they describe school".

It has 65 children on its roll, with 18 members of staff.

Mr and Mrs Morgan said they had hoped to be able to find new owners for the school but had been "unable to find a viable option that could secure the school's future", despite years of efforts.

Mr Morgan said: “It is widely recognised that the last few years have been very difficult for most independent schools across the UK.

"Navigating inflationary costs and continually reducing numbers of pupils is a significant challenge facing the entire education sector.

"The Covid pandemic put

an additional burden on school budgets, however I am proud that Gracefield remained open to pupils throughout, in addition to offering an excellent remote service to all its pupils.”

Mr and Mrs Morgan say their main concern now is "ensuring that every child's educational journey continues as smoothly as possible".

Mrs Morgan said: “We are working with local authorities and other independent schools

so that parents can make the right choices for their children and we will be liaising with parents throughout the process.

"We are also fully committed to supporting our dedicated staff members during this period of transition and will do our utmost to assist them in securing new roles where they will continue to make a positive impact on the lives of young learners."

The owners said the schools' senior leadership team would talk to pupils about the closure

and look after them "with compassion and understanding over the next few months and beyond".

Mrs Morgan said: "As we navigate this challenging time, we remain steadfast in our belief in the resilience of our school community.

"We are extremely proud of the countless students who have graced our classes and are immensely grateful to everyone who has been a part of Gracefield School’s 74-year journey."

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Liz Morgan at Gracefield School Ava Morgan with her bronze medal and her team's trophy


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Two taken to hospital

TWO people were taken to hospital with head injuries after a latenight assault in Staple Hill High Street.

Avon & Somerset police cordoned off an area of the High Street near the Victoria Street/Soundwell Road crossroads for several hours after the incident, which happened at around 1.45am on May 4.

A spokesperson said: "Two people were taken to hospital, both with suspected head injuries. Enquiries are ongoing to understand the circumstances of the incident.”

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Anyone with information should call 101 and quote the crime reference number 5224 113 679.

Boy hurt outside shop

POLICE say they are investigating an incident in which a 12-year-old boy was pushed to the ground and hurt by a man in an "altercation" outside a Mangotsfield shop.

Officers said the incident happened at around 8.30am on May 15 outside Tesco in St James Place.

A spokesperson said: "The young male received bruising and abrasions to his arm. Officers are grateful to a woman who intervened to help the boy. Statements have been taken and officers are following up positive lines of enquiry."

Men chased by youths

POLICE are appealing for witnesses after two men were threatened and chased along a street in Mangotsfield.

An Avon & Somerset police spokesperson said the men were chased along Almond Way by a group of around six people, before taking refuge in a shop in nearby Burley Grove.

The youths were wearing "sport clothing and jackets" at the time of the incident, around 3pm on April 23.

The spokesperson said: "This is thought to be an isolated incident and the individuals are known to each other.

"Two people, aged 17 and 19, have been arrested. They have been released on conditional bail and enquiries are still ongoing."

Anyone with information about the incident should call 101 and quote the crime reference number 5224 102 771 or contact the police online.

Suspect identified

POLICE say they have identified a man wanted in connection with an attack on a boy in Soundwell.

A CCTV image was released and shared online, including on the Downend Voice Facebook page, after reports that a child of around 10 years old, was being "strangled and pushed up against a fence in Soundwell Road", shortly before 7.45pm on March 22.

A police spokesperson said: "We're pleased to say thanks to help from the public, he has been identified."

Enquiries into the incident continue and the man had not been arrested as the Voice went to print.

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A member of the CONTACTS NEWS

Club wins £925,000 for new pitch

MANGOTSFIELD United Football Club can press ahead with work to replace the pitch at its Cossham Street ground after winning more than £900,000 funding.

The club and Mangotsfield & Blackhorse Sports and Community Association announced plans to replace the current uneven grass pitch with a new 3G all-weather surface, with new LED floodlighting and widening of the ground, last year.

The £1.2 million project already has planning permission but depended on outside funding to go ahead.

Club chairman Steve Brown said he was "thrilled" at the news that the scheme had been awarded £775,499 from the Premier League, Football Association and the government’s Football Foundation, with a further £150,000 joint award from the Premier League, making a total of £925,499.

Mr Brown said: "Huge thanks go to everyone at the Football Foundation and the GFA who have worked with us through this process. We’d also like to thank the Premier League.

"Of course, massive thanks go to all the players,

families and volunteers of all our partner clubs, Juniors as well as our local and parish councils over the last few years, who have given their time and have helped to raise the money that funds the balance.

"This is a huge investment into Mangotsfield and Emersons Green, which will not only create a great, modern arena for local non-league football in the area and secure the future of Mangotsfield United, but will also open up the facility to everyone in the local community, from all different ages, backgrounds and abilities."

Contractors Tiger Turf and McCardle are expected to start work on the project towards the end of June, and the club hopes the new pitch will be installed and ready for use by the end of November.

By that time the football season will be underway, and the club is asking to play its earlyseason fixtures away from home.

A fundraising page for public donations towards the project is online at project24.

Cop sacked

A POLICE firearms officer based in South Gloucestershire has been sacked for having sex in public places with a vulnerable woman.

Avon & Somerset police said PC Ross Knox exploited the woman, despite being told she suffered from mental health issues including bipolar and borderline personality disorder, and had been the victim of both childhood abuse and domestic violence.

A police misconduct hearing was told the married father, who had been an officer for 23 years, had sex outdoors with the woman at least four times while off duty, in 2022 and last year, and also sent her degrading messages and photos of himself in uniform and with his gun to encourage her to meet him.

Chief Constable Sarah Crew found gross misconduct proven and dismissed PC Knox without notice on May 17.

PC Knox will now be placed on a barred list preventing him from serving in policing or other law enforcement agencies again.

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Steve Brown and Glyn Ashton with some of the artificial turf

Labour wins police commissioner election

LABOUR’S Clare Moody has been elected as Avon and Somerset's Police and Crime Commissioner, narrowly defeating Conservative Mark Shelford.

Just over 300,000 people across the region voted on May 2 in the election to choose the person who will set the direction of policing and hold the chief constable to account for the next four years.

Ms Moody received 95,982 votes, 4,976 ahead of incumbent Mr Shelford, who had 91,006.

The Greens' Katy Grant was third and Liberal Democrat Benet Allen was fourth. For the first time since the post was created in 2012, no independent candidate stood in the election.

Turnout was just over 23% — down from over 30% in 2021, when the election was held on the same day as the West of England Metro Mayor vote.

This time the only place an all-out vote was happening at the same time was Bristol, where city

council elections were held.

The higher turnout in the city was decisive: Mr Shelford topped the poll in all areas apart from Bristol, where Ms Moody picked up almost half of her votes. The Bristol votes were also enough to take Ms Grant past Mr Allen into third place overall.

In South Gloucestershire, Mr Shelford received 17,528 votes

to Ms Moody's 15,192, with Ms Grant in third on 6,283 and Mr Allen fourth on 5,678.

The only other election in South Gloucestershire was a byelection in the New Cheltenham ward. Labour's Angela Morey retained the seat vacated when Sandie Davis resigned for health reasons in March, with a majority of 248 over Conservative Kelly Cole.

Speaking at the declaration, Ms Moody said: "The priorities that I have are those that I campaigned on, which is about neighbourhood policing, it is around reducing violent crime, and that is particularly knife crime and violence against women and children. And it is also building that crime prevention that saves people from having to suffer from crime in the first place."

Chief Constable Sarah Crew, who attended the election count, said she was "really looking forward" to working with Ms Moody but was also "really

grateful" to Mr Shelford for his work with her.

Mr Shelford did not speak at the count but later sent a message thanking supporters, and wishing Ms Moody "every success".

He said: "I'm proud of my achievements in the last three years and have worked with some amazing partners across Avon and Somerset Police and beyond."

South Gloucestershire Council says it was investigating four complaints from electors that postal votes had not arrived in time.

Overall result:

Clare Moody (Labour) - 95,982 Mark Shelford (Conservative)91,006

Katy Grant (Green) - 64,623

Benet Allen (Liberal Democrat)45,864

PCC column: Page 28

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Clare Moody

Council defends common work

A TOWN council has explained why it sent in workers and a digger to clear an area of Rodway Common where BMX jumps had been built.

Emersons Green Town Council, which is responsible for the upkeep of the open land, said the wooded area, which has been used by young people for bike tracks for many years, had become a "significant risk".

The levelling of jumps and pits in May was criticised on social media, with one resident saying: "The kids have worked so hard over the years building these tracks, and what harm are they doing but having fun?"

However other residents said the amount of litter being left was "disgraceful".

Town council environmental services manager Paul Kearsley said problems included "large excavations" of earth, structures being built, branches being cut down, littering and fires.

He said: "They could plausibly cause an injury to somebody falling due to them, bearing in mind that some users of the common land may be very young or infirm, and they also pose a risk to the cyclists using them themselves, for which we are

not insured.

"We would be failing in our legal duty and moral duty to members of the public not to deal with it."

Mr Kearsley added: "Aside from the aforementioned issues, BMX cyclists are welcome to enjoy Rodway Common and the natural undulations of the ground.

"The council is also keen to involve young people in the planning for facilities in the future.

"Previously when this exact issue occurred, we reached out and engaged with the cyclists involved so we can make sure they can continue to enjoy their activities legally and safely, and we would be very happy to do so with this new crop of aspiring BMXers."

The town council is encouraging anyone interested in "representing the views of young people in the area" to get in touch, and can be reached by email at uk.

Head leaves

THE head teacher of Frenchay Primary School has resigned after seven years in charge.

Katherine Marks led the school as it moved to its new home in Alexander Road in 2022 as well as for its most recent Ofsted inspection, where it was rated 'good' by the regulator.

Confirming Mrs Marks's departure "with great sadness" in May, acting head Michael Backett said: "After seven years of dedicated service to our school, she has decided to pursue new opportunities and challenges.

"During her time as Headteacher, Katherine has been a driving force behind many positive changes and advancements within our school community. She has been instrumental in moving the school forward and was especially key in the move to the new building. We wish her the very best in her future endeavours and know that she will continue to make a positive impact wherever she goes."

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A hut built near the bike tracks on Rodway Common

NATIONAL Highways has revealed a glimpse of what the replacement for the Badminton Road bridge over the M4 could look like.

The government agency, which is responsible for the crossing, closed the existing bridge in July last year after engineers found "structural failures" during a routine inspection.

The bridge by the Wick Wick roundabout, which carried the A432 between the Avon Ring Road and Yate, was being used by around 16,000 vehicles a day when it closed. Around 87,000 vehicles a day pass underneath it on the M4.

National Highways say the new bridge will be what is known as an "online replacement", following a similar alignment and footprint to the existing bridge.

It says this is "the quickest and most economically effective option for replacement" as it uses the same land as the current bridge, with less planning red

First look at new M4 bridge

tape and consultation, less disruption and less impact on surrounding woodland than other options.

The agency says: "Pedestrian and cycling facilities will be much improved, with wider shared footways and higher parapets."

National Highways has now

carried out two of three planned closures of the M4 linked to the current stage of work, with the last one due on June 13, from 9.30pm until 6am.

There will be further motorway closures in the autumn and winter, as utilities like pipes and cables currently in the bridge structure are rerouted

under the motorway before the bridge is demolished.

Pedestrians and cyclists are currently still able to use the bridge.

For more information on the bridge and diversions, visit and BMRclosure.

MP's Hambrook lights call sparks row

DOWNEND'S MP has called for an end to the "intolerable" delays caused by traffic restrictions at the Hambrook traffic lights.

Jack Lopresti has joined Conservative councillors representing wards near the A4174/B4058 junction to call on South Gloucestershire Council to either reverse or rethink the restrictions.

They say they are backing residents who have signed an online petition, which has gained around 4,000 supporters, calling for the changes – which divert traffic heading towards Winterbourne around the M32 roundabout – to be reversed.

But the Liberal Democrat council cabinet member in charge of infrastructure says it is "ridiculous" that the Tories are demanding changes to arrangements they introduced when they were still in charge of the council in 2019, at the insistence of a Conservative government.

Mr Lopresti joined with Tory councillors representing Frenchay and Downend, Winterbourne, Stoke Gifford and Emersons Green wards to call for a rethink.

The online petition calls on

the council to either reinstate the right turn from the Avon Ring Road towards Winterbourne, and allow traffic to drive straight across from Frenchay to Hambrook, or to "provide a viable alternative route".

Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Mr Lopresti said: "The situation at Hambrook junction is intolerable and creates inconvenience for local residents and visitors alike.

"I have experienced this myself, and many constituents have got in touch to voice their frustrations, too.

"That is why I will be petitioning the House of Commons and the government to urge South Gloucestershire Council to restore the junction to how it used to be, before these measures were taken."

Frenchay and Downend councillor Liz Brennan said: "While I accept that the right hand turn restriction was initially introduced in order to improve air quality, the increased journey times that have resulted mean we risk pushing the problem elsewhere.

"We need a better solution that works for all residents."

Council cabinet member

Chris Willmore, part of the Lib Dem/Labour administration which took over when the Tories lost power last year, said the restrictions were put in place almost five years ago "following a direction from the Secretary of State" to tackle pollution at the junction.

She said: "It is ridiculous that councillors and MPs are calling for the council to change something set by the government in Westminster.

"The previous administration was unable to provide alternative solutions that would enable this layout to be changed."

Cllr Willmore said that to revert to the previous layout the council had to provide "two years of compliant data" for the government’s Joint Air Quality Unit to consider.

But she said the government refused to accept figures from 2020-22 because of the effects of the pandemic on traffic.

Cllr Willmore said that even then, changes at the junction will only be allowed if the council can prove they would not make air quality worse – and the government might even insist on waiting for data from after the reopening of the A432

Badminton Road bridge, in 2026.

She said: "The council has challenged the situation and been told that the bridge closure does not provide any justification to bypass the statutory direction.

"I have every sympathy with residents and businesses struggling with difficult journeys whilst the A432 bridge is closed, but I also have sympathy with people who are worried about the quality of the air they and their children have to breathe.

"This situation is not of our making but we will strive to find ways to help."

A council spokesperson said the Joint Air Quality Unit had been given 2022 and 2023 air quality data and an assessment report would be published later this year to see if the area's roadside nitrogen dioxide pollution levels were within the annual average legal limit.

Moorend resident Angie Gay, who set up the online petition, said: "It must cause more emissions travelling all the way down through five sets of traffic lights! It’s inconvenient and stressful."

The petition can be found online at

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High Street stalwart Peter shuts up shop

ONE of the stalwarts of Staple Hill High Street has retired, after running the same shop for 35 years.

Peter Reiss took over Express Key and Locksmith Services, next to the Portcullis pub, in 1989.

The shop, which opened in the late 1950s or early 60s as Devon & Exeter Shoe Repairs, finally closed its doors in May, and is now set to be refurbished, along with the accommodation above, by new owners.

Pete, from Fishponds, turns 75 in June.

He cut his last keys as customers came in to wish him the best for the future, after a career in the trade stretching back to 1964.

Pete acknowledges he is seen as a "bit of a character" by the customers, and is known for his straight talking.

He said: "I don't beat about the bush!"

Pete left Connaught Road School in Knowle West in 1964, aged 15, and started working for

Devon & Exeter Shoe Repairs in Fairfax Street in the city centre before a two-year apprenticeship with Lennards, who were based in North View, Staple Hill.

Pete said: "My dad was a bricklayer and told me to get a job indoors.

"You started off as an apprentice benchman, shining on the polishing machine, and stayed on that job until you could do it with your eyes shut, then you went up to repairing. The top of the range was if you could

Charity shop closing early

CHARITY Young Lives vs Cancer is closing its Staple Hill shop in June – six months earlier than originally planned.

The charity first announced plans to close its entire chain of 13 shops a year ago, and the Downend and Fishponds stores are among those that have already shut.

The Staple Hill High Street shop, which currently employs two members of staff and has 14 volunteers, is one of six that are still open.

It was originally supposed to close when its lease ran out in December of this year but Young Lives vs Cancer has now brought the closure date forward, to June 29.

A spokesperson for the charity said: "We laid out an initial timeline of closure dates for each of the shops last May, and as that has progressed we have adjusted some of the dates to ensure we are maximising charity resources."

Young Lives vs Cancer was formed in 2005 from the merger of Bristol-based CLIC and another children's cancer charity, the Malcolm Sargent Cancer Fund for children, and was known as CLIC Sargent until 2021.

CLIC was set up by Frenchay businessman Bob Woodward after he lost his 11-year-old son Robert to neuroblastoma in 1977.

He founded the shops to help fund CLIC's ‘Home from Home’ service, providing free accommodation for families of young cancer patients in hospital.

The Staple Hill shop has been open since 1990.

It will continue to take donations until June 14.

When it first announced the closure programme last year, Young Lives vs Cancer said the shops generated a net income of around £450,000 in 2022, but this was "a lower return on investment than the charity can achieve through other income-generating activity".

Head of retail Sarah Wilsher said the decision "wasn’t an easy one" and the charity was "incredibly grateful" to its staff, volunteers and the local communities who had supported the shops.

work the outsole stitcher."

After Lennards closed their repair department, Peter returned to Devon & Exeter Shoe Repairs and worked in Bedminster before moving to a branch in Fishponds, in the building now occupied by the Olive Tree restaurant.

From there he was offered a pay rise to take on the Staple Hill shop, which had become an Express branch, and spent the rest of his career there.

Over the years Pete has turned his hand to "all sorts of bits and pieces", including locks, saddlery and zips.

He said the key to continuing in the trade was building up customer loyalty, and said the business had many long-term customers over the years.

Pete joked: "The customers will miss me more than I miss them!"

He said the biggest change in the trade was in footwear, which was now seen as more disposable and was also trickier to repair, due to the amount of plastics involved.

Pete said: "Years ago, people would spend £10 to repair shoes which had cost them £20. Now people will buy a pair of trainers for £125 but they won't pay £25 to have them repaired.

"It's a bit like TVs and washing machines, they're made so cheaply that if your telly goes wonky, it's probably cheaper to buy one that's better than the one you've got."

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Peter Reiss cutting one of his last keys on closing day
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Grant saves festival

THIS year's Mangotsfield Festival has been given the final go-ahead, thanks to a grant from Emersons Green Town Council.

The 32nd annual village festival will take place on Saturday June 8 at Pomphrey Hill, on the North Field, off Johnson Road.

It will start with a parade from the green outside the Lamb Inn, leaving at about 10.15am for the festival site, where an opening ceremony will take place at 11am and events will run until 8pm.

The festival will feature live music, song and dance, a dog show, a 'kids zone' dedicated to children's activities and a wide range of stalls, including food and drink.

The main arena will host acts from local schools, dance clubs and musical groups in the day before music acts the Kris Knock Big Band, Liquor and Poker and The Soul Destroyers take over from 4.30-8pm.

Ross Janes, from the Mangotsfield Festival Planning Committee, said: "Last year was a triumphant return for the Mangotsfield Festival and all of us are keen to ensure this year's festival equals if not exceeds what we achieved last year.

"A huge thank-you must go to Emersons Green Town Council for the substantial £5,000 grant they have given us this year. Without these funds the festival was at real risk of being called off."

Ross said last year's move to the North Field – which is historically part of Mangotsfield but within the town council's boundaries – meant organisers couldn't charge an entry fee to help meet the £16,000 costs of the event.

Instead they are calling on everyone who attends to make a donation, with a suggested amount of £3 per person.

Ross said: "If the local community want us to keep holding the festival we really do need their support."

More details are available at, with stallholders invited to email and volunteers

Flower show is back

ORGANISERS of this year's Frenchay Flower Show say it will be "bigger and better than ever" when it returns for only the second time in five years.

Last year's show had to be cancelled at very short notice after a severe weather warning, ahead of strong winds that could have made the marquee on Frenchay Common unsafe.

Thousands of visitors attended the event in 2022 when it returned after the pandemic, and organisers are "keeping everything crossed" for good weather for this year's event on July 13.

Show secretary Karen Morrison said: "This year’s show promises to be bigger and better than ever, with over 60 stalls, more entertainers, new food outlets, classic cars, alpacas and exhibits in the show marquee.

"The Friends Meeting House, Unitarian Chapel and Parish Church will all be open as usual, hosting more displays and exhibitions and of course the legendary cream teas from the WI will be in the Village Hall.

"Roads through Frenchay will be closed for the day, with free parking available on the Village Green."

One change for this year's event is that entries to the show's hundreds of competitions must be made in advance.

Classes, from fruit and veg – including 'longest rhubarb' and 'ugliest vegetable' - food and flower arranging to art and photography, with separate sections for children, families and groups to enter.

Entries are free and can be made at the new show website, www.

People who are not online can pick up paper entry forms at Frenchay Museum, which is open on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

The closing date for entries is July 10.

11 Downend Voice June 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 NEWS

A SECOND World War veteran who served with an elite unit has died, five months short of his 100th birthday.

Frederick McKinnon, who was known as Jack or Mac to friends and family, was a driver with the Long Range Desert Group, an Army reconnaissance and raiding unit best known for its work transporting SAS soldiers behind enemy lines, which earned it the nickname the Desert Taxi Service.

Jack served with the unit in Egypt, Italy and Yugoslavia.

After the war he returned to Bristol and ran his own building business, became a "devoted" member of the Downend Lodge of Freemasons and lived in Fishponds until his death in April, aged 99, from a lung disease.

Jack was born in Staple Hill and grew up in a house on the High Street, along with a brother and two sisters.

He attended Speedwell School, but daughter-in-law Jenny McKinnon said he was eager to work from a young age, running errands for local businesses, and "didn't get to school very often, as he was busy earning money".

Jack worked for radio and TV business Rediffusion before volunteering in 1942, aged 18, joining the Royal Corps of Signals, and training as an expert driver. He volunteered for the LRDG and arrived in Egypt in 1943, towards the end of the North Africa campaign.

The group then operated in Italy, which took Jack to Naples and Rome, before pushing into Yugoslavia, often navigating in enemy territory, without maps.

As the war ended in 1945, the LRDG was disbanded and Jack spent time in the Army Air

Veteran Jack, who served in elite Army unit, dies aged 99

Corps, before returning to the 'Siggies'. He spent time guarding high-ranking Nazi prisoners in Germany and served in Palestine before he was demobilised in 1947.

He later told fellow Freemason Dick Smith: "I just consider myself lucky that I got through it all unscathed."

The LRDG featured in the hit BBC drama SAS Rogue Heroes, about the early days of the SAS and its founder David Stirling.

Jenny said Jack knew Stirling and watched the series when it aired in 2022, adding: "He used to like watching it, so it can't have been that bad!"

She said he was "very reserved" when it came to discussing his wartime service, including when BBC researchers came to interview him.

Jenny said: "He didn't speak

a lot about his Army days, he was secretive that way, but I know he was under fire a lot and did parachute in to various places."

After the war Jack built a building firm, McKinnons of Bristol, from scratch before retiring aged 59 due to back problems.

He met wife Barbara at a dance in Pucklechurch and the couple had one son, Adrian, who died in 2002, three granddaughters and six greatgrandchildren.

Jack joined the Freemasons in 1978 and was a member of the Downend Lodge, rarely missing a meeting. He also attended Downend's Tyndall Lodge and visited others based in Stapleton and Avonmouth.

He was also a chairman of a 'court' of the Ancient Order of Foresters.

Barrie Burgess, from the Downend Lodge, said: "Jack was a very modest man, who made no great show of his achievements, always polite and always helpful.

"He had a mantra which was ‘I can, I must, I will’ and for as long as he could, he would and he did."

The masons supported his granddaughter Aimee through university after her father's death.

Jack and Barbara used to take the bus from Fishponds into Broadmead every day to visit the M&S cafe and he continued to visit after Barbara passed away in 2021.

Jenny said that when M&S closed in 2022 he "transferred his allegiance" to Morrisons' cafe in Fishponds.

She said: "He would take his buggy down there every day for lunch – they were going to do a party for his hundredth birthday."

Jack and Barbara lived in Mayfield Park North before moving to a house he had designed and built himself in Poplar Place, off Lodge Causeway, where he continued to live with support.

Jenny said: "He was a very determined, independent man and a very special person."

Jack's funeral is being held on June 3 at 12.30pm at Westerleigh Crematorium –anyone who knew him is invited to attend.

12 Downend Voice June 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377 NEWS Microsuction and irrigation (syringing) Ear Wax Removal Service Call Sarah Hayward (Ear Wax Removal Specialist) on 07798608859 or visit 92 Westbourne Rd, Downend, BS16 6RF Ear Clear Bristol THE SOLUTION IS HEAR
Jack McKinnon in his Army days. Photo courtesy of Dick Smith Jack wearing his LRDG beret with its distinctive scorpion badge

David retires after 71 years in carpets

MORE than 70 years since he first started work, a Downend businessman is finally preparing to put his feet up.

David Gibbs first started work selling rugs and lino for the Coop in 1954, after leaving school aged 14 with no qualifications.

He struck out on his own as a carpet fitter in the early 1960s and built a business which became the Bristol Carpet Manufacturing Company, better known simply as Bristol Carpets.

Now ready to retire at the age of 85, David is now handing over to his son John, daughter Debra, nephew David and grandson Jake, who are among 30 people working for the business in Chapel Lane, on the Fishponds Trading Estate.

David says that over 71 years he must have sold "millions of yards" of carpet, but it is the people he is going to miss.

He said: "I still enjoy meeting people. We've built a very loyal band of customers – 90% of our business is with people who have been here before."

Born in Hanham, David went to school in Staple Hill before starting work at the Coop department store in Castle Street – one of the few shops still trading in the bombed-out area that was later levelled and turned into Castle Park.

After two years of National Service with the Military Police, he decided to set up his own

business in 1961.

David said: "I went back to my old job and thought 'I'm not going to stand this for the rest of my life'."

As carpets became more popular, David fitted them for several different shops, before making the move into selling them as a discount supplier.

From its first store in Church

Street, near Old Market, the growing family business moved to Chapel Lane for the first time in the late 1960s.

It branched out into manufacturing, buying carpet factories in Cornwall and Ireland before moving production to Crews Hole Road, St George, with 12 looms making Axminster carpets in the 1980s, and 200 employees.

The retail side of the business in Chapel Lane was sold to Haskins, but Bristol Carpets returned to the site, and to sales, in 2004, after moving out of manufacturing and selling the Crews Hole site for development, with the looms going to China.

After retirement David will concentrate on charity work which he does with a group of friends. They pick a different charity to support every year –this year it is the Great Western Air Ambulance charity.

But David won't be able to resist returning to the shop once in a while, saying: "I'll come in and stir them up a bit!"

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David Gibbs David Gibbs at Bristol Carpets' showroom

Restaurant boss Andy's nursing role

HE'S known to curry lovers as the friendly face of Staple Hill Indian restaurant Shadin, greeting diners and taking orders over the phone at weekends.

But for three days of the week Anwar Hoq – known to most customers as Andy – has a very different role, as a community nurse working for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.

Father-of-three Anwar, aged 52, has run Shadin for more than 26 years with friend and business partner Joynal Motins, known to most customers as John.

His second career is in no small part down to his wife Paria, who is a critical care sister in intensive care at two West Midlands hospitals and believed his people skills and caring nature were also ideally suited to nursing.

Anwar said: "My wife was on my case for a long time, so I decided to go back to college to retrain.

"It was daunting because I left school without any qualifications, but I completed a health and

social care access course at Sutton Coldfield College then did my Nursing degree at the University of Wolverhampton and started work in January 2023.

“I also received wonderful support from my wife, family and colleagues, which really helped."

Anwar, who lives in Birmingham, commutes to Staple Hill on Fridays and Saturdays to make sure things are running smoothly at Shadin and share football banter with customers – he is a huge Arsenal fan.

The NHS trust highlighted his work as a community nurse for International Nurses’ Day in May.

Anwar said: "Since qualifying in September 2022, I have loved every second of it and I have found my niche in community.

“I enjoyed my time on the wards as a student nurse but I was lucky enough to do a placement in the community as part of my training and I knew straight away this was the place

for me.

“On the wards, you treat the patients and they get better and go home, but in the community you are autonomous and you have that continuity of care which really sold it to me.”

The "superb" support of community nursing teams for him has been a key part of Anwar’s success.

He said: “In the last few years I lost both parents, so during Covid-19 I had the best part of a

year out, which was a traumatic time."

Anwar enjoys juggling his careers, with Joynal running Shadin during the week.

He said: "I’m a people person, so I love meeting people and get on with young and old."

One of his 22-year-old twin sons, Sami, is also set on a career in nursing, and is in his second year of a degree at Wolverhampton University.

14 Downend Voice June 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377 BRISTOL NORTH - 0117 373 8367 23 Badminton Road, Downend, Bristol BS16 6BB NEWS
Anwar Hoq, known as Andy to Shadin customers, in his uniform

Nurses' bike challenge

FIVE nurses from Bristol Children's Hospital are preparing for an epic cycle challenge to raise money for the hospital's charity.

Beth Shirt, from Downend, and Fern Jameson, from Emersons Green, are members of the team who will pedal 355 miles over four days, through four countries from London to Amsterdam in June.

They will be joined by three other senior paediatric nurses –Sarah Britton, Abi Parker and Liz Hagan – and parents of children who have received treatment at the hospital on the ride to raise money for The Grand Appeal.

Beth and Fern grew up in Frenchay and now work at the children's hospital together: Beth is the deputy director of nursing and Fern is a matron for oncology and adolescents.

Beth said: "We started commuting to work in Covid, when the roads were quieter, and have carried on cycling to work ever since.

"We see first-hand how the funds raised for our hospital charity, the Grand Appeal, make a huge difference to our patients and their families.

"This challenge is daunting and will be unlike anything we have ever done before, but as parents and nurses we want to support our local children's hospital by raising money for

Norville & Dobinson Opticians is an independent, well known and long established opticians in Downend.

We provide quality eye care for NHS & private patients, using the latest technology, and have a great range of stylish eyewear to suit all budgets in our spacious, modern practice.

To book an appointment contact our friendly team on 0117 956 0939

this amazing charity who provide medical equipment, family accommodation, music, play and art therapy and well-being support for our patients and families, from Bristol and across the South West, when they need it the most.

The team is due to set off on June 5 and arrive in Amsterdam on the 9th.

They will post updates on their progress via the nurses' JustGiving page, at tinyurl. com/3ep6pp8c, where people can also make donations.



A BEACON will be lit on Siston Hill as part of a national commemoration of the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

The event, organised by Siston Parish Council, will be one of 1,500 across the UK and Commonwealth on June 6, 80 years to the day after the start of the Normandy landings in 1944.

Starting at 8.30pm, it will include music from a Scottish piper and a 1940’s-style singing quartet, as well as a short service and lighting ceremony with parish council chair Andrew Stacey.

The beacon was erected on top of Siston Hill to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War in 2018 and was also lit for the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

Three days later on June 9, a D-Day 80 service of remembrance, organised by Staple Hill & District Royal British Legion, will be in Page Park from noon, with music from the Staple Hill Salvation Army band.

15 Downend Voice June 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 NEWS
Unit 3, The Willow Shopping Centre, Downend Road, Downend, Bristol BS16 5UJ
Sarah Britton, Abi Parker, Beth Shirt and Fern Jameson on a static bike ride as part of their training.


Tree Spectacles

CHOOSING the perfect pair of frames can feel like navigating a labyrinth of options, each one vying for your attention with promises of style, comfort, and durability. From considering face shape and skin tone to pondering frame colours, the decision can feel weighty, especially when we’re often stuck with this choice until our next eye exam!

965 4434

If you're on the hunt for frames that strike the perfect balance between a statement piece and being subtly stylish, you’ll want to consider TREE Spectacles – our latest frames boasting innovation and elegance –embodying everything you desire in eyewear.

Who are TREE Spectacles?

TREE Spectacles symbolise a modern, minimalist look, defined by their sleek form. Each frame incorporates contemporary aesthetics, crafted to showcase beauty through clean, sophisticated design.

One of the foundations of TREE Spectacles is evolution, not revolution – a powerful statement we at Turners Opticians can get behind. This ethos emphasises continuous improvement and refinement, rather than radical change, ensuring that each iteration builds upon the last, resulting in a timeless eyewear that endures.

Why TREE Spectacles?

Handcrafted with high-quality materials, the unique Italian designs add a touch of luxury to any look. TREE Spectacles’ use of innovative technical solutions and advanced materials puts this brand at the forefront of modern eyewear companies, taking inspiration from all over the world with a natural inclination towards beauty. These frames are bold and intriguing with unconventional colours that are sure to compliment any outfit.

More than just an independent label – TREE Spectacles is a brand that is visually captivating and durable, all whilst remaining stylish and fashionable – so much so that I’ve ordered a pair for myself!

Breaking the mould of traditional eyewear

What sets TREE Spectacles apart from other eyewear brands is the courage to experiment with different materials such as Japanese titanium and nylon hi-tech, each known for their durability and flexibility – a must for eyewear that stands the test of time. Each pair is carefully crafted to achieve the optimal blend of crispness, cleanliness, and timelessness, exuding sophistication every time you wear them.

Paired with our range of lenses including varifocal, precise colour tinting, and everyday lenses, you can enjoy bespoke eyewear that you love, tailored to your unique needs and preferences.

Need help choosing?

At Turners Opticians, we want you to look and feel your best in your new glasses. That’s why we offer a VIP personalised styling experience at both our practices, helping you choose the perfect pair to suit your style while ensuring you receive maximum comfort.

Call our Henleaze team on 0117 962 2474 or Fishponds team on 0117 965 4434 to find out more about our VIP-styling service or visit our website at for further information about our glasses range.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Peter Turner is an Independent Prescribing Senior Optometrist at Turners Opticians in Bristol, who also works as a Senior Medical Optometrist at Bristol Eye Hospital. Peter has a specialist interest in visual development and visual performance.

16 Downend Voice June 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377 ADVERTISING FEATURE
Peter Turner of Turners Opticians 0117 962 2474 0117

YOUR Community NEWS

Brought to you by

Chairman’s Message

It was lovely to see so many residents at our Annual Assembly on 18 April. For those of you who missed this event, Councillor Raj Sood offered plenty of refreshments and snacks, whilst Councillors Jacky Dockerty, Stephen Pick and Mike Richards provided a presentation about the new Local Nature and Climate Action Plan.

Councillor Ben Burton shared an update regarding the New Pavilion at King George V playing fields. It was a privilege to present awards to our Parish Champions. These individuals have done so much for our community in so many ways. The photos below show two of the Champions, Chris Bulton and Sheila Ottewell receiving their prizes. Many congratulations to you all!

Councillor Janet Biggin, Chair

“A SWIFT calling”

As we leave May behind and greet “flaming June”, we can delight in longer summer days that start with a dawn chorus of birdsong. As day draws to a close, their signature tunes drop us gently into dusk and balmy evenings. The call of the Swift will echo, along with the chatter of other sounds of nature, which signifies a restful, British summer evening.

Swifts are birds that spend most of their time in flight rarely touching the ground. They eat, sleep and even mate, in the air! They have an impressive flight speed of approx. 69mph which makes them fascinating entertainment.

These birds mate for life, returning to the same nesting spot each year to lay and incubate their eggs. Their family of fledglings will get up to speed quickly in readiness for migration, at the end of their U.K summer visit, back to Africa, until our Summer entices them back the following year. Sadly, the nesting areas are disappearing. The new styled, flush, sleek and modern houses and the renovations of old buildings, removing eaves and hidden spaces, means that they find themselves homeless!

The Royal Society for the protection of Birds (RSPB) have recorded a 62% decrease of the Swift population between 1995 and 2021, these birds are now on the red list as a threatened species.

This has been debated in the house of Parliament after a petition of over 100,000 signatures called for action to reverse the plight of these aerial icons. This resulted in the Government deciding this was a matter for Local Authority planning departments to consider measures to reverse the demise of these birds, our signs of summer.

The result has been positive in that numerous local authorities. across the country, have sought advice of specialist conservation teams and implemented a simple, cost-effective strategy that is urgently needed to reverse this potential disaster, made by modern life, architectural changes.

SWIFT BRICKS are hollowed out spaces that, when added to a building, offer refuge for Swifts to rest, recuperate and reproduce.

These bricks are ideally placed approximately 5 meters, or higher, above ground level, onto any building, out of direct sunlight. As a bonus, the bricks do not, generally, need maintenance or even cleaning. The bricks are available in a variety of colours and materials and are made to be an unobtrusive and affordable solution to the potential wipe out of a British summer icon. Prices range from £30 upwards depending on materials chosen and they are easily installed and can be self-fitted. D&BH Parish council are keen to join in with the SAVE OUR SWIFTS (SoS) trend that is sweeping across the country and we are promoting the use of SWIFT BRICKS.

The Local Climate and Nature Action Planning (LCNAP) group D&BH Council have agreed, along with the planning committee, that Swift Bricks will be requested when considering local planning applications. We hope to bring this to the attention of South Gloucestershire Local authority planning department. The local liberal democrat Councillor, Raj Sood, has shared our concern and supported the LCNAP group with promoting this simple innovation.

We hope all of our community will feel motivated to take small steps to protect endangered natural wonders, so summer memories are recalled as a being an audible delight of birdsong and beauty for generations to come.

Please email us to share your ideas and any photos of your Swift bricks

For more information about Swifts and Swift Bricks is available from the RSPB

If you would like to use the playing fields for business use, please contact the Parish Clerk for information or scan the QR code.


Downend Ward

Councillor Phillip Abbott 0117 957 0075

Councillor Janet Biggin 0117 957 6987

Councillor Ben Burton 07870 639 486

Councillor Jacky Dockerty 07963 841 270

Councillor James Griffiths 07988 775 028

Councillor Matt Pitts 07837 870 039

Councillor Mike Richards 07846 893 543

Councillor Raj Kumar Sood 07901 621 632

Staple Hill Ward

Councillor Dave Somers Tel. 07831 239 195

Councillor Stephen Pick Tel. 07584 425 242

Clerk to the Council

Mr Kevin Spratt

Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council

Parish Office, Downend Library, Buckingham Gardens, Downend, Bristol BS16 5TW

Tel: 0117 9567001



Councillor's MP bid

FRENCHAY & Downend

councillor Liz Brennan has been selected to contest the Bristol South seat for the Conservatives at the next general election.

Cllr Brennan, who has represented the ward on South Gloucestershire Council since 2021, will take on Labour's Karin Smyth, who had a majority of 9,859 at the last election.

Bristol South has been held by Labour since 1935 – the only seat in southern England outside London to have been continuously held by the party since that time.

As part of her role as a candidate Cllr Brennan accompanied Leanne Ekland, whose 16-year-old son Max Dixon and his best friend Mason Rist, 15, were stabbed to death near their homes in South Bristol in January, to Westminster to meet schools minister Damien Hinds.

Leanne and her friend Carly Kingdon are campaigning to introduce bleed kit-training and lessons highlighting the consequences of carrying knives onto the National Curriculum.

Afterwards Cllr Brennan said: "As a mother of teenage boys, I can’t begin to imagine what Max’s family has been through over the past few months, and my heart goes out to Leanne, Carly and everybody who knew Max.

"It was brilliant to meet the minister and hand our letter to ask that bleed kit training be rolled out across secondary schools at the earliest opportunity."

Mayor's Rees-Mogg rematch

METRO Mayor Dan Norris will bid to return to Parliament at the next general election – by taking on the man who unseated him in 2010, Tory MP Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Mr Norris was the MP for Wansdyke from 1997 to 2010, when the constituency was replaced by North East Somerset and he lost to Sir Jacob.

Now he has been selected as the Labour candidate for North East Somerset and Hanham, the seat replacing North East Somerset after another boundary change.

Mr Norris said: “It’s the place I care most about in the whole world. It's where I grew up."

He has lived near the village of Pensford for 25 years, and said: “I understand the communities. They are all very important to me and they see things in very different ways.”

Since 2021, Mr Norris has been the Metro Mayor for the West of England, which includes the area covered by the North East Somerset and Hanham constituency, as well as the rest of South Gloucestershire, B&NES and Bristol.

If he was elected as an MP again, Mr Norris said he would stay on as Metro Mayor at least until the end of his term of office next May.

The next general election must be called by the end of this year, so he said there "would have to be a period of overlap".

Mr Norris said: "I think it would be totally wasteful of taxpayers' money to have a by-election."

He said his main achievement as Metro Mayor was the Birthday Bus scheme, giving people free bus travel in the month of their birthday.

If elected an MP again, two major issues he would fight for are children's and animal welfare. Mr Norris was a child protection social worker before entering politics and is the chair of the League Against Cruel Sports.

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Liz Brennan (second from right) with Leanne Ekland and Carly Kingdon as they met schools minister Damien Hinds

Award recognises Ali's service

A MANGOTSFIELD shopkeeper has been given an award to recognise his "outstanding service" to the community.

Imran Ali has run the News Extra store in Burley Grove since 2003, and since that time has not only increased the services the shop provides to local people but has also given a helping hand to those in need, particularly during the pandemic.

Known to all his customers as Ali, the father of three runs the shop, which is open seven days a week from 7am to 9pm, with his wife and two members of staff.

Mangotsfield Residents Association has given Ali an award "in recognition of outstanding service to, and on behalf of, the residents of Staple Hill and Mangotsfield".

The award was presented by MRA chair Clive Heath and Staple Hill & Mangotsfield ward councillor Michael Bell outside Ali's shop in May.

Clive said: "He's a humble guy with a good heart, and does a lot of things for people.

"During covid, his shelves were always full and what he didn't have, he would get for people. He also donated to Mangotsfield's foodbank, which ran during lockdown.

"We wanted to show Ali that we really respect what he does for people – he richly deserves this award.

Katie's new role

STAPLE Hill & Mangotsfield councillor Katie Cooper is the new vice-chair of South Gloucestershire Council.

"He's a friend to many people. A lot of people use the shop who haven't got transport and for them, it's the heart of the community."

Ali has lived in the Bristol area since moving from Bangladesh in 1999.

He said: "I like to serve the local community. I have good relations with customers."

Ali said recently times had become "very difficult", with customers affected by the cost of living and a rise in shoplifting and violence, including a recent robbery at the shop.

Cllr Bell said: "With a lot of shops closing we want to support the local businesses we have in Staple Hill and Mangotsfield.

"It's important we have businesses like Mr Ali's and we want to give them all the support we can."

Cllr Cooper, who has represented the ward since 2019, was elected to the role at a meeting of the council in May.

The role is mainly ceremonial but also includes chairing some council meetings.

Bradley Stoke North councillor Franklin OwusuAntwi is the council's new chair. He has selected charity Gympanzees, which provides facilities to help children and young people with disabilities stay active, for fundraising activities during his year as chair.

19 Downend Voice June 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 NEWS LOSE THE HOSE! Ditch the water thirsty hosepipe this summer and save every drop in your garden. Visit our website for water saving tips and FREE gadgets. FREE water saving gadgets
Imran Ali receives his award from MRA chair Clive Heath and councillor Michael Bell
24 JULY - 1 SEPTEMBER Journey through the history of hot air ballooning, find out how hot air balloons are made, and enjoy a packed summer of family activities. In partnership with

Aerospace Bristol and Cameron Balloons to celebrate Bristol’s hot air ballooning heritage this summer

‘Look up! The Story of Hot Air Ballooning in Bristol’ will put hot air ballooning history on display, offer a behind-thescenes look at how hot air balloons are made, and give visitors the chance to enjoy a packed programme of family activities

From Britain’s first modern hot air balloon, the Bristol Belle, to the annual Bristol Balloon Fiesta and the incredible colours and shapes that decorate the city’s skies each August, Bristol is the home of hot air ballooning in the UK.

This summer, Aerospace Bristol and Cameron Balloons will celebrate that heritage with a temporary exhibition at the museum and a special programme of hot air balloon themed activities running throughout the summer holiday.

‘Look Up! The Story of Hot Air Ballooning in Bristol’ will give museum visitors the chance to discover how and why hot air ballooning took off in Bristol, find out how Bedminster-based

Cameron Balloons design and manufacture their amazing special shapes, and get hands-on with a range of hot air balloon themed activities.

Sally Cordwell, CEO of Aerospace Bristol, said:

"Aerospace Bristol tells a fascinating story of aviation achievements spanning more than a century, from the early days of powered flight to the supersonic Concorde and beyond. Thanks to this new partnership with Cameron Balloons, we’re excited to expand that story and celebrate hot air ballooning as an important part of our city’s rich aviation heritage.”

Jess Siggers, Marketing Manager of Cameron Balloons, said:

“Cameron Balloons are thrilled to be partnering with Aerospace Bristol this summer. Since our company’s inception in 1971, we’ve proudly created and built thousands of hot air balloons for pilots and operators around the world from our home of Bristol, born from the passion and vision of our founder, aeronautical engineer Don Cameron.

We’re looking forward to telling the story of Bristol’s ballooning heritage alongside Aerospace Bristol’s innovative ethos and

educational qualities, celebrating the boundless possibilities of aviation together and hopefully introducing the joy and excitement of ballooning to some pilots of the future!”

‘Look Up! The Story of Hot Air Ballooning in Bristol’ will run from Wednesday 24th July to Sunday 1st September. The exhibition and activities are included with museum admission and Aerospace Bristol tickets include free return visits for 12 months.



Mouth-watering flavours cooked to perfection Indian Restaurant & Takeaway

Repeated Evening Post 5 star reviews

Visit the Raj Mahal and enjoy our exquisite cuisine in delightful refurbished surroundings.

Visit the Raj Mahal and enjoy our exquisite cuisine in delightful refurbished surroundings.

Visit the Raj Mahal and enjoy our exquisite cuisine in delightful refurbished surroundings.

Conveniently located in Frome Valley Road, Stapleton (near to Frenchay village).

Conveniently located in Frome Valley Road, Stapleton (near to Frenchay village).

Evening Post 5 star reviews

Established for 30 years

for 30 years

Conveniently located in Frome Valley Road, Stapleton (near to Frenchay village).

Conveniently located in Frome Valley Road, Stapleton (near to Frenchay village).

Whether your looking for specific requirements or simply looking for something new, the Raj Mahal is able to tailor dishes completely unique to the customer.

Whether your looking for specific requirements or simply looking for something new, the Raj Mahal is able to tailor dishes completely unique to the customer.

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School puts on a show

CHILDREN at Blackhorse Primary School’s Performing Arts Club put in months of work to bring their performance of Aladdin to the stage.

The school's performing arts club rehearsed for eight months after school, and at weekends in the weeks leading up to the annual spring performance.

Head of school Neil Fry said: "The children showed such amazing personal growth whilst rehearsing for the performance.

"Several main characters used to be very shy, but now sing solos without a second thought.

"We also are incredibly lucky to have a team of staff who volunteer to work with the children in their own time to make these performances possible – we simply couldn’t do these amazing shows without their generosity."

Executive head teacher Simon Botten said: "We also have a fabulous PTA which has kitted out our hall with state-of-the-art sound, light and staging equipment, which means the children get to experience a professional performance environment."

College vision is praised

A COLLEGE with thousands of students across the region has been praised for its "clear and ambitious vision" for education and training.

South Gloucestershire and Stroud college (SGS) was rated 'good' overall by regulator Ofsted, with 'outstanding' ratings for its adult learning programmes and students' personal development.

The college, formed from the merger of Filton and Stroud colleges in 2012, has six main campuses from central Bristol to Berkeley and Stroud, with around 3,800 learners aged 16 to 18, the same number of adult learners plus around 300 14 to 16 year olds and 900 apprentices.

A team of 15 inspectors visited the college's campuses between January and February this year.

In their report, the inspectors said: "Learners and apprentices enjoy studying in the highly inclusive environment created by staff at all levels and in all areas of the college.

"Learners and apprentices are taught curriculums that have been thoughtfully designed.

"Leaders and managers have a clear and ambitious vision for providing education and training that contributes strongly to meeting the needs of local and national employers.

"Leaders consider carefully their local communities and demographics when designing and building curriculums that aim to empower learners and apprentices, enable social mobility and improve life chances."

College principal Sara-Jane Watkins said: "We are really proud of the judgements that Ofsted have made of SGS.They recognise the excellent work that staff across the college have made in their commitment and enthusiasm in delivering great education and learning for all of our learners.We are especially proud of the recognition that Ofsted has made of our many initiatives that we have developed to help so many of those disadvantaged in society.We want to make a positive difference to the lives of all those we support."

NEWS 22 Downend Voice June 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377

10k raises 7k in Tyler's name

RUNNERS who took part in the Bristol 10k in memory of a young man killed on the Avon ring Road have raised more than £7,000 to help bereaved families.

A team of 24 fundraisers took part in the race, part of the Great Bristol Run, on May 19 to raise funds for the Road Forward – Tyler Carley Foundation.

Tyler, who was 20, died in December when the lorry he was a passenger in overturned on the A4174 near Mangotsfield.

The former Mangotsfield School pupil's family set up the foundation in his memory to support charities that offer help to bereaved relatives.

The 10k was their first major fundraising event, and the runners had raised more than £7,000 as the Voice went to print.

Tyler's parents Gemma and Mark said: "We are overwhelmed by the love and support shown to us. "Every penny donated will go to helping families who find themselves in the same situation as us."

Donations can still be made online to the team's JustGiving page, at

New Kumon Maths and English study centre opened in Emersons Green

SARAH Nutchey, Instructor of the Kumon Bradley Stoke Study Centre, along with Sonya Willman, has opened a new Kumon Study Centre in Emersons Green Village Hall. Sarah, a qualified teacher, began her Kumon career in 1998 with around 12 students, and over the last 25 years she has nurtured more than 1,400 students through the Kumon maths and English programmes.

Sarah has been awarded Elite status numerous times as Instructor of Bradley Stoke Study Centre. To earn the prestigious Elite status, Sarah has developed students who are able to study ahead of their school level, working independently with excellent study skills, and has also nurtured students who are able to complete both the maths and the English Kumon programmes.

Forming a partnership with Sarah is Sonya Willman, a Kumon parent and accountant. Sonya’s six children have all studied the Kumon programmes and she brings valuable experience from a parent’s perspective.

Kumon Emersons Green Study Centre offers maths and English study, both paper-based and via KumonConnect, using a tablet. Classes currently run on Mondays after school as well as Saturday mornings. Assessments are free, and without obligation.

If you would like your child to build confidence in maths and English and develop their study skills, book a FREE maths and English assessment today at or call 07863 248994.

Furthermore, to celebrate the opening of the new Kumon Emersons Green Study Centre, you can save £50 with FREE registration at both centres until 30th June.

Kumon Emersons Green at Emersons Green Village Hall, BS16 7AP.

Emersons Green Village Hall , Emersons Way Emersons Green, BS16 7AP

23 Downend Voice June 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 ADVERTISING FEATURE Book a free assessment today
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Aya's gift of the gab

A DOWNEND School sixth-form student has won an award for her public speaking.

Aya Miller, who is in year 12 at the school, took to the stage for the 35th grand final of Bristol's Gabblers competition.

The event was set up in 1987 as a public speaking competition to give sixth-form students the skills and confidence they need to speak clearly and effectively at public appearances.

Downend students who take part compete against pupils from schools across the city, including independent Bristol Grammar School and QEH.

Gabblers are required to give three speeches prior to the final, with their final speech held at the Bristol Hotel, in front of an audience of over 200 people.

Aya was supported by Downend head of drama Charlie Scherp, who said: "Each speaker is given a topic on which they have to deliver a four-minute speech.

"Aya's topic was Best Sellers, and her brilliant and funny delivery saw her take third place."

Fairtrade visit

CHILDREN at two primary schools learned about the lives of farmers who grow coffee when one visited from Nicaragua.

Frenchay Primary School and Christ Church Junior School each had a visit from the Fairtrade coffee grower, who had travelled 5,000 miles from her home village, despite never setting foot on a plane or train before.

She talked to children about her life, including cooking by firewood and washing clothes in the local river, how coffee is grown and processed, and the impact of disease and climate change – Nicaragua is currently in the grip of a drought.

Children saw artefacts from daily life in Nicaragua, including coffee sacks and beans, a mosquito net and a hammock, and also learned how the Fairtrade scheme had helped the farmer improve her life, including supporting her children and grandchildren with school and employment.

The visit was organised by Bristol Link with Nicaragua, with support from Bristol and Bath universities.

Sun and snow on trips

ALMOST 60 Downend GCSE languages students had a chance to put their French into practice on a trip to Monaco and Nice.

The Year 10 pupils had a week’s stay at the Centre Méditerranéen d’Etudes Françaises on the French Riviera, just around the corner from the principality.

They combined morning French lessons at the residential school with daily afternoon excursions to Monaco town, where they walked along the pits of the Grand Prix circuit and visited the Oceanographic museum, and Nice where they took in the famous Promenade des Anglais. They finished the week by collecting language certificates.

The annual trip in April came weeks after the school's first ski holiday for more than a decade.

The school took 40 pupils from Year 8 to 10 to the ArtesinaMondole ski resort in Italy.

A mix of beginners and experienced skiers were on the trip, but all of them made it to the top of the chairlifts by the end of the week.

Science teacher and ski trip organiser Jenna Davies said: "Despite a few wipe-outs and a lot of sore muscles, it’s safe to say it was a fantastic trip for all staff and students."

24 Downend Voice June 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377 NEWS NEWS L LLOYDBOTTOMS chartered accountants 118 High Street, Staple Hill, BS16 5HH Local accountants, offering a friendly and personal accountancy and taxation service to individuals and businesses. Contact us now! — Free initial consultation Call - 0117 9573537 Window & Door Service I am a trustworthy experienced Tradesman specialising in maintenance and repairs to all PVCU, Aluminium and Timber Windows and Doors No Call Out Charge! Our repair service includes: • Broken Glass • Draughty Windows or Doors • Worn or Broken Handles • Patio or French Door problems • Misted Double Glazed Windows • Locksmith requirements • Security issues and much more . . . NEW REPLACEMENT WINDOWS AND DOORS SUPPLIED AND FITTED IF REQUIRED Give Dave a call for a free survey/quote FREEPHONE 0800 2461283 OR 07543 350223
Year 10 pupils in France Aya Miller with her award Christ Church Junior School pupils with their visitor

The family fun day at Christ Church Downend

THE May Bank Holiday weekend saw more than 40 volunteers from Christ Church Downend participate in The Noise – a range of youth-led community projects.

They joined with over 750 other volunteers from across Bristol to host events, where churches aim to show God’s love in practical ways.

Kicking off their endeavours on Saturday morning with rubbish clearance from the Bristol and Bath Railway Path, the local team took to the section between Staple Hill and Fishponds.

Noise raises community spirits

Among the many items retrieved were abandoned shopping trollies and a discarded traffic cone.

In the afternoon, the community spirit continued to shine as a free afternoon cream tea was put on in the main church building for senior citizens.

More than 140 people attended and were treated to quintessential jam and cream scones, accompanied by heart-

Busy summer for band

STAPLE Hill Salvation Army Band has been in existence for around 140 years and is as strong as ever.

Over the years it has given hundreds of concerts at the local centre in Broad Street, and travelled extensively throughout the UK visiting churches, concerts halls and other Salvation Army centres.

It takes part in the worship service every Sunday, which is available to view on the church’s YouTube channel.

You can also hear the band live on June 8 at 7pm, when they will be presenting a concert in the Broad Street hall.

The concert is entitled ‘Salt and Light’ and will feature a piece of music by that name conducted by the composer, Mark Feltwell.

Guest vocalist Loulita Gill will also feature a number of songs and several of the band’s members will play solos.

Tickets cost at £5 and seats can be booked by calling 07917 232788 or emailing

Further opportunities to hear the band will take place on June 23, July 14, August 18 and September 15 at the Page Park Bandstand, at 3pm each day.

Help finding work

STAPLE Hill Salvation Army is hosting a new initiative to help people looking for work.

The ‘Employment Plus’ service provides both advice, training and the tools needed to successfully navigate all that is involved in finding the right job.

If you are currently unemployed or seeking to get back to work this service may be for you.

Tailored support is available free of charge to assist with CVs, job searching, applications, interview techniques, essential training and more.

The service is available at the Salvation Army centre in Broad Street on a Tuesday: to book an appointment, call Tyrone Simpson on 07548 313767. Hilton Baker

warming musical performances courtesy of the church's youth group and their talented friends.

On Sunday, the youth group and their families planted hazel trees, replacing those lost in recent storms.

Finally on Bank Holiday Monday, the team put on a free family fun afternoon and barbecue at the church.

The event was a resounding success, brimming with laughter and fun as an estimated 300

people of all ages joined in with an array of activities, including face-painting, engaging games and the ever-popular giant bouncy castle, ensuring a memorable conclusion to a weekend dedicated to spreading love throughout the community.

Gary Smart & Diane Paddon Youth leaders, Christ Church Downend

25 Downend Voice June 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 NEWS CHURCH NEWS
The Railway Path litter pick

Park prepares for big weekends

PAGE Park is set to host three big weekend events in the coming weeks.

First up, on June 15, is the Bristol Refugee Festival Celebrate With Me event, which returns to the park for a third year running.

There will be free music, dance, food, henna and face painting, and activities all day from 11am to 4pm.

The event is organised by Melody Beard of the Park's Bean Tree Cafe, with South Gloucestershire Race Equality Network and dance and culture charity Movema, supported

by South Gloucestershire Council and the Friends of Page Park.

The following weekend on June 22 will see South Gloucestershire Armed Forces Day return to the park after many years away.

The event will run from 10am to 4pm and will give members of the Armed Forces, veterans and the local community the chance to come together to celebrate the work of Armed Forces personnel in the past, present and future.

Spokesperson Ian Campbell said: "The committee have been working hard with South Gloucestershire Council and the Friends of Page Park to bring back this much loved event.

"Visitors can expect stalls, fairground rides, military vehicles, entertainment and much more. There will also be a drumhead ceremony and parade of standards."

Anyone who would like a stand or to volunteer should visit or call 07802 535591.

Then on July 6 the park will host the Friends of Page Park 25th Anniversary Party in the Park, from 11am-5pm.

The event will celebrate the volunteer group's work to improve the park since it was founded in 1999 will be similar to the Platinum Jubilee and Coronation events held over the past two summers, although on a smaller scale, concentrating on music and food stalls, with some children's activities.

The line-up includes the Port of Bristol Shanty Crew, who will perform at noon.

Visitors to all events at the park are being

asked to walk to them wherever possible, to avoid congestion on its surrounding roads, which are on bus routes.

Photography competition deadline

THE end of June is the deadline for entries to this year's Page Park Photo Competition.

People are being invited to submit up to four pictures each, showing the park in one or more of the four seasons.

A cash prize of £125 is on offer for the winning photo, which will also take pride of place on the front cover of the 2025 Page Park Calendar.

The other pictures in next year's calendar will also be picked from among the competition entries.

Organisers say entries are already coming in but they are looking for even more people to take part this year.

Entries are judged by the Friends and a professional photographer, and pictures should not include any people in them.

Full details of how to enter the competition, entry terms and conditions can be found on the Friends of Page Park Facebook page and website, at

The closing date is June 30.

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The Port of Bristol Shanty Crew are performing at the Party in the Park

School's star travellers

A DOWNEND school is helping make the district the best in the country for 'sustainable travel'.

St Augustine of Canterbury Catholic Primary School has seen its rating under the Modeshift STARS (Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools) scheme raised from 'good' to 'very good'.

The rating recognises work being done to encourage families to leave the car behind on the school run and walk, cycle or scoot to school.

South Gloucestershire Council is now top of the 78 local authorities across the country registered for the scheme.

St Augustine's head teacher Mark Hilliam said: "We are incredibly proud of our ‘Very Good’ status.

"The children have been amazing at walking, cycling or scooting to school, alongside all the other Modeshift initiatives we participate in. Great thanks also to Miss Harvey who made this all possible."

Council cabinet member for climate Louise Harris said: “It’s an honour to be top of the Modeshift STARS league for large local authority areas. It’s an achievement which is down to our fantastic schools and the commitment and engagement of their amazing pupils."

Road resurfacing plans

ONE of the most potholed main roads in the district is set to be resurfaced as part of South Gloucestershire Council's highways maintenance programme for this year.

The council has published a list of roads where resurfacing work will be carried out over the next 12 months.

It includes the A4175 Station Road, which is used by drivers heading from Staple Hill to and from the Avon Ring Road and Kingswood. A stretch of the road between the Bridge Road and Anchor Road roundabouts, near the driving test centre between Teewell Hill and the Horseshoe pub on Siston Common, will be resurfaced at a cost of just under £457,000.

The programme also includes resurfacing work on Bridge Road and Manor Road, linking Station Road to Rodway Hill in Mangotsfield, at a cost of just over £60,000.

In Downend, stretches of Westerleigh Road between the Dibden Road and Westbourne Road junctions, and Westbourne Road between Beaufort Road and Valley Gardens, are due to be resurfaced at a cost of £32,000 and £194,000 respectively.

Surface dressing work in Shortwood, on Shortwood Hill, Main Road and Pomphrey Hill, will be carried out at a cost of just under £100,000. A traffic calming and 20mph extension scheme in Manor Road, Mangotsfield, is being planned at a cost of £57,000.

An area-wide review of parking in Downend & Bromley Heath Parish, including formalisation of disabled parking bays, is being funded to the tune of £15,000. There will also be work to improve footpaths on Lydney Road in Staple Hill.

Salisbury Gardens in Downend, which was highlighted in the Voice earlier this year after being patched multiple times, is not on the list for resurfacing.

The council recently said that the number of reported potholes had quadrupled last year, with more than 2,000 a month reported.

27 Downend Voice June 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 NEWS 0800 038 6733 The best home improvements are not ones you can see but ones you can feel Funded by the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority
St Augustine's pupils, head teacher Mark Hilliam and Louise Harris

I will be visible and accountable to you

IT’S a privilege to have been given the opportunity to serve the people of South Gloucestershire as your newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset.

My commitment to you was to be visible and accountable to all residents of Avon and Somerset, and I intend to fulfil this commitment now I have taken up this role. I will also be focused on the twin challenges of reducing crime and raising public confidence in our police.

I bring a wealth of experience to the role, gained from working across different sectors. I served as a Member of the European Parliament for our area, I worked at the heart of government in No. 10 Downing Street, and I was a trade union officer for over 20 years.

Prior to being elected to the PCC role, I was co-chief executive of an equality and human rights

national charity. These roles have given me a good understanding of how institutions work, and effective strategies for getting things done.

As your PCC, I will be tireless in speaking truth to power, calling out the uncomfortable, and above all, I will work to build a safer future for everyone. To do this, I will be working with community partners, police staff and police officers to understand and address the challenges we face – I am eager to roll up my sleeves and get to work.

In my time running up to the elections, the people of Avon and Somerset made their most pressing priorities clear to me. I heard that people want to see a greater connection to their local neighbourhood police and for their police service to address and reduce violent crime, particularly knife crime and male violence against women and girls. I also


Selective hearing

Have you ever felt the frustration of being ignored by close family, a friend or even your spouse? It might have felt as if they did it on purpose or were trying to ignore you. Have you ever wondered if they have selective hearing?

To start, an ear wax factoid: Ear wax is naturally antimicrobial. It acts to prevent bacterial infections of our ears, perhaps as our inner ears last line of defence against infection. What is selective hearing?

Scientifically, selective hearing is known as selective auditory attention, which is the ability to filter relevant from irrelevant acoustic stimuli. Rather than intentionally ignoring sounds or speech, those with selective hearing subconsciously choose to pay attention to a particular sound or voice and exclude other sounds. Why do we have selective hearing?

The ability to filter sounds is a crucial function our brains possess that allows us to concentrate on specific conversations or noises in an environment containing background noise. It is not usually an indication of a hearing disorder, but a complex process normally involving the frontal and mid aspects of our brains. Is selective hearing a bad thing?

This could well be a matter of opinion, as selective hearing is often referred to in a less than positive way. Now I’m not trying to join or provoke an argument here, more provide information to facilitate understanding! On the basis that selective hearing lets us continue a conversation or listen out for a tannoy announcement in a busy environment, I’m sure you’d agree that it can be a positive trait. A technological application of selective hearing is noise cancelling headphones - as I've written before, just remember to not have these too close to your ear drums or set too loud! When do you need to get a hearing or ear wax checkup?

If you feel that you have a problem unrelated to selective hearing, such as muffled hearing, sudden or gradual hearing loss, a stuffy sensation or ringing in the ear or dizziness then you should get your ears checked for wax buildup or hearing loss. You can now book an hearing care consultation with me, Debbie. I’m a fully qualified, registered and experienced Audiologist working at Turners Opticians in Fishponds. I’m passionate about people having access to clear effective hearing and being confident to seek further help where it is needed.

At your ear health consultation appointment you will have the opportunity to discuss any difficulties you are having with your hearing and then I can examine your ears and show you through brilliant technology, what your ears look like on the insides. If something doesn’t look or sound quite right with your ears, I’ll recommend a course of action for you.

heard how people would like prevention of crime to be a higher priority, for the police service and for others who run services within and for communities.

I am here to listen, and I am here to represent you. To do this, I need to truly understand how you feel and where you would like our police to prioritise their time and resources.

As I begin my term as your PCC, I will be getting out and about to hear from as many groups and individuals as I can across Avon and Somerset.

I’m also going to create a comprehensive Police and Crime Plan to address the evolving challenges in policing and to deliver lasting solutions.

I’m committed to actively listening to the concerns and priorities of residents – one way I will do this will be to run a public survey. The details for how you can take part will follow soon.

Please follow my office on our social media accounts for regular updates – you can find us on Instagram, X, Facebook and LinkedIn – search ASPCC.

I commit to being a PCC who stands for you, actively engaging with and understanding the diverse communities our police serve.

Please reach out to me and my office with any concerns or suggestions you may have.

For more information visit

So, if you have any concerns about your hearing or ear health - including your ears being blocked with wax, come along and see us for a friendly appointment to see how we can help you hear more clearly.

Debbie Campbell is a qualified and experienced Audiologist, who has joined the clinical team at Turners Opticians in Fishponds having worked for many years in NHS Audiology clinics.

28 Downend Voice June 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377
768 Fishponds Road Bristol BS16 3UA 0117 965 4434 Looking for Effective Ear Wax Removal?




“I NEVER fail to be amazed at the quality of artists that Downend Folk & Roots is able to attract”, enthused one local music lover on social media recently. That sentiment could surely never be truer than it is this month, as genuine folk royalty Nancy Kerr & James Fagan headline the June concert.

They are a duo that team behind the monthly concert series have been keen to book ever since the early days, an astonishing ten years ago, but the dates have never quite aligned … until now!

Nancy & James are one of the best-known and most experienced folk duos on the British circuit today. Outstanding musicianship, a lifelong grounding in traditional singing and instrumental playing, acclaimed original compositions but most noticeably a visceral chemistry between these two make them a perennial favourite at festivals,



THERE is something undeniably lovely about the quiet voice that has important things to say. On the first properly Spring-like evening of the year, two fantastic bands were gently insistent and spoke of the beauty around us. Christina Alden & Alex Patterson and The Lost Trades effortlessly showed the best of contemporary folk song.  Christina Alden and Alex Patterson have been playing together for twelve years and their natural connection is obvious. They also have a striking connection to nature itself, with animals, rivers and fens peeking their heads out repeatedly.

Their brand of folk spans continents, there's a hint of old timey Appalachia in Alden's banjo but Patterson's violin conjures sweeping English murmurations. When singing of their two-year old daughter, on Etta's Song, they are personal and tied to home yet

venues and clubs across the country. They met in December 1995, and formed the duo and life partnership that has become the backbone of their professional career in music ever since. They won the inaugural Horizon Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2000, and were also the first ever recipients of the Best Duo Award, which they won in 2003, and again in 2011.

The duo have toured internationally, most notably in the British Isles, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. They have thousands of fans and despite now having two children, they continue to work and tour constantly from

their home base in Sheffield. Their duo shows are now special and sought-after events… so it’s great to have them coming to South Gloucestershire!

Opening the evening will be David Mitchell, who describes his guitar playing as “folk-classical fingerstyle”, combining these genres to create a beautiful and unique take on some well known pieces as well as performing his own original compositions.

As well as being a talented musician, David is also a skilled luthier, usually playing a lovely nylon-stringed Classical Guitar that he crafted himself. David also plays

The Fox Song tells of a journey that spans miles. They are local and global, rooted in England, keeping an eye on the world.

Alden’s voice is gorgeous, it is pure, high and utterly infused with the world around her. She sings from the point of view of a 500-yearold shark on The Greenland Shark and tells tales of polar bears and foxes, reaching out from their environments and drawing people towards those animals. Her's is the heartfelt conviction of the gentle naturalist, the knowledgeable voice that needs to be heard.

Patterson's voice joins her for much of the evening, bringing lovely harmonies and confirming convictions. Time and again,

other stringed instruments as well as whistles and recorders.

Upon hearing David perform at Lyme Folk Weekend, Ralph McTell was heard to say, “I wish I could play the guitar like that.”

Tickets for the concert, which takes place at Christ Church Downend on Friday 21 June 2024, are available online via the website and from Melanie’s Kitchen in Downend (cash only). They are priced at £14 each in advance or £16 on the door. Doors open at 7.00pm and the music starts around 7.45pm.

There will be a bar, stocking cider, soft drinks, wine, hot drinks and real ale from locally- based Hop Union Brewery. Audience members are encouraged to bring their own glass/ mug/tankard, as well as reusable bottles for water, as part of the drive to be more environmentally aware; there is a 50p discount for those that do. There will also be sweet treats available at the bar courtesy of the Radstockbased Great Cake Company, as well as a prize draw, which helps to fund the support artists for each concert.  For further information, please go to or find them on social media.

the 1920s and allows Patterson's violin free reign, as does the sea shanty Blow Boys Blow. The spirit of bluegrass, of the freedom of mountains and valleys, of high adventure is thrillingly evoked. Even better is a wonderful cover of Fleet Foxes White Winter Hymnal. They play it because it's "enjoyable" but it's just glorious.

they involve the audience too, encouraging singing of choruses and, by doing so, they make this folk music communal, making us part of their natural fascinations. There's anger too, though. Patterson takes (quite polite) swipes at Tories who allow water pollution and the heartless Daily Mail, people who wantonly destroy the good that is around them. On Waterways, the banjo, the violin, the harmonies, the singalong all converge to create an acoustic, peaceful beauty that protests with far more authority than louder voices.

When Alden & Patterson look towards America lovely things happen. Bonny Blue Eyes is taken from an Ozark songbook from

The Lost Trades have the relaxed attitude of a team on home turf. Folk-y in the very widest sense, they combine soaring Fleetwood Mac-style harmonies with great songwriting and win over Downend hearts with ease. Little Blackbird, taken from their latest album Petrichor, sees Tamsin Quin, Jamie Hawkins and Phil Cooper creating sunshine-filled magic. Three songs about the loss of loved ones dominate their short set, with Long Since Gone being the standout.

The flutter of a heartbeat rhythm, acoustic gentleness, wonderful harmonies and a warming hearthug. Christina Alden, Alex Patterson and The Lost Trades may not be the loudest voices in the room but every single thing they say is worth listening to. Their love of everything around them is infectious and incredibly warming.

Words: Gavin McNamara

29 Downend Voice June 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169
Photos: Chris Dobson

STAPLE Hill and Mangotsfield Parish Council has launched a community grant scheme.

The council will offer financial support to locally-based initiatives and projects that "contribute to the well-being and vibrancy of the area".

Council chairman Ian Campbell said: "By supporting local initiatives and fostering community pride, we believe we can create a more vibrant, resilient, and connected community for all."

Applications are open with grants of up to £500 available for projects eligible including community events, environmental initiatives, arts and cultural programmes, youth activities, and projects for health and well-being.

For more information email clerk@staplehilland

The council holds its annual meeting at the Salvation Army Community Hall in Broad Street on May 30 at 7pm. The event will give residents an opportunity to meet councillors, ask questions and hear about the council's activities over the past year.

Astonishing interest in history walk

VOLUNTEERS from local history group CHAP were astonished by the level of interest in their recent history walk around Downend, which 55 people took part in.

Nick Smith, who led the free walk and shared stories of our area over the centuries, said: "What a phenomenal success!

"Our only problem was that so many people turned up, it was logistically challenging, both in terms of getting people around the streets and also having to shout sometimes to be heard."

CHAP, the Community History and Arts Project, has been running a slightly different version of their history walk for local secondary school students for the last three years.

We had been asked to put on an additional walk for everyone in the community.

The details were advertised in last month's Downend Voice, but we didn’t know how many people – if anyone – would show up on the day.

CHAP chair Janet Biggin said: "This was a 'toe in the water' to see how interested people would be, and I think we now know!"

The group intends to run further walks in future, taking into account the points learnt from this initial event.


Life-saving training

RUNNERS who attend the Pomphrey Hill parkrun learned basic lifesaving skills with Great Western Air Ambulance volunteers.

Organisers of the parkrun, which has been held weekly for ten years, decided to hold three training events in May following an incident in January, in which a member needed CPR and resuscitation with a defibrillator following a medical incident.

The runner is now recovering and has even been able to return to a parkrun.

Parkrun volunteer Meryl Grimshaw said: "These events were well attended and all those who took part have learned potentially life-saving skills they hope never to need to use.

"We would like to thank them for their time and support for our community."

For more information about the free parkrun event visit

CHAP also has plenty of other activities planned. Contact Janet if you’d like to get involved, at big., and keep an eye on the Downend Voice and the group’s website,, for further updates.

CHAP is a not-for-profit voluntary organisation that aims to produce a community history resource and create a coherent identity for Downend and Emersons Green, built around interesting or significant places, people and events from the past.

Established in 2018, we aim to bring history to life through arts, publications, music and events.

Even early summer temperatures can cause heat stroke, Dogs Trust warns owners Grant scheme launched

With over a third of households now shared with a dog, we have no doubt that people will be keen to take their dogs along to join in the fun. While most dog lovers will be aware that extreme weather and heatwaves can be dangerous for dogs - sometimes even deadly - many will be unaware that exercising dogs in early summer temperatures can cause heatstroke in dogs. In some cases, heatstroke can prove fatal. Most dog owners know not to walk or exercise dogs in extreme weathers, even these lovely early summer temperatures can cause problems, especially for those dogs with flat-faces or underlying health conditions. As owners, we need to know the signs that our dogs are getting too hot and help them take a rest and cool down when they need to. Some dogs aren’t good at self-regulating and may continue to run and play even though they’re hot and tired, which increases their risk of heatstroke. If you do spot the signs of heatstroke in your dog, take steps to cool them down and contact your vet

immediately. If you’re looking for expert advice and practical training to help you and your pooch

30 Downend Voice June 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377 LOCAL HISTORY with CHAP
n People crowd around on a stop in Badminton Road
understand each other better, find out more about Dog School Bristol on the Dogs Trust website.

Northern Lights over Downend Free event for carers

PEOPLE living in Downend and the surrounding area had a rare chance to see the Northern Lights above their heads, thanks to a rare solar storm.

The green, red, purple, pink and blue lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, are caused by ejections from the Sun disturbing gases in the Earth's magnetosphere, and are more commonly seen in the Arctic Circle, with northern Scotland usually the most likely place to see them in the UK.

But on the night of May 10-11 an extreme geomagnetic storm, caused by the approaching peak in the 11-year solar cycle, combined with clear skies overhead meant the lights could be seen late at night across the UK, including over Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

The lights could be more easily spotted using a smartphone or digital camera than the naked eye, as the lenses enhanced the colours.

Hannah Ryder took the picture above in Walkers playing


fields, between Leap Valley and Blackhorse Lane.

The lights are expected to be visible again in the coming weeks: experts say the sunspot cluster that caused the last display will be facing the Earth again around the beginning of June.

New bench for Leap Valley

LEAP Valley is a beautiful open space on the northern edge of Downend, accessed from Badminton Road near the Methodist Church, Aintree Drive or Bury Hill View.

It is a popular dogwalking area, and those interested in nature and wildlife will find it enchanting. The Friends of Leap Valley realised the need for another bench where the stone bridge crosses the stream.

This is a good resting place between the other seats in the valley, and also a lovely shaded spot under the tree canopy to relax, listen to the birds, gaze at the stream and watch people passing by, just like this lovely lady did.

We have to thank Downend Round Table for their grant to enable the purchase and installation of the bench.

The grants are awarded using funds raised from the Bonfire and Fireworks event that the Round Table run in King George V Playing Field in November.

The community will now benefit from their generous donation. For more information on Leap Valley see the Friends website at

Mary Lewis Friends of Leap Valley

A CHARITY is inviting unpaid carers and professionals supporting carers across Bristol and South Gloucestershire to a free event.

Carers Support Centre will hold its annual Carers Week event at the BAWA Leisure Centre in Southmead Road on June 13 from 10am-3pm.

The event will include practical information as well as a chance to meet with other carers, with sessions on befriending and counselling services, employment, palliative and end-of-life care, estate planning, powers of attorney and mental health support.

It will also include lunch, "free pampering" and a music therapy session.

Pre-booking is essential and can be done online at www. or by calling 0117 958 9902. For more information email comms@carerssupportcentre.

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Right: Sam McEwan captured the lights in Staple Hill


Free Legal Stock Take meeting

Trust Funds - Who do you trust?

Nowadays we all have so much life admin to sort out – it is easy for things to get out of date.

Setting up a Trust Fund may sound very “Downton Abbey” but it has become a device that can bene t so many people. And it’s no longer very expensive!

A FREE review meeting with our local, friendly team at Simpson Solicitors is like a Free Legal Stock Take meeting. Being a fully regulated law firm there is no pushy follow up as there is no obligation to instruct them. Just the peace of mind that you have received proper legal advice.

Usually they are set up in your Will and only take e ect when you die.

• So when you die, the gift in your Will (whether it is your home or savings or both) is not transferred directly to the person you want to bene t.

The Free Legal Stock Take meeting focusses on making sure your legal affairs are in order and if needed they can help you with a new Will or Lasting Powers of Attorney. It is all about making life as easy as possible for those that you care about - if you were to become seriously ill or die unexpectedly.

• Instead, the gift becomes “looked after” by the Trust Fund and managed by people you trust –appropriately called your Trustees – on behalf of the person you want to bene t.

Michelle says, “At Simpson

Solicitors we o er xed price packages for Additional Trust Protection to be added to our Wills. We will also help you prepare a Letter of Wishes to guide your Trustees and we then o er aftercare to help them.”

√ Checking any existing documents are legally valid: Checking your Will or Powers of Attorney are signed in accordance with the complex rules that apply, with advice to make sure they still reflect your current family arrangements.

Care Home Fees: A popular Trust Fund for couples is to protect the assets of the rst to die, so they do not get used up in paying Care Home Fees for the survivor.

√ Property ownership: Advice to make sure it’s owned in the best way to prevent problems. There is a £3 charge from HM Land Registry.

Vulnerable Person: Here the vulnerable person is not considered able to manage their inheritance – they may have special needs, disability, or an addiction. So, it is protected for them and released as and when needed.

√ Reviewing what you own: Making sure those you trust can find and are legally able to access your bank accounts, investments, and life insurance if you were seriously ill or had died.

√ Inheritance Tax and Care Home Fees: Applying the current rules to your situation with advice so your family don’t receive an avoidable bill for tax or care home fees.

Divorce or Bankruptcy of an Adult Child: This type of Trust Fund protects your child’s inheritance until it is safe for them to receive it - without leaving your family.

√ Free secure storage service: Offered for your legal documents and the information you might want your family to be able to access.

Children's Trust: Used where a couple have children from a previous relationship or might have further children with a new partner after one of them has died. The survivor can continue to live in the home, but the share of the partner who died is guaranteed for their children.

To arrange your Free Review meeting you can pop in to their Kingswood Office or email or call 0117 960 8594

Remember, they offer a FREE home meeting service if you find it difficult getting to their offices.

John says, “To nd out more about how a Trust Fund in your Will may help your family, please call us or email message@simpsonslawuk. com for a Free Review Meeting with advice in plain English.”

On your own: You choose who you want to inherit from you

Living together: Decide if and how your partner is protected Parent Wills: Provide for children & name Guardians to raise them

Later Life Wills: Protect inheritance from


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Hope in our loss

WE all experience significant losses which can cause us deep grief. Loss in bereavement, the loss of a job, or of our health, mobility, or independence. Maybe the loss of a close relative or friend who has moved away. The list could go on.

Last winter we got together a group of people in the church who have experienced bereavement and loss. For some their experiences were recent or ongoing, for others their loss happened many years ago yet continued to cause them pain. We used the book ‘For All Who Grieve’ by Colin S. Smith as a structure to our times together.

Throughout the book Colin uses the Biblical book of Lamentations help those who are grieving. To lament is to passionately express grief or sorrow. And so, we considered the importance of tears and talking – letting out the things within. We then thought about the guilt and grievances that we

can feel - the things we regret and our anger over apparent injustice or unfairness. And then we looked at the hope we can have even in our despair and the healing that can come.

As each person shared their story and their pain, the openness and honesty quickly bound the group together. We felt each other’s pain; cried (and laughed) together and encouraged and helped one another. So much so, that once the book was complete, the group expressed a desire to keep up these close connections. We have since met for a takeaway together and are now planning a time when we can share what we have leant with the rest of the church. Since we finished the book, there have been more bereavements in the church. We realise that people find it hard to know how to help those who are grieving, so we want to give some input. We also understand that everyone will at some point face significant loss, and so we hope

that sharing from our experiences may help people prepare for, and process, their own grief.

Maybe a question you have asked when you have experienced painful loss is, “God, do you care?” I want to assure you that he does. God so loved this world that is full of pain, sadness, and sorrow, that he sent his One and only Son to rescue us. He was born into humanity, Jesus experienced life in all it’s rawness. It was said many years before he came that he would be ‘despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.’ (Isaiah chapter 53 verse 3). The shortest verse in the Bible tells us simply, ‘Jesus wept’ at the tomb of a dearly loved friend. But Jesus came to bring and end to all tears, suffering and death. To do that he had to suffer horrendously in our place as he died on a Roman cross. Isaiah goes on to tell us, ‘But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.’ (verse 5)

I am writing this before I leave

for the Thanksgiving Service of a man who was my Youth Leader and that of many others in a Bristol church over 25 years. He was a fit 66-year-old avid cyclist, but cancer killed him. His illness and absence sadden me, and yet I know that because he trusted in Jesus who rose from the dead, Gareth has too – first his soul, and when Jesus returns – a new body in a new and perfect world with God forever. We can have great hope, even in our grief and loss.

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Fantastic to see Boeing expand in our area

ONE of my top priorities as your Member of Parliament is to promote local job and apprenticeship opportunities in our aerospace and defence industry.

I am proud to represent and area which is part of the largest defence and aerospace manufacturing hub in Europe.

The defence sector alone in our area employs around 30,000 people. Furthermore, the UK will increase defence spending to 2.5% by 2030, amounting to an additional £75 billion over six years – the largest Natodefence budget in Europe and the largest defence spending increase since the Cold War.

Further to that, Nato expects at least 20% of defence spending to go toward the development of new military technologies and equipment, with scope for related investment and more jobs in our area.

I recently had the pleasure of opening the new headquarters of Boeing Defence UK in the Bristol Business Park in Stoke Gifford, which employs 700 people locally in the defence sector.

It's fantastic to see Boeing continue to expand its footprint in our area.


From my own experience on operational deployments, I know equipment like Boeing’s Chinook and Apache make a life-saving and battle-winning difference.

This growing presence means more opportunities for local employment, including apprenticeships and other early career roles, for those who will build the future of aerospace and defence manufacturing right here in our own area.

It was an honour to welcome Defence Secretary Grant Shapps to DE&S Abbey Wood, where we met with excellent apprentices, Alice Bennet, Ryan Mills, Jason Venning and others. We saw a very impressive display, which included leading edge drone technology and stands from local defence manufacturers such as MBDA UK, all of which are not only helping to protect our own defence capability and national security but are also making a vital contribution to help our Ukrainian friends to expel the Russians out of their country.

The secretary of State and I also discussed our country's increasing contribution to the Ukrainian war effort and record defence spending here and his pledge to increase it even


In other news, I was delighted to visit Mrs Shepherd and year 5 who invited me to Holy Trinity Primary School in Bradley Stoke. I enjoyed meeting them all and we discussed Parliament, politics generally and the pupils asked some great questions.

Educating the next generation is so important. That’s why I am delighted at the news of the building of a primary and a secondary school in Lyde Green, which will provide muchneeded schools in that area, which so many local children can attend.

Over the May Day bank holiday weekend, I attended the Navarati Festival of Dance at Filton Folk Centre, organised by the Bristol Hindu Youth Forum on the Saturday night – a wonderful evening! On the Monday, it was fantastic to be at Winterbourne Down Village Carnival.

As always, should you need my help with anything, my office is open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm.

Please telephone me on 01454 617783 or email me at if I can be of any assistance or to book a surgery.

TEL 07854 177308

Group - St Augustines Church Hall, Boscombe Crescent, Bristol, BS16 6QR

Group times - Tuesday 9:30 am and 11;00am


TEL 07854 177308

Group - The Salvation Army 21, Broad Street, Staple Hill Bristol. BS16 5LN


TEL 07503 524459

Group - Lyde Green Community Centre. Thistle Close, Lyde Green, Bristol. BS16 7GW

Contact your local Slimming World Consultant and join a friendly and super-supportive group today!

Group Times- Wednesday 6pm & 7:30pm. And Thursday 9:30am


TEL 07886 443709

Group Times- Friday 7:30am, 9:00 am and 10:30 am

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Group Times - Tuesday 5:30pm and 7:00pm

32 34 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377
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Look out for our busy bees

IT'S that time of year again, where In Bloom is rather busy (is there any time we're not?).

By the time you read this we will have removed our lovely panolas, which have been flowering since last October – such a great plant that gives so much!

As always, we will have people asking why we have to take them out when they are flowering so well, but we need to in order to plant the summer displays.

This summer we have petunia, surfina, busy Lizzie, salvia, calibrachoa and begonia in our displays: we have a full list on our Facebook page.

Blaise Nurseries' delivery of just over 2,500 plants was due to arrive on the high street on May 23, at around 7am – an early start for us!

These have to be planted and watered, hopefully all on one day, so you may have seen us out in our high-vis jackets.

We always welcome help from anyone who can spare some time – please give me a call on the number below or, if you see us out working, ask for Jackie and we will put you to good use!

We work hard but always have fun.

One of the good things about volunteering for In Bloom is that you are not tied to a specific routine time to volunteer. A lot of our activities are ad hoc, and you can come

along to whichever activities you are able to.

Throughout the year we have clearing out and planting days, tidy-ups in the high street, painting days, working in the bee garden, making wooden items – lots of

different activities on different days. Basically, something for everyone: why not give it a try?

Back to our summer displays! As well as the floral displays this year, we will also have our bees to look forward to.

We have new bee and wooden flower displays on all of the poles, and you will also find wooden bee pictures popping up around the Downend and Bromley Heath area.

These bees have been painted by pupils from our local junior schools – Stanbridge, St Augustine's, Christ Church and Bromley Heath. Each school has held a competition to paint a bee picture and has picked three winning pictures.

These have been painted onto wood and will be varnished to make them more durable.

We can’t wait to see what the final bees look like – thank you to all the staff and pupils who have been involved in the project.

I would also like to thank James Ford at Elise Projects for cutting out the bee pictures and wooden flowers for us on his CNC machine, and also councillors Raj Sood, Liz Brennan and Ben Burton for supporting our project with member-awarded funding.

Jackie Baker 07504244361

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Busy bee designs will be popping up next to floral displays

Our trains are on track for success

BRITAIN’S railway system is the oldest in the world; we invented the railways and introduced them to the globe. That is something to be really proud about.

And we should celebrate our region’s role in this story. Britain’s most famous engineer, Brunel, changed the face of the English landscape with his groundbreaking viaducts, bridges, and tunnels for the Great Western Railway. He set standards for a well-built railway.

Fast forward to the present day, and I’m really pleased to be able to point to some great stats about how our local railways are going full steam ahead, with more passengers than ever before.

It’s now 12 months since halfhourly services were introduced to and from Temple Meads serving Filton Abbey Wood, near Parkway, and Yate, as well as in Keynsham, Oldfield Park, Bath and elsewhere.

In that time, over 3.4 million journeys have been made by passengers. This is a year-onyear increase in passengers of 27%.

This impressive growth is a great news for passengers and the planet.

The new and improved services have been funded by a £7 million-plus investment by the Combined Authority and delivered by GWR and Network Rail. This substantial investment underscores our commitment to upgrading and improving our transport infrastructure.

Growing passenger numbers is my biggest priority in terms of building the sustainable West of England public transport system we all want to see.

Increased usage not only supports economic growth but also contributes significantly to our environmental goals, by reducing car dependency and lowering emissions.

But I am not stopping there:

we’re planning for the future.

I've revived plans to electrify railway lines in the West, starting with tracks from Temple Meads. Electrification is a crucial step towards a greener, more efficient rail network, reducing delays and environmental impacts.

Additionally, I have launched a new station study. This is doing very early-stage work to look at the case for building additional stations in Lockleaze, St Anne's, Saltford, and Ashton Gate.

Expanding our rail network with new stations is essential for improving accessibility and convenience for our passengers. These new stations could help to better connect our communities, providing more travel options and support the local economy.

Our efforts to improve the railway system are not just about numbers and infrastructure; they are about creating a better quality of life

for the residents of our region. By providing efficient, reliable, and sustainable transport options, we are making it easier for people to commute, travel, and explore.

The future of our region’s railways is looking brighter. With continued investment, innovative projects, and a clear vision, we are on track to create a transport system that is not only a source of regional pride, but also a model for others to follow.

Let’s celebrate our progress and look forward to even more improvements that will keep our trains – and our region – moving forward.

36 Downend Voice June 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377 NEWS FROM THE METRO MAYOR
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What to wear with jeans in the summer

THE weather changes, but our desire for wearing jeans is season-less; the most hardworking item in our wardrobe can also be the most stylish.

If you want to continue wearing your

jeans this summer, here’s seven pieces to wear with them and keep you looking cool.

Belt: A thin belt can look chic, but doesn’t suit every figure. The current trend is for statement belts, which are great as they lift a simple jeans and T-shirt combo to create a more stylish outfit. Choose from flashy studded designs, to multi-strap options. Animal print also looks great.

Shoes: Depend on the style of jeans – I would opt for heeled sandals with cropped denim designs and patent or embellished loafers with straight, mom and wide-leg styles.

Boots: A pair of knee-high heeled boots can take your wardrobe a long way. For summer, ankle boots work in a similar fashion. Look for western styles, in leather and suede, as a timeless option that’s also currently in vogue.

A ‘nice top’: Heading out somewhere that requires slightly more formal dress, but still want to wear denim? I would choose the most glamorous blouse you have. Think pussy bow, frills, or sleeve details like puff or kimono-style designs.

White T-shirt: Any neutral T-shirt will do. Ensure the fit is right for you – slim, ribbed, boyfriend cut or cropped – choose a fit that works for your body shape, with a scoop, square or V-neck design. A clean white T-shirt

is a classic for a reason: it looks crisp, fresh and just right for summer.

Necklace: Never underestimate the power of a great necklace. If you love fashion or keeping your outfits updated, then there’s plenty of the latest designs to choose from. Link chains have been popular for a while, but chunky beaded options have been appearing on the high street this season.

Sunglasses: A summer wardrobe essential – whip out a pair of stylish glasses whenever you go outside. Latest looks include 90’s oval frames, oversized designs and cat-eye. I don’t think you can go far wrong with a classic pair of aviators.

For more ideas on the latest shopping ‘finds’, follow me at @gailpainter on Instagram.

Not sure what to wear or how to wear it? Email your fashion and style questions to and look out for the answers in future issues of the Voice.

Marks &
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Sign the safety charter

BROMLEY Heath Neighbourhood Watch is a signatory to the National Community Safety Charter. The aim of the charter is to involve a wider range of local organisations, charities, businesses and groups in crime prevention activity.

The goal is to extend this work's scope to eliminate harassment, antisocial behaviour and intimidation experienced by anyone who lives, works, studies, or visits anywhere in England and Wales.

As a part of promoting a culture that does not tolerate these negative behaviours towards others, we need as many people as possible to sign the charter.

The pledges:

• Promote a culture that does not tolerate antisocial behaviour, harassment, intimidation and hostility towards others

• Enable others to identify and take an active stance against these crimes and incidents

• Actively encourage and support those who experience or witness these crimes and incidents to report them to the relevant authorities

• Support those affected and signpost those who need further support to agencies who can help them.

To find out more you can call us on 0117 956 3325, email, visit or our Facebook and X/ Twitter pages.

Local people are being encouraged to use the StreetSafe Tool to anonymously tell Avon & Somerset police and partners about public places where they feel or have felt unsafe, due to anti-social behaviour or a lack of street lighting. The information provided will be used to inform policing and local authority safety activities.

You can find the StreetSafe Tool at To report crimes, go online, call 101or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Call 999 straight away if you feel unsafe and are in immediate danger.

AFTER a recent successful race night to raise funds, Kingswood Y's Men's Club has agreed donations totalling £1,600 to a number of local charities. Our policy is to donate relatively modest sums which make a difference to a charity's funds rather than donate to large national charities, where the contribution would be a 'drop in the ocean'.

The charities which will each receive £200 are: Children's Hospice South West, Alzheimer's Society,

Great Western Air Ambulance, Jessie May Trust, St Peter's Hospice, Prostate Cancer Research, Dolphin Society and the Page Park appeal.

Kingswood Y's Men's Club is a support group to the YMCA and, despite the name, has a mixed membership.

The club meets on the third Thursday of the month at Lincombe Barn, Downend, for a meal and a talk by various speakers.

We run fund-raising events to raise money for Y's Men's sponsored projects around the world, to which we have also donated £790.

We're always looking for potential members who share our ethos: details of activities can be found online at

Cleeve Hill Tennis Club

WE are now the proud owners of a beautiful, newly-refurbished clubhouse.

Thanks to club members Leon Baker and Alex Lambert, who took the lead managing the refurbishment plans, we have removed a pillar, installed new windows, doors onto the patio and a new front entrance. One of our members, Dean Thomas, very kindly donated the aluminium for the doors.

To celebrate the reopening we held a social event where over 200 junior, senior and adult coaching members attended with their families. We are now well into our summer league season. Matches are on Fridays from 6.30pm, up until the third week of July.

If you enjoy watching tennis, pop in and have a drink, take a look at the new clubhouse and watch a very good standard of tennis being played. We will be having an open day soon, so follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with all the news.

Jackie Baker

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Are you free on Wednesday June 19, from 2.30pm onwards?

Why not come along to the Crafty Egg in Fishponds for an informal social? You’ll meet some existing members and have a chance to find out more about u3a, including what we’re up to in East & North-East Bristol.

Don’t worry if you can’t make that, as we’ll be announcing more drop-in events around the area in future editions of the Voice. You’ll also find us at the Older People’s Fayre at the Vassall Centre on Friday June 7, from 10am-1pm.

This month we're highlighting our Eastside Crafters Group.

It has recently moved to a bigger room at Kingswood Community Association, so is able to accept more members. It meets once a month from 1pm-3pm on the third Thursday of the month.

There are no rules, and members are people who enjoy crafts of various kinds – knitting, crochet, cross stitch, card making, origami, bead or string craft – anything goes!

You don’t have to be an expert to go along, as members enjoy sharing their skills and knowledge with others. Bring along your own projects, or join in with a craft suggested by others.

There are over 150 interest groups across Bristol for members to join, and around 25 locally – simply Google “Bristol u3a” to see for yourself. Follow the links on the groups page to contact the group leader and see if you can go along for a “taster session” before joining formally.

Bristol u3a (you in your Third Age) is for anyone with some free time for themselves.

There’s no lower age limit, but most of our members are retired or semi-retired.

We come from all walks of life and have (at least) one thing in common: a zest for living and for trying or learning new things. Contact learnlaughlive@ to find out more.


Boost for job group

THE Staple Hill Community Hub has relaunched its Job Searchers Support Group (JSSG) with new IT and a new benefits’ advisor.

It follows a substantial grant that the charity has received from the Society of Merchant Venturers.

The group offers interview training tips, practical advice on how to apply for a job and writing your CV.

It has been hugely successful in the past, with more than half the people who have come through training and volunteering opportunities finding themselves employment.

The money has allowed the Hub to buy new devices and promotional material, which will allow users to become more independent.

SMW'S Caroline Duckworth said: "When we were approached by the Staple Hill Community Hub for a charitable grant to help fund new technology for the job club, we were really pleased to be able to help.

"The job club was already making a huge difference to many people who would otherwise struggle to find work, training or volunteer work, but the new laptops have made the positive impact of their work even greater than before."

The club will also see a new benefits advisor offering support every second Monday in the month. The club itself runs every Monday, between 2pm and 4pm.

You can find out more by contacting the Hub on 01454 868374.


Frenchay Probus Club

TONY Griffiths brought more than a little bit of magic to Frenchay Probus when he spoke of ‘The Art of the Magician’.

He told stories of some of the most celebrated practitioners of the art, at the same time demonstrating his own skill without, of course, disclosing to his bewildered but admiring audience at our April meeting how he did what he did.

It was all delivered in a most entertaining and amusing style.

Steve Bellamy

The speaker at the main May meeting was likewise very engaging. The topic was the history

of popular music through the middle period of the 20th century, illustrated by short clips from the most notable performers of that era, and ‘struck a chord’ with an audience that had spent their youth during that period. The dramatic evolution of popular music through that time was explained with great knowledge and enthusiasm.

In between these meetings, the monthly informal lunches at Shaftesbury Park are enjoyable social occasions, with a welcome to men in retirement happy to meet socially.

For contact details, see the Frenchay Probus Club notice on the ‘what’s on’ pages (regular eventsWednesday).

Ed Allingham

Steve Bellamy

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Drama group ready for show

MEMBERS of St Stephen’s Drama Group in Soundwell are in the thick of rehearsals for their summer production.

The group, which rehearses and performs at St Stephen's Church Hall in Church Road, Soundwell, is putting on two one-act plays, Acting, It’s Not Plumbing and Flatmates, each with its own producer.

Acting, It’s Not Plumbing producer Heidi Cable-Smith said: "We're having lots of fun rehearsing this show; all the cast are enjoying getting into their characters.

"I hope the audience enjoys watching the show as much as we have enjoyed putting it together."

Flatmates producer Lexii Allen said: "Rehearsals have been going really well so far, as a first time producer it’s a little bit scary but I’m super lucky to have a cast who have been producers in past productions."

The show will be staged at St Stephen's Church Hall from June 27-29.

Tickets are on sale for £7 and can be bought via www.

Festival win for TuttiFlutti

DOWNEND-based flute ensemble

TuttiFlutti are celebrating winning two classes at the Bristol Festival of Music, Speech and Drama.

First a quartet of their low flutes (two altos, one bass, and one contrabass) won the Open Woodwind Ensemble class with a distinction, for their performance of The Long Day Closes, promptly followed by the full ensemble winning the Open Large Ensemble class with an 'outstanding' - the highest award category and one of only three given out throughout the entire instrumental section of the festival – for their performance of Chattanooga Choo Choo.

Ensemble director Fiona Hunt said: "They are such a pleasure to work with, always enthusiastic and performing to a very high standard."

The results saw the ensemble

asked to perform in the festival’s celebration concert in Henleaze.

The ensemble can be heard locally at Frenchay Church on June 9 at 2.30pm, when they will be putting on a 'stage and screen music' concert alongside some of Fiona’s singing students, as part of the church’s summer afternoon teas series.

They welcome flautists of all ages and abilities, from Grade 1 upwards, to their Flute Roadshow with Mel Orriss, one of

conductors, which is taking place on June 30 at Quakers Road Hall.

TuttiFlutti rehearse on Friday evenings in term time from 6.307.30pm, at Downend Folk House, Lincombe Barn.

New members of any age are always welcome, from Grade 3 upwards.

Fiona said: "You just need yourself, a flute, a music stand, and a sense of humour!"

For more details and to contact the group visit

The TuttiFlutti flute ensemble


I HOPE you have all been enjoying the few days of sunshine: it certainly makes us feel great. Hopefully summer is round the corner!

Our topper group have been very busy with their new project, which will be soon on show in Downend. The theme for the next postbox topper is the Olympics.

The book club have been reading some very interesting books over the past few months. We can recommend the following if you are looking for a good book to read: Unspeakable Acts of Zina Pavlou by Eleni Kyriacou and A Woman Made of Snow by Elisabeth Gifford. The book club meets every month, and has been running for ten years.

Our programme for the following months includes nutrition and exercise with Cara on May 28, a talk from Alyson Hurst, our local bee legend, on June 25 and one from milliner Heather Norman on July 30.

We meet at Christ Church Hall in North Street, Downend on the last Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm.

As a member, you can participate in as much or as little as you wish within our varied programme throughout the year –there is no pressure at all!

It’s a chance to meet new people and experience new things.

Guests are welcome for a small charge of £4 which includes tea or coffee.

If you would like to know more about joining us, please contact us at We’d love to see you – we are a really friendly bunch!

Linda, Secretary BROMLEY HEATH WI

LIFE is full of changes and surprises, and so are WI meetings!

From our pre-meeting email newsletter our members were aware that our planned speaker was unavailable.

Added to that, our president, Jayne, who is normally in charge had unfortunately broken her wrist so, “for one night only”, our versatile secretary Mary stepped in. The alternative to our booked speaker was the opportunity to play a 'beetle drive'. Many of us recognised the name of the game, but didn’t know what it actually involved. Maybe something similar to Grand Theft Auto, Fortnite or Cyberpunk 2077? (Only joking.)

In reality it was a bit of a 'time warp' experience, everyone taking turns to throw dice and use the number to draw their own beetle.

Whoever completed their creepycrawly first won a small prize. A real taste of the simple entertainment enjoyed by past generations, but I can’t imagine today’s youngsters taking to it unless electricity and the internet go down for a very long time.

We would all like to wish Jane a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing her next time, when Jackie from Downend and Bromley Heath in Bloom will be there to tell us about the fantastic floral displays we all see and enjoy.

Our events co-ordinator Julie is organising a theatre trip to see the musical An Officer and a Gentleman, although unfortunately Richard Gere isn’t playing the lead role these days! Future outings planned include a cocktail masterclass, wine tasting and a summer picnic.

Email us at bromleyheathwi@ if you would like to give us a try, or for further information about the benefits of becoming a WI member.


OUR last meeting was our birthday party, so imagine our surprise when we arrived to find all the chairs dotted around the room, well isolated from each other.

We quickly realised that this arrangement was for our armchair Zumba, the entertainment for the evening, and to make sure that, when flinging out our arms, we didn't cause injury to anyone.

We spent about three quarters of an hour on our exercises, quickly learning the different sequences set to music to make sure that we exercised all parts of the body whilst sitting.

We enjoyed it so much that we want to do it all again. After this energetic workout, we were ready for our American supper.

Our meetings are on the third Tuesday evening of the month at 7.30pm, in Christ Church Parish Hall, North Street, Downend.

Do come and join us for tea and cake and a chat. There is plenty of parking available.

If you want to learn more about us, please visit our website at

Maureen Wood


OUR May meeting began with Country Markets successfully selling their home-made cakes, preserves and handicrafts – not to mention a lovely array of plants also for sale.

This was followed by a discussion on the 2024 National Federation WI Resolution, ‘Dental Health Matters’. This was passed

unanimously and will go forward to the National Federation of Women's Institutes annual meeting at the Royal Albert hall in June.

On June 15 volunteer Geoff Naldrett, from Blood Bikes, will be bringing his trusted motorbike with him to tell us about the volunteer role he undertakes on behalf of the NHS. This should prove to be an interesting evening.

On July 13, dedicated members of Frenchay WI will be providing afternoon teas in the village hall in support of the Frenchay Flower Show.

Hopefully the weather will be kind to us this year; it should be a great day out.

We have many other events lined up for the year ahead.

We meet on the third Monday of every month, at Frenchay Village Hall, at 7.30pm.

At the moment, there is no waiting list, so new members will be very welcome – there is always a friendly reception awaiting you.

If you are interested in joining us or would like more information please email me at frenchaywi@

Linda O’Carroll Secretary


WE had our first meeting at our new home in St James’ Church Hall in Mangotsfield in April.

Our speaker was from the Norland Nannies in Bath, and everyone enjoyed an insight into the training and experiences a nanny undergoes.

Our next visitor will be one of the Freewheelers blood bikers, to

show us the vital work they do for our NHS.

In June we are going to find out how our wardrobes can save the planet. That might be a wake-up call for some of us!

We are also visiting the Bristol Botanical Gardens for lunch and a conducted tour, which should prove very interesting.

One of the charities we are supporting this year is a local charity, ‘Special Friends Club’, and we will be having a coffee morning to raise funds for them on June 22 at the United Reformed Church in Cossham Street, Mangotsfield, with coffee/tea and cake, plants and books on offer from 10am to 12.30pm. All are welcome to support this cause.

In July our speaker will be talking about the other charity we are helping this year, ‘Happy Handbags’ which supports girls and women who are having tough times for various reasons, including homelessness and drug problems. We have been collecting toiletries, personal items and cleaning products (as well as handbags!) to hand over on the night.

Later in the year, our members will be able to enjoy a cream tea at Saltford Golf Club. We also have trips planned to Arnos Vale Cemetery and Portsmouth.

We also have craft sessions at various local venues, on skills our members ask for. We have coffee and crochet mornings, a cardmaking class and are holding an earring making workshop shortly. Our meetings are held every third Monday evening, starting at 7.30pm Jane Eldon


OUR April meeting in the hall was very successful.

Quizmaster Brynn had us all in stitches. The winning team shared a box of Jaffa cakes.

We all take turns in providing cakes and biscuits to go with our tea and/or coffee in our bespoke Dolly Mixtures mugs.

Our cold water swim in Clevedon Marine Lake was taking place on May 20.

Sophie, who gave us a talk earlier in the year, advised us to take a flask with a hot drink for after we came out of the water, to warm our core body temperature. We were also advised to bring a pair of old daps or beach shoes to be more comfortable.

There are a few tickets left for a 50s evening of rock'n'roll, jump jive and swing with Cadillac Xpress.

The event will be held St James Church Hall in Richmond Road on Saturday June 8: doors open at 7pm and the music starts at 7.30pm, finishing at 10.30pm.

Tickets cost £16. There is plenty of room for dancing and it is a BYO evening, with a raffle.

For more information contact

Our June meeting will be a fun skittles evening at Mangotsfield Football Club.

Looking further ahead, we are now planning a trip to Blenheim Palace for their Christmas market and lights.

Carol Coombs

41 Downend Voice June 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169

May 31

n COMMUNITY FUN DAY, Page Park, Staple Hill, 11am- 3pm. With bouncy castle, children’s entertainment, fun fair, food and drink stalls. Raising money for Ignite Life, providing essential services to disadvantaged young people across South Gloucestershire and Bristol. For more information call 0117 287 2494 or email hello@ignite-life.

Various Dates

n JULIAN HOUSE WOMEN'S GROUP Upcoming schedule June 5 - Movema – dance workshop June 12 - Yoga Session with Sheena.

June 19 - Refugee Week and Eid Al-Adha celebration

June 26 - Herbalist without Boarders – homemade beauty products.

July 3 - Yoga session with Sheena

June 5

n MOTHERS UNION, Christ Church Downend Parish Hall, North Street, 2.15pm. Speaker: Jennifer Sterritt, 'My Travels'.

June 6

n PEACE FEAST at Bean Tree cafe, Page Park, 7-9pm, with Afghan food, music and stories. Part of Bristol Refugee Festival. Tickets and more details from Bean Tree cafe or

June 6

n D-DAY 80TH ANNIVERSARY BEACON LIGHTING at Siston Hill, BS30 5LT, with 1940’s singing quartet, Scottish piper and commemorative service, from 8.35pm. Visitors encouraged to walk - bus for people with mobility issues from Warmley Community Centre. More details from

June 8

n MANGOTSFIELD VILLAGE FESTIVAL, Pomphrey Hill Sports Field North, Johnson Road, 11am8pm. Dog show, music and dance, stalls, displays and demonstrations. Free entry (suggested donation £3). Parade at 10.30am from Village Green.

June 8

n STAPLE HILL SALVATION ARMY BAND CONCERT, Broad Street Hall, Staple Hill, 7pm. Featuring guest vocalist Loulita Gill and solos from band members. Tickets £5 - to book, call 07917 232788 or email Hilton.baker@

June 9

n STAGE AND SCREEN MUSIC CONCERT, Frenchay Church, 2.30pm, with performances from flute ensemble TuttiFlutti and singers. More details at www.

June 9

n MESSY CHURCH, craft-based event for all the family with cooked meal, Staple Hill Salvation Army, Broad Street, 4pm. Call 0117 956 9733 for more details.

June 14

n LUNCHTIME CONCERT at St Marys Church, Manor Road, Fishponds. Refreshments on sale 12.30-1pm, concert 1-2pm. Free entry – there will be a retiring collection.

June 15

n BRISTOL REFUGEE FESTIVAL Celebrate With Me event, Page Park, 11am-4pm. Free music, dance, food and activities. More details on Page Park News page.

June 15

n PUCKLECHURCH REVEL, Pucklechurch Recreation Field, 11am onwards, arena events from 12.30pm.

Live music, stalls, petting zoo. Free entry, parking available from Castle Road.

June 22

n COMMUNITY GARDENING EVENT, Staple Hill High Street, 10am-noon. Meet at Fountain Square. All equipment and refreshments provided. Everyone welcome, from those new to gardening to professionals. More details from Aimee-Claire on 07972 919159.

June 22

n ARMED FORCES DAY in Page Park, 10am-4pm. Drumhead ceremony and parade of standards, stalls, fairground rides, military vehicles, entertainment. Free entry. More details at www.southglosafd. com.

June 22

n PARTY IN THE PONDS, Vassalls Park, Oldbury Court, Fishponds, noon-10pm. Live music, dance, children's entertainment, range of food, drink and craft stalls. Free entry. More details from

June 23

n STAPLE HILL SALVATION ARMY BAND ‘PAGE PARK PRAISE’ CONCERT at Page Park bandstand, 3pm, admission free. Call 0117 956 9733 for more details.

June 25

n VINTAGE ADVENTURE at the Church Centre, Quakers Road, 2-3.30pm. Activities, encouragement and friendship for seniors. Carers welcome.

June 8

n MANGOTSFIELD U.R.C. will be holding their ANNUAL PLANT SALE from 10.30 onwards at Cossham Street in aid of two charities - JESSY MAY and GYMPANZEES - Tea, Coffee etc will also be available and everyone will be most welcome

Any enquiriess please contact June Watts on 0117 9566625

June 29

n ART EXHIBITION by local artists, Badminton Road Methodist Church, Downend, 10am-4pm. Come and see the talent from the community. Proceeds in aid of Turnabout Bristol, a charity serving the homeless. No entrance fee. Refreshments available.

June 29

n BRISTOL CHAMBER ORCHESTRA CONCERT with music by Handel, Bartok, Percy Grainger, Arensky, Piazzola, Elgar and Grieg. Frenchay Parish Church, 7.30pm. Tickets £12 in advance, (call 0117 956 2106) or £15 on the door. Students £5. Children free. Interval refreshments included.

August 11


12pm-4pm, Sunday 11th August @ Frenchay Cricket Club. Inflatables, stalls and entertainment


n BRISTOL U3A: Have you reached a point in your life where you have fewer responsibilities and more time for yourself? Would you like to take part in activities where you can share skills, abilities or hobbies whilst having fun and making new friends? Go to www. for details.


n MEDITATION SESSIONS IN FRENCHAY Just come along to the sessions that run from 3rd Monday each month at 7pm Frenchay Unitarian Chapel BS16 1ND from 20Sept for the Personcentred Group Meditation and 1st Wednesday at 7pm for the Kundalini movement meditation. Contact Andrea on 0117 956 5826

n SINGALONG 4 ALL - Mondays 10.30/11.30, Grace court, Dial Lane, Downend BS16 5UP. £4 ...£1 tea n bikkies Tel: Barbara 07816839141.

n SOCIAL BADMINTON every Monday at Kingswood Leisure Centre from 2-4pm. Intermediate level, all welcome.

n PUCKLECHURCH SHORT MAT BOWLS CLUB are looking for new players. We meet every Monday evenings and Sunday & Wednesday afternoons at Pucklechurch Community Centre. Refreshments available. For more information contact John 0117 9372873.

n SILK PAINTING at Downend Baptist Church. Come along to an enjoyable afternoon, every alternate Monday 2pm-4pm. Make cards, tuition given, tea and biscuits provided, cost includes all materials.

WHAT'S ON LOCALLY 42 Downend Voice June 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377

One large card £2 or 3 for £5, small cards £1 each. Please contact 0117 9608935 for more details.

n COFFEE MORNING at Percy Walker Court, Lincombe Road, Downend, every Monday, 10.30am12.20pm. All welcome.

n LUNCH CLUB AT STAPLE HILL COMMUNITY HUB, Berkeley House, Berkeley Road, every Monday, 12.15pm. More details from the hub on 01454 868374. n KINGSWOOD LACE MAKERSNew members welcome We are a friendly self-help group making bobbin lace We meet at Lincombe Barn Downend Monday afternoon 2 – 4 pm On third Monday we meet in evening 7.15 - 9.15 The cost of membership is £70 for afternoon and evening, £20 just evening. We can help people but would like them to give some experience of making lace. First meeting free to see if you like us. Contact Beverly on


BOWLS CLUB meets on Mondays, 2-4pm at Christ Church Parish Hall, North Street. New members welcome. No experience necessary – tuition and bowls provided. For more details contact Mike on 0779 136 6894.


n DOWNEND GARDENING IN RETIREMENT CLUB Third Tuesday of every month at 10.15am Varied Topics Non Members welcome at £3 including Tea / Coffee. Assembly Hall, Salisbury Road. Downend. Easily reached by any bus into Downend

n BOARD GAMES NIGHT every Tuesday from 7pm. All Welcome The Wooden Walls Micropub, 30 Broad Street, Staple Hill, BS16 5NU n LINCOMBE BARN CAMERA CLUB meets every second, fourth and fifth Tuesday of the month at Lincombe Barn, Overndale Road. New members always welcome. For

information see website at www. or email


GARDENING CLUB Meets at Christ Church Centre, Quakers Road, every third Tuesday of the month at 2.30pm. Talks, day trips and short holidays - everyone welcome. Call May on 0117 957 3695 for details.


DANCING CLUB Pucklechurch Community Hall.Abson Road every other Tuesday from 7.30 to 10.15p.m All welcome either with a partner or solo. Enjoy an evening with us. Call Sue on 07742114566 or Linda on 07843240414.

n MESSY SPACE, Badminton Road Methodist Church Downend. Term-time group for toddlers and their carers, 10-11.45am. Toys, books, play dough, paint & craft, singing and refreshments. First visit free, then £3 per child or £5 per family. More information at www. or 0117 956 1106.


GROUP, Salvation Army, Broad Street, Staple Hill, every Tuesday 10-11.30am.

n MOVE-IT CLUB for children aged 7-11, Staple Hill Community Hub, Berkeley House, Berkeley Road, every Tuesday 3.30pm. More details from hub on 01454 868374.

n TEA AND TOAST after school drop-in for primary aged children and families, Christ Church Parish Hall, North Street, Downend, term-time Tuesdays, 3.15-4.30pm. All welcome for tea, squash, toast, board games, colouring and play in a friendly atmosphere.

n DOWNEND WI meets at Christ Church Hall, North Street, Downend on the last Tuesday of each month at 7.30pm. For details email

n RIDGEWAY BADMINTON CLUB meets every Tuesday evening from 8-10pm at Downend Sports Centre for informal badminton doubles/

singles matches between adults of all ages. First visit free. For more information contact Graham on 07968 050 320

n SINGING FOR THE BRAIN, free music club for people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s, Staple Hill Hub, every Tuesday 2-3pm. Call 01454 868374 for more information.


n DOWNEND BRIDGE CLUBNEW MEMBERS ARE WANTED Come and join us and play duplicate Bridge at Lincombe Barn Downend on Wednesday afternoons 2pm. All levels welcome. Please contact eveforbes77@gmail. com or 0117 9836886 or Yvonne Scoulding rscoulding@googlemail. com or 0117 9568944

n CLEEVESINGERS OF DOWNEND Enjoy singing, then come and join this four part choir who meet on Wednesday evenings at Lincombe Barn, Overndale Road 7.30 p.m. from September until July. For more information contact the Secretary on 0117 9561881.

n DOWNEND SENIOR CITIZENS CLUB Musical entertainment from 2-4pm every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at North Street Church Hall. All are welcome.

n ROYAL BRITISH LEGION WOMEN'S SECTION meets once a month on the first Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm. New members welcome - come and spend an afternoon with us before you join. We meet at the Youth Building by the long stay car park and Page Hall. Telephone 0117 956 0805.

n DOWNEND TANG SOO DO meets at Christchurch Parish Hall, North Street on Wednesday evenings from 7.30-9pm. Suitable for beginners and ages 10+. First class free. More details from Ian on 07817 744689 or at the Downend Tang Soo Do Facebook page.

n FRENCHAY PROBUS CLUB We meet at Frenchay Village Hall on the first Wednesday of each month between 10.00 and 12.00 hrs. For further details contact:

n WARMLEY JAZZ CLUB, Every Wednesday except first one of the month, 7.30pm, Cadbury Heath Social Club, £7 on the door. More details at

n BRISTOL SCRABBLE CLUB meets every Wednesday evening at 7pm until 10pm at Filton Community Centre, Elm Park, Filton BS34 7PS. New members welcomefirst visit free so come along and give us a try. Information: Jo Hunter by email

n CROSS STITCH Like to learn this absorbing relaxing hobby and have fun at the same time? Why not join the Club at

Lincombe Barn. Beginners and those with all abilities welcome. New term commences beginning of September on Wednesday mornings 10.00 am until noon. Contact Lincombe Barn 9562367.


DANCE CLUB meet fortnightly at Frenchay Village Hall from 7:45 until 10:15pm. All standards of dancer are welcome to enjoy live Bands and experienced Callers. Visit or call 0117 3021543 for more information.

n FRIENDLY VOICES dementiafriendly singing group, Mangotsfield & Castle Green URC, Cossham Street, second and fourth Wednesdays of each month, 10.30am to noon. No charge, carers welcome. Sessions led by music therapist. More details from June Watts on 0117 956 6625.

n WEDNESDAY CAFE FOR SENIORS, at Badminton Road Methodist Church (BS16 6NU) every Wednesday 10am to 12 noon. All Welcome – just come along – make new friends over a cuppa and cake. Information: 0117 239 5984


ARRANGING CLUB We are a friendly group, we meet at 7.30pm on 1st & 3rd Wednesday each month from September to June at Lincolne Barn, Overndale Road, BS16 2RW. Ring Genise on 0777 2451217 for more information.

n STAPLE HILL METHODIST CHURCH Fellowship group 3rd Wednesday of the month, 2.153.45pm Coffee/tea, homemade cake and a chat!

n LADIES ENTERPRISE CLUB every 1st and 3rd Wednesday afternoon at the Assembly Hall, Salisbury Road, Downend, 2.30pm4pm. If you would like to belong to a warm, friendly group we would love to see you. Contact Ruth on 07733413823 for more details

n MOTHERS UNION - worship, friendship, supporting charities, refreshments: First Wednesday of the month, 2.15pm at Christ Church Parish Hall, North Street. Non-members welcome. More details from 0117 908 9867.

n FRENCHAY & HAMBROOK HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY meets at Friends Meeting House, Frenchay, 7.30pm first Wednesday of the month from September to March. Talks on garden-related topics, meet other gardeners, trips in April & May. Phone 0117 967 2390 for more information.

n COFFEE MORNING, Staple Hill Community Hub, Berkeley House, Berkeley Road, every Wednesday 10.30am. More details from the hub on 01454 868374.

Continued on next page

43 Downend Voice June 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 WHAT'S ON LOCALLY

n KEEP FIT, God's House International Centre, The Sanctuary, 55 High Street, Staple Hill, every Wednesday 10-11am, followed by cup of tea and a chat. For adults 50+. More information from Lin on 0770 707 6281 or email

n SPROUTS, free gardening and nature club for children aged 7-11, Staple Hill Hub every Wednesday, 4-6pm. Call 01454 868374 for further information. Thursday

n BARN BELLS handbell ringers meet at Lincombe Barn, Downend, from 2-4pm weekly. Anyone who can read music is welcome to join.


Thursdays, term time only, at the Youth Hub & Parish Hall , 57 North Street, Downend. Year 6-8, 6.307.45pm. Year 9-11s, 8-9.15pm. A place to relax and have fun with friends. Free entry. Tuck available. Visit to sign up and see the full programme.

n DEWDROP INN CAFE, Resound church, Blackhorse Road, Mangotsfield. Every fourth Thursday of the month, 2-4pm. A place for the community to relax and unwind with old & new friends. Tea, coffee, cakes and biscuits £2.



CHURCH regular coffee mornings, held on the first Thursday of the month, 10.30am-noon

n SCRABBLE Downend Folk House Thursdays 10-12noon Info: 0117 9562367 Maureen Walker.

n WARM SPACE CAFE at Christ Church, Downend, free every Thursday 11-2pm. Soup and roll lunch from noon. Live music, including Music Train on 2nd and 4th Thursdays. Dementia-friendly cafe on 3rd Thursday of the month, 11am-1.30pm.


CLUB meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, 10am-noon at Whiteshill Chapel, Hambrook, with a speaker at each meeting. Friendly group, new members welcome. For details call the secretary on 01454 778250.

n SOCIAL WALKING GROUP meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month, Badminton Road Downend. For more details contact Janet Pearce on 0799 058 4008.


CLUB, holds fortnightly meetings with Speakers for ladies and gentlemen on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month from

10:00 am till 12:00. We also enjoy lunches/outings together. Please join us at the Assembley Hall, Downend. More details on 0117 9574583 or see our website.

n FRIENDSHIP AND EXERCISE GROUP, Staple Hill Methodist Church, High Street, Staple Hill, every Thursday - first session 9.30am, second session 11am.

n BROMLEY HEATH WI meets at Bromley Heath Junior School Hall on the second Thursday of each month (except August) at 7.30pm. Email for more information.



Weekly beginners Tai Chi & Qi Gong class for people with Parkinson’s disease, their families and carers. Lincombe Barn, Downend. BS16 2RW. Fridays (term times) 10.15 – 12.15 including tea / coffee break. Contact: Claire - Claire@ (07769 857672) or Sarah - buqiworks@ (07815 662844)

n PAGE PARK UKULELE CLUB, Bean Tree café, Fridays at 1pm. All abilities welcomed. Places £4 each. For further details call or text 'Ukulele' to Ben on 07910 668258.

n JIGSAW TODDLER GROUP, Fridays in term time at Christ Church Parish Hall, North Street, from 9.45-11.15am.

n LATER LIVE MUSIC, Resound church, Blackhorse Road, Mangotsfield. Every second Friday monthly, except August & December, 8-10pm, £2.50.

n ARTWINGS, Resound church, Blackhorse Road, Mangotsfield. Every fourth Friday, except August & December, 7.30pm. Explore new ways of creating and making, natter over refreshments. £5, includes materials.

n RAINBOW TOTS PARENT AND TODDLER GROUP meets at Emersons Green Village Hall every Friday morning in term time, from 10-11.30am. For more info email

n IN-THE-PINK We are a group of mature ladies who meet for sensible exercise to music every Friday 9am - 10am followed by chat & coffee time. Pay sessionby-session basis. Get yourself fit & make new friends at Hillfields Park Baptist Church, Thicket Avenue. For details call Julie 07903123793.

n TUTTIFLUTTI, an inclusive ensemble welcoming flautists of all ages from Grade 3 up, rehearses at Lincombe Barn on Fridays in term time, from 6.30-7.30pm. New members always welcome. Details from Fiona on 07817 629 691.

n LUNCH CLUB, Staple Hill

Community Hub, Berkeley House, Berkeley Road, every Friday from 12.15pm. For details 01454 868374.



GUILD We are a small friendly group who meet every third Saturday of the month 2pm to 4pm at St Andrews Hall, Elm Park, Filton. If you would like to make sugar flowers and models we hold workshops with instruction. Beginners very welcome. call Jean Kington on 01454 314178.


CHURCH Coffee mornings in our beautiful building every Saturday 10.00-12.00 in aid of church funds or charities. Enjoy Fairtrade coffee, tea and cake, and stalls.



CHURCH services are held every Sunday morning from 10.30am11.30am at Emersons Green Village Hall, Emersons Way. We also hold regular craft services - please check our Facebook page for dates contact Simon on 07765 201435, e-mail or visit


METHODIST CHURCH BS16 6NU. All are welcome to worship each Sunday, 10.30am. First Sunday of the month is usually a service of Holy Communion. Information: 0117 239 5984

n MANGOTSFIELD AND CASTLE GREEN UNITED REFORMED CHURCH hold regular weekly Sunday morning worship at Cossham Street. Services start at 10.30 a.m.with different speakers each week. New members welcome. For details contact Peter Redding (Ch. Sec.) on 0117 9657075. n STAPLE HILL METHODIST CHURCH, High Street BS16 5HQ Sunday services 10.30am + Sunday Club for ages 5-17. Holy Communion 2nd Sunday of the month – all invited. Taizé worship 6.00pm 3rd Sunday of the month. Contact Rev Dr Aboseh Ngwana 07482 550888, Philippa Church Liaison at staplehillmethodist@ or www.

n CHRIST CHURCH DOWNEND: 9.15 am Traditional morning worship (Holy Communion on 2nd & 4th Sundays) at Church Centre, Quakers Road BS16 6NH. 10.30 Morning worship with youth and children's groups at Christ Church Downend, Downend Rd BS16 5UF


WORKING PARTY, Percy Walker Court, Lincombe Road, Downend, every Sunday 10am-noon. All welcome.

44 Downend Voice June 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377 WHAT'S ON LOCALLY CALL JOE FOR A FREE QUOTE Tel: 0117 959 2143 Mob: 07891 253 122 LANDSCAPING Established family firm with 25 years experience H Senior Citizens Special H Garden Clearance — Regular or one-off H Patios H Fencing H Tree Work H Turfing H Hedgecutting H Planting (Shrubs etc) H Organic manure delivered — Also applied H Professional and guarnteed work H Brick & Blocklaying 25% OFF WITHADVERTTHIS Alpine

More mobilography

LAST month we started looking at the advantages of the camera most of us carry with us all the time – the mobile phone.

Let's return to the subject with a few suggestions.

Firstly, don't leave all those great images and memories on your phone: you could lose them.

Either upload them to a cloud platform or download onto your PC on a regular basis; insert a microSD card to allow images to be stored there rather than on internal storage.

Learn the ins and outs and limitations of your camera, so that it becomes second nature.

Use apps such as Snapseed, Hipstamatic, Lightroom Mobile or Photoshop Express to get the best out of your image.

Post production can turn a good image into a great one. YouTube abounds with videos on

how to use these apps but filter carefully - there are many experts who aren't. One I recommend is NavEdits.

Add-on lenses and filters expand the camera's possibilities. Third-party cameras increase capabilities. I use ProShot, allowing me to shoot Raw and jpeg, with a wider variety of shutter speeds. Lightroom Mobile has an excellent built-in camera. Open Camera is another good choice.

Finally, use the lowest ISO you can, to reduce noise, and just enjoy mobilography.

Here are three examples:

'Solitude' is a portrait of my granddaughter engrossed in her phone. I used spot metering and the glow of the phone to light her face, with just a few tweaks in Snapseed to finish.

'Reflected' is a shot of a window showing an electric scooter and the reflection of the city centre, making an interesting abstract.

The final image, 'Conversation', is an incamera multiple exposure, with a few tweaks in Photoshop, taken at last year's Downend Camera Club exhibition at Christ Church Downend.


Pavilion clean-up

We are always pleased to support people enjoying the art we love: feel free to join us on Instagram and Facebook, and exhibit your images on

these platforms, or even reach out for any tips or advice.

If you're hoping to spend more time with your camera this year and beyond, there's no better time to come along to one of our weekly meetings, on Tuesdays at 7.30pm at the Assembly Hall in Salisbury Road, Downend.

AT long last the sun has come out, which has enabled us to push on with a job that has been outstanding for quite a while.

One of our newer members has taken on the task of scraping off the old paint and repainting the pavilion at Bromley Park.

Obviously he has some help from other members, but it is good to see that a new member will put himself forward to lead a project.

Those of you that use the park on a regular basis will see a big difference now that the graffiti has been covered over with a coat of fresh white. Maybe another coat is needed.

Hopefully it will stay free of scrawl and graffiti.

Other members are now concentrating on work on the new container and also products for sale at the Frenchay Flower Show on July 13, where once again we will be having a large stall.

You can contact us at John Lockwood

45 Downend Voice June 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169
Ian Boulton n Solitude by Ian Boulton
n Reflected by Ian Boulton n Conversation by Ian Boulton

Photographing trees

“I THINK that I will never see a poem lovely as a tree” wrote the American poet Joyce Kilmer, modestly.

Well, trees may be scarce, or non-existent in some parts of the world, but in Bristol they are all around us: on the streets, in gardens and parks or in surrounding woods and fields.

Trees come in many types, shapes, sizes and colours, and they are permanently changing, from the fresh green wash, or flowers, of spring, through the strong greens of summer to the yellows, browns and russets of autumn, then the naked branches of winter.

In picking a subject the photographer must also choose the best weather and time of day. Finally, where is the tree, how does it relate to its environment and what is the best angle to take the photograph from?

All of these decisions were left to our club members by the most recent competition, which was called, simply, 'Trees'.

Members rose to the challenge splendidly and threw a challenge back at the judge: how do you choose from so much excellence?

Third place went to Owen Richards with his Winter Woodland. This could have been a very confusing photograph, with so much detail, but instead it makes delightful sense, with the light dusting of snow on the trees, the fallen branch and the greenish reflection of the branch in the water below.

Second place went to Bruce Gibbs with The Haunted Tree. A spotlight had been sent up to

help people walk along a path. By positioning himself so that light is behind the tree, silhouetting it, Bruce created the drama implied by the title.

First was Jeff McKinstry’s minimalist Standing Proud. Two trees stand in a flooded field, light ripples running through their reflections, the whole picture pulled together by the faintly perceived line of the field edge. Received wisdom among photographers is having things in pairs is distracting, threes giving a better balance. This exception certainly demonstrates that rules are there to be ignored.

Are you interested in photography, want to find out more or learn more about using the full extent of your camera?

We have a full programme of activities: competitions, presentations from guest speakers, outings in search of good subjects and learning exercises for members.

Visitors, new members and guests are always


THIS month, an update on how my vegetable gardening is progressing.

First I planted some beetroot seeds in some multi-purpose compost in a plastic trough. With all seeds, you should plant them when the soil has warmed up – and the weather, too! Unfortunately they took a while to germinate, as we were having a lot of heavy rain, but I am pleased to report that, as I write, they are doing fine and I have thinned them out.

I put the plants I bought from the garden centre out during the day to harden them off. I put one

made welcome (£3 if you just want to try us out).

If you would like to be part of a small but flourishing club, take a look at our website,, or contact us at

Small spaces for vegetables

runner bean each in a loo roll, with multi-purpose compost, and put a food/freezer bag over each one, zipping them up to create a minigreenhouse effect, then put them on a window sill.

Meanwhile I returned to the garden centre for trays of sweetcorn, kale and sweet peas.

Of course, I had to wait until May to put all these plants in their final positions.

The runner beans meanwhile were gradually coming up, so I potted them on into small plastic

pots and put a wire support for them, before Tony found a galvanised drain pipe cover, which he adapted to grow the runner beans up against the garden fence, tying on galvanised wire for the beans to train up. I am pleased to say they are doing very well.

Amongst the beans I put some sweet peas, to attract pollinators, and in front I put the broccoli.

I put one cauliflower in a large pot, with some good garden soil and vermiculite.

Top tip: to keep the slugs away,

try putting spent tea bags around the plants. Half a squeezed-out orange or lemon placed in another part of the garden will deter slugs and snails from nibbling at your precious plants. Try it – it really works!

Thank you to George Alway who gave a splendid talk at the latest speaker/coffee morning at Lincombe Barn in May. The next one is on September 5.

47 Downend Voice June 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169
n Winter Woodland by Owen Richards n Standing Proud by Jeff McKinstry
n The Haunted Tree by Bruce Gibbs
Celebrating 40 years of helping Bristol move home. est. 1983
Road, Downend, BS16 –for sale with Ocean Downend

Fun in the sun for Emersons Green JFC

EMERSONS Green Junior FC held a community fun day and presentation to celebrate the highlights and heroes of its season.

The club, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, has 16 teams – eight for boys and eight for girls – ranging from under-sixes to under-16s.

Hundreds of people attended the event on Walkers Field, Blackhorse Lane, for players, coaches and their families on May 11.

Club co-chairman Stuart Russ said: "It was a fantastic day –the sun was shining, there was a great community spirit and celebration of a club's football season coming to its conclusion.

"The outstanding achievement award went to Tracy Bending, the club secretary.

"This year we will be looking to put an adult female team in the league for the first time in the club's history, so we're looking forward to next season."


Keep moving: The key to mental health and happiness

IN today's fast-paced world, mental health has become a hot topic of conversation—and for good reason. We’re more aware than ever of the importance of taking care of our minds just as much as our bodies. But did you know that one of the simplest, most effective ways to boost your mental well-being is through regular movement? Sport England’s “Moving more for our Mental Health” campaign shines a spotlight on this powerful connection, reminding us all that staying active isn’t just about keeping fit; it’s about staying happy and healthy, too.

The Power of Movement

It’s no secret that exercise releases endorphins, those feel-good chemicals in our brains. But the benefits go far beyond a fleeting mood boost. Regular physical activity can significantly reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. In fact, research highlighted by Sport England shows that people who are active have up to a 30% reduced risk of becoming depressed. And for those who are already experiencing mental health challenges, physical activity can be as effective as medication and therapy in managing symptoms.

But what exactly does “movement” mean? It doesn’t have to involve gruelling gym

sessions or marathon training.

The key is finding activities that you enjoy and that fit seamlessly into your daily routine. This could be anything from a brisk walk in the park, a morning yoga session, dancing around your living room, or playing a game of football with friends. The goal is to keep moving in a way that feels good for you.

Staying Pain-Free

An essential aspect of maintaining an active lifestyle is ensuring that your movements are pain-free and that’s where we come in!

When exercise hurts, it’s hard to stay motivated, and the joy quickly disappears. To keep your physical and mental health thriving, it’s crucial to listen to your body and move in ways that are sustainable and comfortable. Here are some tips to help you stay pain-free:

Warm-Up and Cool Down:

Always start with a gentle warmup to prepare your body and end with a cool-down to aid recovery.

Proper Technique: Learn the correct form for any new exercise to avoid injury.

Rest and Recovery: Give your body time to recover between workouts to prevent overuse injuries.

Stay Hydrated and Nourished: Proper hydration and nutrition

support muscle function and recovery.

Listen to Your Body: If something hurts, stop and assess. Pushing through pain can lead to injury.

The Social Aspect Physical activity often involves social interaction, which is another significant boon for mental health. Whether it’s joining a local sports club, taking a group fitness class, or just walking with a friend, these social connections can provide support, reduce feelings of loneliness, and increase your overall sense of well-being. Sport England tells us that group activities can foster a sense of community and belonging, both of which are crucial for mental health.

Small Steps, Big Impact

You don’t need to make drastic changes to reap the benefits of movement. Small, consistent steps can make a huge difference. Start with what feels manageable and gradually build from there. The NHS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week, which can be broken down into smaller chunks. Even 10-minute bursts of activity can add up and have a significant positive impact on your mental health.

The Takeaway Incorporating regular movement into your life is a simple, effective

way to boost your mental health. By staying pain-free and finding joy in physical activity, you can create a sustainable habit that supports both your body and mind. So, whether it’s a morning stretch, an evening walk, or a weekend game, make movement a priority. Remember, the best exercise is the one you enjoy and can stick with.

The team here at Cleve Chiropractic are here to give you bespoke advice on how you can stay pain free and keep moving well, so if you feel that pain or injury is keeping you away from exercise then let us know and one of the team will assess how best to help you.

Sport England’s “Move for Your Mental Health” campaign reminds us that our well-being is a holistic journey. By staying active, connecting with others, and moving mindfully, we can all contribute to a healthier, happier community. So, lace up those trainers, find your favourite activity, and get moving—your mind will thank you for it!

49 Downend Voice June 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169
The Boys' Under-7 team's trophy presentation Girls' Under-14 trophy presentation ABOVE: Fun on the inflatables. RIGHT: Players staff a stall selling sweets for club funds

Mangos lift county cup

MANGOTSFIELD United ended the football season on a high note by winning the Gloucestershire FA Challenge Trophy.

The Mangos' 3-2 win over Cheltenham Saracens at Almondsbury made it two trophies in the last two seasons, after winning the Hellenic League Cup last year.

A whirlwind opening 20 minutes saw the Mangos take a 3-0 lead, with two goals from leading goalscorer Jadyn Crosbie and one from 17-year-old Jack Nunn.

The opener came from a penalty in the 12th minute: Will Ashton was brought down in the box as he was taking a shot, and Crosbie stepped up to convert from the spot.

Two minutes later Nunn made it two after being put clean through in the box.

He then provided the pass for Crosbie score the third in the 19th minute, evading challenges with some fantastic footwork.

Saracens got a goal back before half time and made it 3-2 on 56 minutes.

The last 35 minutes saw both sides come close, with Crosbie seeing a goal disallowed

and a shot hit the post, while Saracens had a penalty shout waved away and Mangos keeper Dominic Oakes tipped another over the bar with great athleticism.

But despite a tense last half hour Saracens could not find an equaliser and had a player sent off in stoppage time as the Mangos saw out the game.

The match came just two days after Mangotsfield lost the semi-final of another competition, the Marsh Cup, on penalties to Corsham Town.

The Wiltshire side had finished second in the Hellenic League Premier Division, 11 places above the Mangos.

Corsham took the lead through Dean Griffiths on 38 minutes, Mangotsfield battled well and matched them all the way, with Mircea Llea levelling on 53 minutes.

There was little to choose between the teams for the rest of the game, but Corsham were reduced to 10 men with five minutes to go, when Leon Greenland was sent off for denying a goal-scoring opportunity.

Extra time brought no break in the deadlock, and the dreaded penalty shoot-out was a close one, but the Mangos lost 7-6.

Corsham went on to the final two weeks later, where another penalty shoot-out success earned them the Marsh Cup, after a 2-2 draw with promoted champions Worcester City.

Attention now moves to the Mangos'

ground improvements, with funding secured for the new 3G all-weather pitch at Cossham Street.

The Club have asked for all opening league matches next season to be played away from home until the new pitch is ready, and will have to wait and see if cup matches are affected when the draws for the FA Cup and FA Vase are made in July.

Match report details from Mangotsfield United

50 Downend Voice June 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377 SPORT
Mangotsfield United players celebrate with the GFA Challenge Trophy. Picture: Mangotsfield United

Mixed start to cricket season

CARSONS and Mangotsfield 1st team have had a mixed start to the season in the two league games played to date.

They lost a low-scoring game against Bristol United Banks by 8 wickets.

The following week, against St Mary Redcliffe, they won by 25 runs. In amassing a total of 202, all-rounder Ollie Catton top scored with 41. St Mary Redcliffe were bowled out for 177, with Will Thatcher taking 3-29.

The second team have won both their opening games.

First they chased down a large Stapleton total of 261, with Tom Smurthwaite scoring 69.

Their second game against Whitchurch was a 10 wicket win. Whitchurch were scuttled out for 68, Max Garland taking 5-28, including a hat-trick.

The third team have only played once due to the weather, losing to Golden Hill by 8 wickets.

The Sunday team have started the season with two wins. Against Tamil Nadu Bristol CC, Jack O'Hara top scored with 52 in a total of 164. Tamil Nadu were dismissed for 96, with Under-15 bowler Ben Child taking 5-21.

The following week against Hanham, Jack Woodland took 4-41 as they posted 201. The result was never in doubt as Tom King (69) and Kieran Gallagher (111 not out) put on an opening stand of 189.

The wet weather has affected the commencement of the youth season, with a number of matches cancelled or abandoned.

The U11s, U13s and U15s have all completed a cup matchall against Frenchay sides, with mixed results. The U15s had a comfortable win, chasing down Frenchay's 63 runs in 12 overs, with Ben Child taking 4-25, including a hat-trick.

Both the U11s and U113s lost against their respective Frenchay opponents. The Frenchay teams were both strong, with the Carsons and Mangotsfield teams showing great team spirit.

Ian Coles


Flyers secure safety

IT truly was a “must-win” game for the Downend Flyers women’s first team when they hosted Bitton in their final match of the season.

Following eight league losses on the spin, Dean Giles’ charges knew they needed to avoid defeat by more than two goals to avoid the wooden spoon, and win to climb clear of the dreaded drop zone.

Having to play the game on May 12 at Downend School, due to their Pomphrey Hill home being given over to cricket for the summer, the Flyers recorded the most vital of 3-1 wins.

Beth Pitman bagged a brace and Brooke Moore added a third.

The three points were enough to lift the “Voilanero” up to 7th place in the 10-team division, providing a platform to build from next season.

Our ladies celebrated their salvation by rehydrating themselves in the city centre that evening!

Meanwhile our other two women’s teams also secured their places in their divisions to confirm our stature as one of the biggest women’s teams in the South West, with more than 80 players across the three sides.

Our 20 girls' sides are now finishing their league campaigns ahead of an exciting summer of tournaments, especially our own jamboree on June 22-23 on Johnson Road fields.

Why not pop down and see the joy of female football for yourselves? Duncan Gardner

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discuss your needs or to arrange a free, no obligation quotation, please do not hesitate to contact us Beautiful contemporary kitchens, bathrooms & wetrooms, also cloakrooms & understair toilets BATHROOMS & KITCHENS


HOUSE RE-WIRING SPECIALISTS GUTTER CLEANING GUTTERING SERVICES Mark’s Gutter Cleaning Gutter Clearing Gutter Cleaning Fascia Cleaning Call or Book online Tel: 0117 3708528 Mob: 07543056558 Based in Downend, Bristol GARDEN MAINTENANCE GARDEN MAINTENANCE HOUSE & RUBBISH CLEARANCE Visit us: Email us: Call us: 07592 506 003 HOUSE CLEARANCE GARAGE CLEARANCE GARDEN CLEARANCE GENERAL RUBBISH CLEARANCE House clearance & waste management services MINIMUM COLLECTION FROM £49 - FREE QUOTATIONS fully licensed and insured FULLY LICENSED AND INSURED MACHINE HIRE J AND J CONSTRUCTION MAINTENANCE & PEST CONTROL LTD Tel 07779242184 Digger Hire Grass Cutter Hire Garden Clearance We can supply the machines manned or unmanned LOCAL SERVICES 53 Downend Voice June 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 PAINTING & DECORATING SJM DECORATING Professional Decorating Local Qualified tradesmen Internal & External Decorating Fast, reliable & friendly service Fully insured Free Quotations Call Scott 07515 523 623 0117 3824411 OVEN CLEANING All ovens Ranges Agas Rayburns Hobs Extractors Give your oven a new lease of life AffordableProfessional - Friendly Call 07985696611 Email HOUSE CLEARANCE HOUSES GARAGES SHEDS STORAGE UNITS YARDS GARDENS GENERAL RUBBISH RECYCLING IS OUR PRIORITY Fullylicensed Friendly Local Service You instruct,wedeliver HAYLEY: 07342 961564 ALFIE: 07724 665926 WASTE CARRIERS LICENCE No: CBDU496476 HOUSE CLEARANCE HOUSES GARAGES SHEDS STORAGE UNITS YARDS GARDENS GENERAL RUBBISH RECYCLING IS OUR PRIORITY Fullylicensed Friendly Local Service You instruct,wedeliver HAYLEY: 07342 961564 ALFIE: 07724 665926 WASTE CARRIERS LICENCE No: CBDU496476 HOUSE CLEARANCE HOUSE CLEARANCE HAYLEY 07342 961564 WASTE CARRIERS LICENCE No CBDU496476 ALFIE 07724 665926 RECYCLING IS OUR PRIORITY Fully licensed Friendly Local Service You instruct, we deliver HOUSES GARAGES SHEDS STORAGE UNITS YARDS GARDENS GENERAL RUBBISH Friendly Female Gardener Do you need help with garden maintenance? Services include: Lawn-mowing, weeding, hedge-trimming, jet-washing patios and driveways Weekly, monthly or ad hoc service Hardworking, honest and reliable Call Rachel on 07817932743


PLUMBING & HEATING OUR FRIENDLY TEAM OF GAS SAFE ENGINEERS ARE READY TO HELP WITH INSTALLATIONS, REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE. AR HEATING SERVICES BOILER INSTALLATION, SERVICING & REPAIRS 0117 967 6268 10 YEAR WARRANTY PLUMBING & HEATING 07878249260 629179 56746 CREST HEATING & PLUMBING BOILERS, BATHROOMS AND GENERAL PLUMBING TEL: 07765 250816 OVER 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE HONEST & RELIABLE PLUMBING & HEATING PLUMBING & HEATING 10 YEAR PARTS & LABOUR WARRANTY INCLUDED UP TO £400 OFF YOUR NEW BOILER FOR A LIMITED TIME BRISTOL: 0117 9000 986 MOBILE: 07834 633376 3 generations in the plumbing and heating industry and a quality service from a local family business Boiler service and repair, new boilers supplied and installed, full system and design, free 10 year parts and labour warranty on new boilers, general plumbing. We are also Gas Safe registered - OAP DISCOUNTS PAINTING & DECORATING Builder & Interior Decorator Dacrisco Builder E: T: 0117 401 8568 / 07557 335 956 Classic & Natural stone tiles Specialising in Italian showers Contemporary & Provençale kitchens Interior & Exterior Masonry Interior & façade painting High Quality Finish Free Quote Bristol & Surrounding Areas 17 Years Experience Interior & Exterior Masonry Tiling Interior & Facade Painting No Job Too Small Free Quote 17 Years Experience Renovation Painter Tiler Decorator T: 0117 382 7716 / 07557 335 956 E: 54 Downend Voice June 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377 LOCAL SERVICES Blue Flame Services 0117 960 0296 0797 0122137 0117 960 0296 0797 0122137 Specialists in NEW and replacement boiler installations in and around Bristol and surrounding areas. Boiler Servicing / Repairs Landlord Gas & PAT Testing Nobody likes the thought of paying for a major new item in the house, let alone an expensive one. Yet a new boiler might save you a considerable amount in gas consumption, lowering your energy bills and also helps save on repair bills. Save £’s on fuel bills with a new ‘A’ rated energy saving boiler! And receive up to a 13 year warranty! APPROVED INSTALLERS FOR blueflame_a6leaflet.indd 1 15/03/2022 16:34 APPROVED INSTALLERS FOR Specialists in NEW and replacement boiler installations in and around Bristol and surrounding areas. Boiler Servicing/Repairs Landlord Gas & PAT Testing Save £’s on fuel bills with a new ‘A’ rated energy saving boiler! And receive up to a 13 year warranty! Nobody likes the thought of paying for a major new item in the house, let alone an expensive one. Yet a new boiler might save you a considerable amount in gas consumption, lowering your energy bills and also helps save on repair bills. PLUMBING & HEATING PLASTERING PAINTING & DECORATING J L Painting & Decorating Jason Lee Qualified Painter & Decorator No Job too small Free No obligation quote Telephone: 07474573780 0117 2792264 e: PAINTING & DECORATING Third generation family business offering professional exterior and interior painting and decorating services locally. Quality workmanship Paperhanging specialist Competitively priced ST E V E PA I NT E R D ECOR AT I N G S E RV I C ES Call Steve Painter on: 01179 565 190 / 07853 250 035 PAINTING & DECORATING South Gloss
Painters & Decorators Contact: Dave Beauchamp Mob: 07739 382 524 E-Mail: Facebook: Interior and Exterior Affordable, Reliable, Professional
Call Steve 07792844225 or 0117 9677414 • Pebbledashing specialist • Waterproof rendering • Thin coat render systems • Internal plastering • No job to small • 35 years experience • Fully insured


















• LEAD-PIPES 0117 9564912

• LEAD-PIPES 0117 9564912

• LEAD-PIPES 0117 9564912





Shower installations

All makes supplied

Installed, repaired

Replacement units


Apricot Electrical

200 Overndale Road, Downend Bristol BS16 2RH

PLUMBING WIGS LOCATED IN DOWNEND We have been supplying all types of wigs and hairpieces for fashion and medical purposes for 45 years. Wigs can be purchased off the peg or made to measure in hair or synthetic fibre. We stock many styles and makes. Please book an appointment on: 0117 956 0805 Wigs Bristol Wigs Bristol WASTE DISPOSAL WINDOW & DOOR SOLUTIONS TREE SURGEONS J.A. Cole & Sons Tree Surgeons • Tree Surgery • Hedge & Shrub work • Precision Felling • Size Reduction • Fully insured • Domestic & Commercial . PROFESSIONAL EXPERT SERVICE - 40 YEARS EXPERIENCE OF TREE WORK Free Quotations & Advice 0117 9567298 07768 973291 RUBBISH CLEARED Registered upper tier waste carrier licence no CBDU225074 We load and clear rubbish/junk from houses Flats, Sheds, Attics, Gardens etc etc No job too small - we even clear single items Cheaper than a skip and we load no VAT Contact Stuart or Sue Freephone 0800 0234 995 Mobile 07770944727 anytime inc. weekends sales@t ellwindows Windows Doors Conservatories 07786730804 0117 279 9409 Call us today for a FREE no-obligation quotation Local business based in Downend • We replace & install Windows, Doors, Bi-Folding doors, Conservatories + much more • uPVC, Aluminium and Timber Windows & Doors • Service & repairs of all types of uPVC, misted double glazing, lock repairs & hinge replacements • Internorm UK specialist for the South West ROOFING LIMITED N. BROWN SLATING • TILING • REPAIRS GUTTERS • FASCIAS FREE NO OBLIGATION QUOTES Give Nigel a call he’s local and has a wealth of experience ✆ 07779 786072 ROOFING PROPERTY MAINTENANCE PROPERTY MAINTENANCE J AND J CONSTRUCTION & MAINTENANCE SERVICES Providing general building, factory facilities work, gardening, pest control Tel 07779242184 PLUMBING 55 Downend Voice June 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 LOCAL SERVICES • Bathroom & Kitchen Installation • Plumbing • Wall & Floor Tiling • Interior & Exterior Painting & Decorating • Guttering & Fascias • Plastering • Patios, Paving & Timber Decking • Fencing & Walls • Total Refurbishments NO JOB TOO SMALL - CONTACT US FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION ESTIMATE HOME & PROPERTY MAINTENANCE tel: 07974 222656 email: SHOWER REPAIRS Apricot Showers
FREE ESTIMATES 0117 956 3285 Mobile 07976 665448
Approved Contractor




We specialise in stunning made to measure curtains that will add a touch of class to your home.

Choose from a range of fabulous fabrics, tracks and poles that will enhance your interior design.

We offer a free measuring service and can advise on the best window dressings to match your budget.

To arrange an appointment please contact us.



We supply and fit a wide range of top-quality blinds from leading manufacturers including Louvolite, Eclipse, Decora, Arena. Available options include Roller, Venetian, Roman, Perfect Fit, Pleated, Blackout, Cellular and Vertical Blinds.

To arrange a free measuring appointment, please contact us.



Shutters are the epitome of elegance.

Webber and Spencer design, supply and fit beautiful shutters in Bristol that will add the wow factor to your home. Our plantation shutters are perfect for both contemporary and modern homes and are available in a range of colours and finishes.

To book a free appointment for a designer to measure up and provide an estimate, please contact us today.


21 Cleeve Wood Road, Downend BS16 2SF enquiries@webberand 01172 870285

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