Downend Voice May 2024

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Back home

Ballet dancer Ava May Llewellyn, from Downend, has made her first professional performance in her home city.

Full story: Page 19

Picture: Paul Hassell/Birmingham Royal Ballet

THE parents of a young man who was killed in a crash on the Avon Ring Road are working to help other families in their position.

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

The former Mangotsfield School pupil's family


have set up a foundation in his memory, to help charities that offer help to bereaved relatives, after finding it hard to find support following his death.

In their first major fundraising event, a team of runners is coming together to race in Tyler's memory at this month's Great Bristol Run.

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Here at Craig Anthonys we pride ourselves not only on the styles but also the advice that we can provide. Our award winning team with years of experience in colouring and cutting can provide a style unique to suite you.

To arrange a no obligation consultation pop in or give us a call.

Top knitting

A tribute to St George and the Dragon is the latest colourful postbox topper created by talented Downend knitters.


£2m upgrade

More than £2 million will be spent to improve safety on one of the main roads through Downend.


Children 'at risk'

An inspector says children's safety is "put at risk" at a day nursery in Downend.


Birth centre call

Two MPs want the government to ensure a maternity centre serving the area, which has been closed for 18 months, has enough staff to reopen.


Craig Anthonys Tel: 01179 571551 1 Willow Centre, Downend Road, Downend 20 St James Place Mangotsfield BS16 9JB 0117 910 9002
Helping others in Tyler's name


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Man admits killing footballer Scott

A MAN has admitted killing former Mangotsfield United footballer Scott Hendy.

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Avon & Somerset police said George Baylis punched 46-yearold Scott, who also played for Clevedon Town, Bath City and Yate Town, in the car park of the Kings Arms pub, off Redwick Road, Pilning, in the early hours of March 2.

Scott, a father of three children, died the following day of a head injury, in Southmead Hospital. Baylis, aged 30, of Redwick Road in Pilning, pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter at Bristol Crown Court on April 8. He has been remanded in custody until a hearing on May 29.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Almond, of the police major crime investigation team, said: "This incident has had truly tragic consequences, and our heartfelt thoughts and sympathies go out to Scott’s family.

"We have updated them of the guilty plea and specially trained officers will continue to offer them support."

In March around 900 people remembered Scott, who was living in Pilning when he was killed, at a charity match at Mangotsfield United's Cossham Street ground.

The former central defender, who made almost 400 appearances for the club, had been due to play in the match on March 17 but after his death it was transformed into a memorial event, raising more than £5,000 to support his family.

Scott leaves behind sons Lewis and Harvey, aged 24 and 14, and daughter Holly, 13.

His children and his parents, Bob and Jen, were among family members who attended the memorial game.

After Scott's death the club's board and committee issued a statement, which said: "Scott was someone who was held in very high regard within the club and his loss is felt by all who knew him and enjoyed watching him play.

"More than just a great player, he was a great person and was well thought of by fans, managers and teammates alike."

Scott's friend and former team-mate Geraint Bater, who played alongside him at both Mangotsfield and Clevedon Town, organised a Gofundme donation page to support his family, which had raised more than £16,000 by mid-April.

It can be found online at

Geraint said: "Scott was loved by everyone who met him; he was funny, genuine and the life and soul of any party. His sense of humour was legendary and his loss will be felt from all over Bristol, such was the reach of his infectious personality.

"I know the word legend is banded around a bit, but he comes firmly into that category."

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Family's foundation will keep Tyler's memory alive

From Page 1

Tyler's dad Mark said he, Tyler's mum Gemma and siblings Kylan, Skye and Ronni-Irene, had founded The Road Forward – Tyler Carley Foundation to support road accident victims' families in the light of their own experience.

He said that in the immediate aftermath of Tyler's death: "We literally had no support.

"The police give you a green book and send you on your way. You come home and get an email about six hours later from your police liaison officer, and that's it. There was nothing at all for Tyler's sisters, brother, aunts and uncles."

The family eventually found two charities which offered help.

The first, SCARD (Support & Care After Road Death & Injury), provides a phone helpline, free counselling, legal and practical support for families affected by road deaths and serious injuries.

The second, 2Wish, supports the families of children and young people who have passed away, offering counselling, home visits and 'memory boxes'.

After supporting SCARD with donations from mourners at Tyler's funeral, the family started considering a more permanent way of honouring his memory.

Mark said they decided to go ahead and set up The Road Forward after people who knew Tyler contacted them offering to run the 10k at the Great Bristol Run in his memory.

Already more than 20 people

have volunteered to run, with an initial target set of raising £5,000 through sponsorship and online donations.

Mark said every penny raised would go towards charities supporting other families in a similar position, and to raise awareness of their work.

Eventually he hopes that the foundation will be able to offer help direct to local bereaved families struggling with funeral and burial costs, or living expenses after having to take time off work.

Mark, who and grew up in Kingswood, also hopes to organise sessions to teach CPR at Kingswood Boxing Club, where he is a volunteer coach, after learning that passers-by tried to revive Tyler at the scene of the crash that claimed his life.

Mark said: "It's surprising the number of people who don't know any first aid."

Tyler lived in Kingswood before moving to Mangotsfield and then Thornbury, attending St Stephen's infants and juniors

Adam will run 5k a day

AMONG those running to raise money in Tyler's memory is Adam Young, a fellow Bristol Rovers fan who got to know Tyler and Mark from attending away games together.

Tyler Carley (right) with dad Mark at the Memorial Stadium

before going to Mangotsfield School and then the Castle School. He was working as a scaffolder when he died.

Mark said Tyler had a big group of friends from Kingswood, Mangotsfield and Thornbury, and also from playing football for Deerswood, Longwell Green and Bristol Rovers' development squad. He was a big Rovers fan, following the club home and away, both with his dad and with friends.

People from all areas of Tyler's life are supporting the fundraising, along with Mark's colleagues at gas supplier Flogas – the company is supplying running tops for the team running the 10k on May 19.

More details on The Road Forward can be found at the charity's Facebook and Twitter accounts, or by emailing info@ A website is also being set up at

Anyone who wants to donate to the foundation online can do so via its JustGiving page at

Adam, who grew up in Downend and now lives in Chipping Sodbury, has pledged to run 5km every day during May.

Adam, who works at Bristol Airport, said: "I knew Tyler through supporting Bristol Rovers. He was a polite, happy and friendly lad, who enjoyed his away trips with us, going to grounds that we hadn’t been to before.

"I saw everyone was going to do the Bristol 10k, but I can’t do it due to work commitments. I still wanted to raise money for the foundation, so I came up with 5k a day for May.

"The routes will vary and I will try to mix them up – even when I'm away in the Canaries, I’ll still be running over there every day."

Adam has already received pledges of more than £450 – his JustGiving page can be found at

• A 37-year-old man was arrested in connection with Tyler's death and later released under investigation. Police say their enquiries into the circumstances of the incident are ongoing and as yet, no one has been charged. Anyone with information should call the police on 101 and give the reference number 5223 297 300.

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Adam Young pictured with a young Tyler Carley

£2m road safety upgrade

MORE than £2 million in funding has been announced to improve safety on one of the main routes through Downend.

The Department for Transport says a total of £2.275m will be spent on measures to reduce the risks to cyclists and pedestrians using a five-and-a-half mile stretch of the A432, from the Avon Ring Road through to Easton.

The Bristol and South Gloucestershire A432 Safer Roads Fund project will include "speed reducing measures" and improved pedestrian crossings, with the aim of bringing about "significant reductions in fatal and serious injuries" on the road.

It will include the length of Badminton Road from the Wick Wick roundabout junction with the A4174 into the middle of Downend, the entire lengths of Downend Road and Fishponds Road, and the Stapleton Road in Easton.

Two miles of road covered by the project are in South Gloucestershire and the rest are in Bristol. The funding has been given to Bristol City Council, which will coordinate the work.

The city council was unable to give the Voice any details of the scheme.

A South Gloucestershire Council spokesperson said designs for road safety measures are in the early stages and a timescale for the project has not yet been fixed, although proposals would be shared during a public consultation before any work starts.

The funding is part of £38.3m for road improvements announced by the DfT under its Safer Road Funding scheme in late March.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: "Britain’s roads are some of the safest in the world, but we are always looking at ways to help keep drivers and all road users safe."

Funding was awarded using the Crash Risk Mapping project published annually by the Road Safety Foundation, based on traffic flow data and figures for reported road casualties.

The RSF says there were 15 collisions involving serious or fatal injuries on the stretch of the A432 covered by the project between 2019 and 2021, a 15% rise on the previous three years.

It estimates the improvements will reduce fatal and serious injury accidents on the A432 by more than 30% in the next 20 years.

Data site recorded 23 people injured, four of them seriously, in collisions along Badminton Road and 27 people injured, five of them seriously, on Downend Road over the five years from 2018 to 2022.

The DfT says the project will involve "introducing speed reducing measures and improving pedestrian crossing facilities, which will help to improve active travel by reducing the risk to pedestrians and cyclists".

Bridge works close motorway

THE M4 has undergone the first of three overnight closures as part of work to replace the A432 Badminton Road bridge.

National Highways, which owns the bridge and is responsible for the replacement work, closed the motorway in both directions between the Hambrook and Tormarton junctions (19 and 18) overnight on April 18, and has announced two more closures, on May 16 and June 13, from 9.30pm until 6am each night.

Drivers heading east are being diverted via the M32 on to the A4174 Avon Ring Road, the A420 between Warmley and Cold Ashton, then the A46 to Tormarton, with westbound traffic diverted onto the same route in the opposite direction.

The closure is part of "investigations to determine utility connection points", as engineers work out how to reroute the cables and pipes which are carried by the bridge.

They are also carrying out "ecological mitigation" before vegetation clearance around the structure begins. Surveys

at the site found that dormice, a protected species, live there, which means the contractors need a special licence from environment body Natural England.

The bridge, which carried 16,000 vehicles a day on the A432 between Bristol and Yate, closed last July after engineers found "accelerated deterioration and cracking" in the concrete.

It meant motorists who travelled on Badminton Road between Downend and Frampton Cotterell had to find alternative routes, in part on narrow country roads.

In an update on its work National Highways said: "At present, we are on schedule to begin trenching works below the M4 around mid-June, with an anticipated demolition date of September/October, subject to coordination with utility providers and other authorities.

"The bridge will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists until demolition takes place."

"Further overnight closures may be required before demolition of the structure."

Workers on the M4. Picture: National Highways

Children's safety 'at risk' at nursery

AN inspector says "children's safety is put at risk" at a day nursery in Downend.

Education regulator Ofsted visited the Kiddi Caru Day Nursery and Pre-school in Downend Road in January.

In her report, published in April, inspector Victoria Nicolson said the nursery's leadership and management, and children's personal development, is 'inadequate'.

She said the quality of education and children's behaviour and attitudes 'require improvement', with the nursery given an 'inadequate' overall rating.

The inspector said: "Although there are procedures in place to safeguard children, these are not followed, and children's safety is put at risk.

"Leaders have not ensured that staff understand the new nursery procedures for safeguarding to make sure that concerns are recorded and acted on appropriately. For example, even when staff raise concerns about children's welfare, the designated safeguarding lead does not share this information with parents and other agencies to ensure that children are kept safe."

The inspector said that staff working with the younger children at the nursery, which has 57 under-fours on its roll, "take time to work with parents and get to know the children to support their needs well".

However older children "do not get the

same supportive and nurturing experiences", as their key-person system does not work well and staff working with them "do not gather information from parents about children's individual needs and interests".

The inspector said: "Children struggle to settle due to frequent changes to the staff who care for them."

She also criticised support for pre-school children with delayed progress or special educational needs or disabilities, which was "not good enough".

The inspector said staff working with the younger children support children's communication and language skills well,


and the nursery also provides "lots of opportunities for fresh air and exercise".

Ofsted has told the nursery to make a series of improvements to staff understanding of safeguarding, improve its key person system for pre-school children, improve support for staff working with older children and provide support for children who need additional help.

The nursery was one of two in Downend that Grandir UK bought from Bristol-based provider Mama Bear's last summer.

It was last inspected in September 2022, and given a 'requires improvement' rating.

A spokesperson for Grandir UK said: "We take Ofsted’s feedback very seriously and we apologise to our families for falling below the standards they would expect from us.

"We are disappointed with the inspection outcome but accept it and fully commit to addressing the points raised in the report.

"We have already taken action; the nursery has a clear plan in place following our own internal assessment and will continue to act upon and resolve any further points raised from the inspection.

"Our highest priority, as always, is the safety, well-being, and education of all children in our care and we will continue to strive to ensure that the next time Ofsted visit, the outcome of the inspection will be vastly different."

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The Kiddi Caru nursery in Downend Road

Dimming lights lessens cuts to libraries

COUNCIL leaders have defended cutting library hours to save £273,000 from South Gloucestershire’s budget.

Downend and Staple Hill libraries are among eight which will be staffed for half a day less than before, while Emersons Green will close earlier each day, with staffed opening hours are limited to 10am to 5pm, plus three hours on Saturdays.

Cabinet member for communities Sean Rhodes (Lab, Kingswood) told a council meeting on April 15 that original proposals were to cut library spending by £473,000, but a £200,000 annual saving from dimming street lights meant that less needed to be taken from the library budget.

Lights will be dimmed to a quarter of their normal brightness from 11pm to 6am each night to cut electricity costs.

Cllr Rhodes said the budget for books would go down by


only half of the £50,000 initially planned and that all branches would have longer staffed hours than first anticipated.

But Conservative Frenchay & Downend ward councillor Liz Brennan criticised the Lib Dem/Labour administration for cutting library services in "priority neighbourhoods" with higher levels of deprivation.

Cllr Rhodes said: “We have to balance the issue around footfall in different neighbourhoods, and actually the footfall for libraries is higher elsewhere than in priority neighbourhoods.

“Disproportionately cutting hours at libraries with big footfall doesn’t necessarily make full sense.”

Trade union Unison had called the original cuts – which included cutting a full day of opening at Cadbury Heath, Patchway and Winterbourne libraries - “discriminatory”. It claimed they would leave the

council unable to meet its legal duty to provide a “comprehensive and efficient” library service.

Cllr Rhodes said council officers had been in regular contact with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to the authority complied with its legal responsibilities.

He said: "The crucial thing to acknowledge is that with the initial proposal, the potential impact of these changes was far greater, and officers have worked really hard to come up with a solution with us to mitigate this.

“There was clear opposition from the public consultation process to the budget reduction for buying books, so we’ve found mitigations in other areas."

Cllr Rhodes said the Open Access scheme, which enables residents to use libraries when they are not staffed, worked well but a quarter of people responding to the budget consultation were not aware of it.

The plan to dim street lights received broad public support –69% – during consultations, and trials over the winter led to only one complaint, that lights should be turned down further.

However one in 10 of the 783 respondents said the change would make them feel more vulnerable.

Cabinet member for climate and nature emergency Louise Harris (Lib Dem, Dodington) said dimming street lights was good for wildlife and people.

She said: “Sleep disorders, depression, diabetes, heart disease and indeed cancer are linked to artificial light at night. It affects our diurnal and nocturnal activities.”

It will take engineers two years to reprogramme all 31,500 street lamps individually to dim between 11pm and 6am.

Theatretrain opens musical theatre Classes in Emersons Green

EXCITING news for young people aged 8-12 years old. Theatretrain, a trusted name in the performing arts education since 2003, is now offering musical theatre classes at Emersons Green Village Hall. These 90 minute sessions will cover popular musicals from stage and screen.

Theatretrain brings a wealth of experience to our community. Their classes are known for being engaging and inclusive, focussing on Singing, dancing and acting. It’s not just about putting on a show, it is about building confidence and teamwork skills in a fun environment.

Parents will appreciate the positive impact that Theatretrain has on their children’s development. From boosting self esteem to fostering creativity, these classes offer more than performing arts training. They provide a supportive community where kids can express themselves and make new friends.

These classes are taught by an industry professional with a wealth of experience, and at the moment Theatretrain are offering a FREE taster session.

So, if you have a young performer at home or know someone who loves to sing, dance and act, spread the word! Theatretrain’s musical theatre classes welcome everyone who enjoys musicals, no experience is necessary.

To book a place or to find out more information, email

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MPs have called on the government to take action to reopen a maternity centre serving the Downend area, which has been closed for 18 months.

Kingswood MP Damien Egan has written to Health Secretary Victoria Atkins calling on her to provide "certainty" on when the Cossham Birth Centre will reopen its doors to expectant mothers – and to take action on the staffing crisis in NHS midwifery which is keeping it closed.

The midwife-led centre at the hospital in Lodge Road is part of the closest NHS-run maternity service to the Downend area, and was set up to provide a "home from home environment with birthing pools, aromatherapy, massage and a focus on active birth".

North Bristol NHS Trust, which runs the centre, announced in October 2022 that it was "temporarily suspending" services, citing "workforce challenges due to sickness and vacancies".

Last summer the trust said the suspension would remain in place until the spring of this

Call to reopen birth centre after 18-month closure

year, but it was "committed to providing maternity care from the site".

Since the start of this year, the Voice has been asking the trust whether it has been able to set a date for reopening the centre, but it has been unable to confirm one.

The suspension follows previous closures between October 2018 and 2019, and December 2021 to January 2022.

Mr Egan and neighbouring MP Kerry McCarthy, whose Bristol East constituency includes the hospital site, have sent a joint letter to the Health Secretary.

They said: "Unfortunately we have been told the unit is not in a position to reopen, as the trust is still facing difficulties with midwife recruitment and retention."

The MPs say the issue has

been raised repeatedly with Ms Atkins and her predecessors.

They said: "Since the refurbished birth centre reopened 11 years ago, it has been forced to close its doors for over two and a half years due to workforce challenges. It is not right that following a multimillion refurbishment, the centre has been forced to close its doors for more than a quarter of the time since."

The MPs said the high turnover and shortage of midwives was "putting staff, mothers and babies at risk", adding: "As Secretary of State will you do everything you can to address the workforce challenges within maternity services in the NHS?

"We would also be grateful if you could provide any certainty of when the Birth Centre might expect to re-open its doors, so



that it can once again serve the people of Bristol and South Gloucestershire."

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "We are aiming to increase the number of nursing and midwifery training places to around 58,000 by 2031/32 through the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, which is backed by over £2.4 billion in government funding.

"We have invested £165 million a year since 2021 to improve maternity and neonatal care."

North Bristol NHS Trust continues to run appointments, breastfeeding support and other services from Cossham, as well as a midwife-led centre at Southmead Hospital and a home birth service.


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Legal row over flats plan

A CAR salesman has threatened legal action over new flats planned for Staple Hill.

The five flats, on the corner of the High Street and Victoria Street, will come with no parking spaces, and instead residents will be given bike shop discounts and cycling leaflets.

South Gloucestershire Council granted planning permission in April for developer Yellow Giraffe to extend the former Mark Richard insurance office, next to Jason's Trading Post, converting the existing building into two one-bedroom flats, with an extension along Victoria Street accommodating three more flats, two with two bedrooms and the other with one bedroom.

The plans, first reported in

January's Voice, involve adding an extra storey on top of the exiting two-storey building, and constructing a large three storey extension on an existing car park.

But the council's development management committee, which approved the plans, was told that if they went ahead without changes, the development's bicycle racks would "block access" for customers to the nearby AB Autos car showroom, which uses the car park.

AB Autos owner James Brayley said: “In 1994, my late father came to an agreement with the then owners of 141

How the developer says the new flats will look, with the bike and bin store bottom right. Picture: Cryer & Coe Architects

High Street that we would have permanent and unrestricted right of way over the first seven metres of the boundary wall from 1 Victoria Street. This is registered with the Land Registry.

“The proposal to locate the cycle and bin store on my right of way clearly breaches this agreement. If the planning permission is granted, it will be extremely difficult for myself and my customers to gain access to my business.

“If the plans are not revised, I’ll have no choice but to seek an injunction through the courts. I would suggest the developer finds an alternative location for

the bin and cycle store, not on my right of way.”

Council planning officers said they had checked the Land Registry, and all of the site in the plans is owned by the applicant.

Arhitect Duncan Cryer, who designed the scheme, said: “10 years ago, we would expect a typical housing application to include parking, and office parking in particular in the centre of Bristol was in very high demand. However, over the last 10 years we’ve seen a significant shift in this.

“The site is in easy walking distance to the High Street, Page Park, a doctor’s surgery, dentist and leisure centre. The Bristol to Bath cycle trail is about 800 metres south-west of the site, as well as two other cycle routes approximately half a mile away.

“For trains, you’ve got Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway both within a half hour cycle or easy bus ride. While it hasn’t got any car parking spaces, in such a location we should probably be questioning why any project like this would have parking.”

Meeting report by Alex Seabrook

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A MANGOTSFIELD dad who made it his life's mission to honour the memory of his teenage son has died, after a long battle with cancer.

Gordon Clapp's son Jamie was just 13 when he was killed in a plane crash in 2007.

Mangotsfield School pupil Jamie and his friends loved skateboarding and BMX riding, and after his death Gordon worked with them to secure £100,000 to fund a skate park in Emersons Green, from local councillors, South Gloucestershire Council and the Big Lottery Fund's People's Millions partnership.

Gordon continued to fundraise for improvements at the park, next to Emersons Green retail park. He also met with Jamie's friends to remember him at the park every year around July 3, the anniversary of the day his son died.

Just under two years ago Gordon announced he had been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and had been given months to live.

He died at his home in Mangotsfield, where he lived with his partner Jean, on March 15, aged 81.

Gordon's funeral was held at Westerleigh Crematorium

Time called on the Grapevine

MANGOTSFIELD pub and restaurant the Grapevine Brasserie is closing after six years of trading.

The owners of the business said rising costs and a lack of custom since the pandemic were behind the decision to cease trading on May 5.

The news was announced via a post on the Grapevine's Facebook page, which said it was being made "with a heavy heart", adding: "We would like to thank each and every one of you for showing your support over the years, but with the ever growing cost of goods, consumables and a lack of custom, we have not been able to fully recover since opening after Covid."

Customers who have

Tributes to Gordon, who kept son's memory alive

in April and Mangotsfield community pastor Clive Heath, who took the service, said it was "standing room only" in the chapel.

Clive said: "Gordon was very liked and respected by all who knew him.

"He was a larger than life character, who had a heart

of gold – despite his health problems he would do anything for anyone.

"Gordon was so appreciative to all of Jamie's friends and their families, who helped him raised the funds for the skatepark in memory of his beloved son Jamie

"Gordon was a fighter – he never gave up, no matter what life threw at him, and he made it his life's work to improve the skateboard park for all to use.

"His partner Jean and families would like to thank all for their support in this sad time.

"Gordon will be missed by so many people, friends and family alike – he was a true local

vouchers for the business are being encouraged to come and use them while the pub remains open, with refunds also available until closing day.

Staff also apologised to customers with bookings after the closing date, saying: "We are extremely sorry for having to do this but trust us when we say this is the last thing we wanted to do."

The Grapevine is part of a

Downend-based family business run by Mike and Denise Hoare and their children Mitch, Jade, Vinny and Baily.

The family also run the Mokka cafe, bar and lounge in Downend and another Mokka outlet in Keynsham.

They previously ran the Foresters pub in Salisbury Road, Downend, but moved on around a year ago.

Mitch said 12 people currently


Married six times before he met Jean, his partner of 20 years, seven of Gordon's children attended the funeral, including one, Ryan, who read out a heartfelt tribute to him.

Clive said Gordon did not speak much about his early life, although he worked on the railways and on fairgrounds in his younger days. His last job was as caretaker of the old Mangotsfield C of E primary school, before it moved to Emersons Green.

Jamie's friend Ollie Nemeth, who chaired the fundraising committee for the skate park, said: "Gordon was truly one in a million, and his legacy will always be a tribute to his beloved son, Jamie.

"I'm deeply grateful to Gordon for his devotion towards keeping Jamie’s memory alive, and for his countless contributions towards enhancing our community for all to enjoy.

"May Gordon and Jamie find eternal peace together."

work at the Grapevine, and around half of those would be found work at one of the family's other sites, although the others would lose their jobs.

He said: "Mokka Downend has been running for three years and Keynsham now just over a year, so we are lucky that we have these to fall back on, and we now have to fully focus on these."

Before opening as the Grapevine Brasserie six years ago, the pub on St James Place was previously the Salutation, and has been a pub since at least the 19th century.

The building is owned by the Stonegate Pub Company, the UK's biggest pub owner with 4,500 sites.

Stonegate has already started advertising for a new landlord to take over the pub on its website, quoting a guide rent of £846 per week and a forecast turnover of £631,014 per year.

The company said: "Well known for its fresh food offering, the Grapevine is a strong business with a huge opportunity for a new retailer to develop an already strong business."

9 Downend Voice May 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 NEWS
Gordon Clapp Jamie Clapp The Grapevine Brasserie in Mangotsfield
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Toppers raise spirits and help good causes

DOWNEND'S crochet and knitting creatives have treated residents to three seasonal post box displays in the space of a month.

The latest topper to be unveiled was in celebration of St George's Day, on the postbox outside Downend post office.

Created by the Downend WI topper group, it features St George and a dazed-looking dragon on a hill, surrounded by red and white roses and English flags.

The topper was designed by Vanessa Martin, who also created the dragon, while Kathy Paramore knitted St George, with other members creating the base, St George flags and roses – using about a mile of wool in total.

The group started working on the project straight after finishing their Valentine's Day topper in February.

It is raising money for St George's House, 24-hour staffed supported accommodation for 16 to 21-year-old homeless people in Bristol city centre run by charity 1625 Independent People.

Vanessa said: "We thought we'd make St George's Day fun and because 1625 run St George's House, we asked if they'd like us to support them."

The display includes a QR code to raise money to support St George's House. The JustGiving donation page can be found at

1625 Independent People fundraising and events officer Jess Barke said: "St George's House provides employment skills, builds trust and helps young people get back on their feet, with mental health workers, education and employment training and peer group support."

For more information about the charity visit

n IN Bromley Heath another topper to celebrate Easter was made by two groups and placed on the postbox at the corner of Heath Road and Oakdale Avenue.

The Heath Road Coffee Group made the topper with its floral display, while Sheila's Knitting Group, also based in Heath Road, made the chicks, rabbits, butterflies and bees which decorated it.

Angela Avent, from the Heath Road Coffee Group, said: "The aim of the topper is to bless our community with love and happiness."

The Easter topper in Bromley Heath

n Members of the Fabrics Plus Knit and Natter group and Kayley Waller, from Paul's Place, with the Downend Easter topper

THE St George display (left) replaced an Easter-themed topper created by members of the Fabrics Plus Knit and Natter group, some of whose members are also WI knitters.

Featuring Humpty Dumpty, Easter bunnies, eggs, chicks and ducklings, as well as a poem called The Rabbit, it raised around £500 for Paul's Place, a charity which runs a day centre in Coalpit Heath for adults with physical disabilities.

Tina Jefferies, from the group, said: "I visited Paul's Place and what they do there is amazing. The people they help would otherwise be sitting all day at home, or in a home, with nothing to do – it's a very worthwhile charity to support."

Eight members of the group worked on the project for around two months.

The charity is currently planning a move to a new home with improved facilities in Yate.

For information on Paul's Place visit

11 Downend Voice May 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 NEWS
n Sue Langley, Suzzie Belcher, Carol Davies, Vanessa Martin and Kathy Paramore of Downend WI with Jess Barke of 1625 Independent People


ELIGIBLE people are being invited to have a top-up Covid-19 vaccination this spring. The NHS is offering Covid-19 vaccines to people who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus – including those aged 75 and over (by 30 June 2024), residents of care homes for older adults, and those aged 6 months and over with a weakened immune system.

Eligible people can make an appointment at a GP vaccination clinic when invited. People can also book an appointment at a GP clinic, a local pharmacy or at a community vaccination clinic in the following simple ways:

• Download the NHS App and make an appointment

• Visit to use the online National Booking Service

• Call 119 for free if you can’t get online (translators are available)

The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) NHS area is also offering walk-in vaccinations in community clinics. For details

Top-up Covid-19 vaccination on offer for high-risk people

and more information about the spring campaign, visit www.

Vaccinations for people living

in the community began on 22 April 2024 and local GPs have also started visiting adult care homes. Spring vaccinations will be available until 30 June 2024.

Bristol GP Dr Hyunkee Kim said: “Protection against Covid-19, either from catching the virus or from a previous vaccination, can fade over time and the virus can change, so if you are at higher risk of severe illness it is important that you top up your protection.

“For some, particularly older people and those with a weakened immune system, Covid-19 can still be very dangerous and even lifethreatening. If you or your child are entitled to a spring top up vaccination, I strongly encourage you to take up the offer. It’s quick and easy to recharge your immunity and will give you the

protection you need for the months ahead.

“Covid-19 vaccines provide protection against the virus and help reduce the risk of serious illness. The vaccine has saved countless lives, prevented thousands from needing to go to hospital and helped us to live with the virus without fear or restrictions. For local vaccination information, visit www.grabajab. net.”

Those invited should make sure their appointment takes place at least three months since their last dose.

Anyone who believes they should be eligible for a vaccine but does not get invited can check online. Alternatively, they can self-declare via the National Booking Service and then speak to a clinician on site.

12 Downend Voice May 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377
Dr Hyunkee Kim

Kebab van can trade from pub car park

A KEBAB van owner has won permission to trade from a Downend pub car park, despite objections from dozens of neighbours.

South Gloucestershire councillors granted Ismail Buyukpolat a street trading licence to trade from a hot food trailer called Downend Kebabs from 4pm to 11pm every day at the Trident pub in Badminton Road.

A total of 27 residents and the parish council objected, raising concerns including cooking smells, noise, increased litter and parking and the potential for antisocial behaviour.

One neighbour told the

licensing sub-committee hearing on March 27: “The main objection is the proximity of the trailer to the surrounding properties, which will inevitably be subjected to smells produced by the cooking process.

“The position is very close to neighbours’ properties. Cooking smells would unreasonably and substantially interfere with the enjoyment of our homes and gardens.

“I’m concerned about the noise from this trailer.

“I didn’t expect a fast-food outlet to be established there and

in the car park but closer to the pub, which licensing officers said complied with regulations.

The neighbour said: "This is a totally inappropriate position for the unit."

Mr Buyukpolat told the panel he had run a kebab van for many years and had never had any problems.

He said the pub had given him permission to use its toilets, bins and electricity, so he would not need a generator, which could have created noise for neighbours.

it will undoubtedly attract groups of people in cars every evening, seven days a week.”

The neighbour said there were already enough takeaways in the area, and the van would "generate additional rubbish".

He said the pub car park was often full in the evening, so customers would park on surrounding roads, including Blackhorse Lane.

The van would become a “permanent fixture” because, although it had to be moved from its trading site at the end of each day, the plan was for it to remain

Mr Buyukpolat said waste cooking oil would be stored safely in a barrel and collected weekly, and that he would clear any litter at the end of each shift.

As the sub-committee approved the licence for six months, chairman Keith Cranney (Con, Stoke Gifford) said no objections had been received from the authorities and that the van would be subject to separate controls from the council’s environmental health team.

He said the conditions on the licence would be sufficient to alleviate residents’ concerns.

By Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service

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n The van will be based in the car park at the Trident

NEW double yellow lines and other parking restrictions are planned in Staple Hill and Soundwell to stop roads being blocked.

South Gloucestershire Council has announced a consultation on plans to add double yellow lines to a number of junctions where cars are frequently parked on corners, and other places where visibility and safety is affected.

It is also adding double yellows to some stretches of the roads surrounding Page Park, to stop drivers parking in front of the gates, and disabled parking bays on Broad Street.

Announcing a consultation on the plans, which runs until May 11, the council said: "The purpose of this scheme is to restrict dangerous areas of parking, maintain visibility at accesses and junctions, whilst ensuring that there is adequate parking provision for residents and visitors accessing the local shops, businesses, and the leisure centre."

The council said the double yellow lines would "cover junctions/accesses and areas where traffic parking can reduce

New double yellow lines to tackle 'dangerous' parking

visibility and impact safety, and where access to service vehicles such as refuse lorries is currently hampered due to indiscriminate parking".

Many of the new double yellow lines will be stretches of road currently covered by advisory white keep clear markings, which are being ignored by some drivers.

Among the roads where new double yellows are set to be introduced or extended are the high Street, Broad Street,

Beaufort Road, Albert Road, Lydney Road, York Road, Clarence Avenue, Clarence Gardens, Kendall Road, Pendennis Road – where new keep clear markings for Christ Church Junior School are also proposed – Soundwell Road, Southernhay, South View, Station Road, Teewell Avenue and Teewell Hill.

Several stretches of Gloucester Road near the Tynings Primary School would also get double-yellow lines to stop parking on corners during the school run.

Parking restrictions on Church Road in Soundwell, outside Kingswood Leisure Centre, would be eased under the proposals, to make it easier for users of the centre to park.

New police, car club and electric vehicle spaces are planned in Broad Street.

Full details of the proposals can be found online in

the consultations section of South Gloucestershire Council's website, at tinyurl. com/4rdepbf2.

Anyone who is not online can call 01454 868897 for more information.

Meanwhile, the council's scrutiny commission heard that the authority is fighting a losing battle against potholes.

Last month the Voice reported that one road in Downend, Salisbury Gardens, had been visited more than 30 times by council workers in the past two years.

The scrutiny meeting on March 27 heard that the number of potholes reported in the district rocketed from 3,189 between April and September 2022 to 12,695 over the same period last year.

And while repairs have also shot up, from 4,980 to 11,606, the highways team is struggling to keep pace.

14 Downend Voice May 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377 BRISTOL NORTH - 0117 373 8367 23 Badminton Road, Downend, Bristol BS16 6BB NEWS
The junction of Coronation Road and West Park Road is one of those where double yellow lines are planned.

A STAPLE Hill dad who underwent a new cancer treatment in Germany following a £160,000 fundraising campaign has shared some "brilliant" news.

David Gibbs was diagnosed with glioblastoma (GBM), an aggressive cancer of the brain and spinal cord, in September 2021.

After surgery to remove most of the tumour he underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy but was told they would not stop it from growing back.

His family discovered a new treatment, called a personalised cancer vaccine, which uses unique genetic information to help the immune system target and attack the cancer cells.

But the treatment is not available on the NHS and to receive it Dave needed to travel to Germany – and fund the cost.

Family, friends, colleagues and strangers alike supported the appeal, called Dave's Brain Fund, and he started the treatment in 2022.

After more than 18 months of visits to the CeGaT genetic laboratory in Tübingen, near

Dad has 'best possible news' after cancer treatment

Stuttgart, for treatment Dave, who is married with a young daughter, told supporters he had been given some "unbelievable" news.

He said: "The tumour has continued to shrink and is no longer visible. Yes, the most brilliant news but with the caveat that the scan (better than anything available in the UK), still can’t see everything, so there may be microscopic cancer cells hiding.

"But the best news we could possibly hope for!

"This isn’t over yet – there are still side effects from the treatment that I am having to deal with.

"Currently I am having injections in my eyes to try to stop retinal damage!

"We don’t know what the next steps are, we would love there to be a test that could

tell us it is gone. For now we plan to continue treatment and monitoring in Germany.

"We are currently trying to work out costs to get more vaccines manufactured in Germany and how often to receive them.

"A massive thank you to everyone who has helped us along the way, and for the continued love and support from our wonderful friends and family.

"The battle is not over but we will enjoy this stage while it lasts."

Dave, 39, said there is no test available that could prove that the cancer had gone completely.

He urged everyone who has been following his story to support cancer research.

After the campaign was set up by Dave's sister, Sarah Burford, fundraisers have cycled the

length of Britain, run marathons, half-marathons and 10ks, staged shows and events, held sales and bucket collections, and made online donations, with more than 2,200 coming via the appeal's JustGiving page and several coming from local organisations.

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

15 Downend Voice May 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 NEWS
Unit 3, The Willow Shopping Centre, Downend Road, Downend, Bristol BS16 5UJ
David Gibbs


Which is the best anti-glare option: polarised or transition?

CHOOSING the right type of sunglasses for the summer months can be a real headache for those sensitive to bright light. Think scrambling around for your shades when driving only to have to dig out your regular glasses minutes later when the sun’s gone in.

But all is not lost. Fortunately, at Turners Opticians, we offer some great options for keeping the sun’s glare at bay.

Transition lenses – the all-in-one solution

Peter Turner of Turners Opticians 0117 962 2474 0117 965 4434

Transition lenses have come a long way since they first emerged on the market with a reputation for taking hours to respond to change in light.

The latest state-of-the-art lenses use super-smart photochromic technology to instantly adapt to changing light, providing optimal eye protection from glare and harmful rays while reducing eye fatigue for maximum comfort.

They’re also a must for prescription glasses wearers - one pair is all you need for any occasion.

Similarly, transition lenses are great for those who don’t necessarily suffer from glare problems but are mildly irritated by bright light. They do all the hard work for you, adjusting to just the right level of light input.

We can even add our contrast enhancing lens – ideal if you want that extra bit of performance from your sun darkening lenses and struggle with glare when driving at night, too.

Polarised lenses take the glare away

Polarised lenses were created almost a century ago by Edwin Land, the inventor of instant photography and the founder of the Polaroid Corporation.

They work by blocking certain types of light from reaching the eye. Normally, light blasts at our eyes in vibrating waves that move in every direction. Polarised lenses block out light reflected from horizontal surfaces – for example the glare from the surface of a lake on a sunny day – and only allow vertically polarised light to pass through.

They’re great for drivers, people with cataracts or age-related macular degeneration and for those who have recently had procedures that could cause light sensitivity - such as cataract surgery or laser correction.

So, what’s the verdict?

Both transition and polarised lenses have drawbacks and benefits when compared to the other option. Some people just don’t get on with transition lenses while for others, polarised lenses don’t give them the ease and flexibility they’re looking for.

For those reasons, it’s always worth calling in to see us for your eye care and lens consultation before committing yourself to ensure you get the optimum lens for your individual needs.

Our expert team is ready and waiting to give you the time needed to look after your eye health and vision. Call our Henleaze practice on 0117 962 2474 or our Fishponds practice on 0117 965 4434.

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.

News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377

YOUR Community NEWS

Brought to you by

News from Knit and Knatter Group meeting at Downend Library

A big thank you to all those people who donated wool to us. It has enabled us to carry on knitting for the various charities we support.

Before Christmas we knitted items for Operation Christmas Hamper which included blankets, scarves, gloves and hats. Since January we have made 170 teddy jumpers for children travelling by ambulance to hospital.

We have also made 51 (so far this year) baby vests for toddlers at a hospital in Ethiopia. We have helped with fundraising for the Polish Scouts by knitting Easter baskets.

We are now knitting blankets and hats for the homeless. If you have wool that you do not need, please consider donating it to our group - we can knit something with it! Please bring any donations to Downend Library.


As part of the Parish Council’s Local Climate and Nature Action Plan, we recently heard some amazing ideas from other towns and parishes around South Gloucestershire. One of these was Emerson Green’s Community Nature Reserve. We’ll talk more about that in coming months, but it made us reflect on how, in Downend and Bromley Heath, we have lots of households with gardens that can be an important part of supporting wildlife and nature. This gives us a chance to think about No Mow May. Over the last five years the No Mow May movement has taken off in the UK and it encourages people to let their lawn grow freely for a month.

This can be immensely beneficial for our local plant and animal life and for the climate more generally. Traditional wildflower meadows have declined over the years in the UK. You can help with this by allowing your lawn to be less tame. This can help support native flower species that can’t flourish in regularly mowed and manicured lawns. When these flowers are able to grow there are a range of positive consequences. Bees and butterflies have richer food sources and can help growth of flowers more widely through their vital pollination. This in turn helps the food cycle with birds, frogs and hedgehogs having plentiful insects to feed on. No Mow May even helps with climate change by reducing carbon emissions and improving carbon capture. By mowing less often we reduce demand on energy from either electricity or petrol for mowers. If you consider all of lawn mowing that would otherwise happen in May across our whole Parish, this can really add up. What we can’t see beneath our feet though is that a lawn that is allowed to be a little wilder captures more carbon within the soil. A greater variety of plants increases the variety of root systems, and these absorb and lock in more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than a regularly mowed lawn.

If you take part this year, you can record your participation on Plantlife’s map – and see how much involvement we can have in this great initiative. The Plantlife website has lots more information about the campaign and gives you ideas of how you can have a more wildlife and climate friendly lawn after May is over. For example, mowing your lawn in sections at different frequencies can help support different plant species throughout the rest of the year.

As ever, if you’re interested in getting involved in the Local Climate and Nature Action Plan, we’d love to hear from you and for you to help shape the plans as part of the working group. You can get in touch with us by emailing


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



Police and crime commissioner contest

VOTERS will have four candidates to choose from in the election for the next Avon & Somerset police and crime commissioner.

The PCC oversees Avon & Somerset police and is tasked with ensuring the force is "efficient and effective", with the power to hire and fire the chief constable, and set both the force's budget and the precept charge paid by council tax payers.

The job, which comes with a salary of £88,600 a year, also involves setting the service's priorities through a police and crime plan, funding crime prevention and working with other organisations on a 'joinedup' local response to crime.

Elections will be held on May 2, when local elections are taking place in some parts of the country.

But the only part of the Avon & Somerset force area where allout council elections are being held is Bristol.

The current PCC is

n Police and crime commissioner candidates Benet Allen, Katy Grant, Clare Moody and Mark Shelford

Conservative Mark Shelford, who is standing for re-election this year.

The PCC usually serves a four-year term but because the previous election was delayed by a year because of the pandemic, Mr Shelford has only been in office for three years.

Labour came second in 2021. The party's candidate this year is Clare Moody, a former MEP who is currently the chief executive of a charity.

The Greens, third in 2021, have selected Katy Grant, a Bristol city councillor and

magistrate who previously worked for the UN.

Standing for the Liberal Democrats, who were fourth last time around, is Benet Allen, a former Somerset West and Taunton Council deputy leader who has worked in TV news and for a coach company.

Mr Shelford is the second person to hold the role of PCC since it was created in 2012.

His predecessor Sue Mountstevens, an independent, stood down in 2021 and her deputy, John Smith, came fifth in the last election. There is no

independent candidate this year.

Another difference is that this year's election uses the firstpast-the-post system also used in Parliamentary elections.

Previous PCC elections were held using a 'supplementary vote' system, where voters were able to vote for a first and second choice candidate. The two leading candidates after first choice votes were counted then received second choice votes from people whose first choice had been eliminated.

Polls are open from 7am until 10pm. Anyone voting in person will need to bring photo ID, such as a passport or driving licence.

For more information on the election, visit the website www.

• A by-election is taking place in South Gloucestershire Council's New Cheltenham ward, which includes the Siston Hill estate near Mangotsfield, on May 2.

The by-election has been called after councillor Sandie Davies resigned at the end of March due to health issues.

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Ava May makes Bristol ballet debut

BALLET dancer Ava May Llewellyn has made another dream come true by performing in her home city as a professional.

Ava May, from Downend, started dancing at the age of two and won a place at the Royal Ballet School when she was an 11-year-old pupil of Bromley Heath Junior School.

Graduating during the pandemic, she was the only member of her original year group of 24 girls and boys from around the world to join the Royal Ballet Company, where she performed for two years.

Now a member of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Ava May, 21, has made her first professional appearances in Bristol, dancing in classical ballet The Sleeping Beauty at the Bristol Hippodrome.

Before the company's four shows at the Bristol Hippodrome in April, she also took part in a special introductory evening of highlights from the ballet at Bristol Cathedral, where she helped demonstrate the choreography, techniques and hard work that goes into each ballet performance.

Ava May said: "It’s absolutely amazing to be back in my home town performing as a professional for the first time. This is the theatre where I grew up and performed many times as a child, so it’s very nostalgic for me coming back. I'm having so much fun!"

Mum Michele said: "As a child Ava May performed in numerous pantomimes and musical theatre productions at the Bristol Hippodrome.

"It has been 10 years since she was last on stage there, and she is delighted to be back performing in her home town.

"Her dad John, her brother Theo and I are extremely proud of her – she has worked incredibly hard over the years to achieve her childhood dream of becoming a professional ballet dancer."

HMO approved

PLANS to expand a Downend bedsit have been approved, despite objections from 17 neighbours and Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council.

Applicants Fox and Fox Property applied to convert the "small" five-bedroom house in multiple occupation (HMO) at number 3 Hurstwood Road to an eight-bedroom home.

Neighbours said the existing occupants and those in another HMO nearby had been the subject of numerous complaints of crime and anti-social behaviour, and said the plans involved building a car park the property has no legal access to.

The parish council has objected on grounds of overdevelopment, inadequate parking access, a lack of electric vehicle charging or cycle storage.

South Gloucestershire officers approved the plans under delegated powers, saying they "would make a positive contribution to the housing shortage", and would not have adverse impact on the character of the area.

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Ava May Llewellyn at Bristol Cathedral. Picture: Paul Hassell/Birmingham Royal Ballet

4,000 hours of sewage spills into River Frome

RAW sewage was flushed into the River Frome for thousands of hours last year, the Environment Agency says.

The river, which flows between Downend and Frenchay on its way to the centre of Bristol, suffered a total of 4,058 hours of spills from eight combined sewer overflows (CSOs), where rainwater and waste water from homes is combined and washed into waterways, just upstream in Iron Acton, Frampton Cotterell and Winterbourne.

A total of 520 separate spills were recorded by monitoring equipment on the stretch of river.

Another 10 spills, for a total of 20.6 hours, were recorded at the Overndale Road CSO into the Lincombe Barn stream in Downend, while a single 45-minute spill was recorded at Sheppard Road in Oldbury Court, into another tributary of

the Frome.

At Irving Close, off Bridge Road near Rodway Common, CSO spilled 59 times, for just under 47 hours, into a tributary of the Warmley Brook.

As the Environment Agency announced that nationally, storm overflows rose by 54% over the previous year, partly due to wet weather, Water Minister Robbie Moore said sewage pollution in waters was "unacceptable".

He said: "We demanded that 100% of overflows were monitored by the end of last year as part of our drive to improve transparency. The data shows water companies must go further and faster to tackle storm overflows and clean up our precious waterways."

Bristol Avon Rivers Trust chief executive Simon Hunter said the figures did not provide the full detail needed to show the impact spills are having on the

environment, as a concentrated discharge into a small stream would have a worse effect than more diluted sewage going into a large river.

He said: "An even greater concern for me is the treated "continuous discharge" from water recycling centres, which seems to have been missed in the discussion on water industry impacts."

He said these were allowed but are not required by law to be safe for bathing, and continue to discharge even when river flow levels are low.

David Hanks of Frampton Cotterell Nature, a volunteer group which dedicated to conservation and the environment in the Frome Valley, said: “It is disgraceful that the amount of sewage entering our rivers has increased. I feel very sad that the Frome in Frampton is no longer fit for

Family Tree

children to play in, and that the poor water quality is damaging local biodiversity."

Wessex Water, which is in charge of the region's sewerage systems, said "exceptionally wet weather" was the main reason for the increase in discharges, which were "mostly rainwater to protect properties from flooding during the fourth wettest year since records began".

A spokesperson said: "Storm overflows are legal but outdated, which is why we’re investing £3 million a month to progressively improve them – with plans to more than double that investment if approved by our regulators.

"Locally, we’re investing more than £5 million in a trio of projects to separate and store rainwater at Frampton Cotterell. This will ease pressure on the combined sewer system and further protect the River Frome."

NEWS 20 Downend Voice May 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377
He is buried under an Oak tree and there is a memorial stone set in the grass. It’s a lovely spot to visit, it helps us keep his memory alive and it’s a great feeling to support the creation of a nature reserve. We’ve got a family plot so eventually we can all be together under the trees. Visit or call 01454 414999 The only funeral director in the UK creating a 100 acre nature reserve complete with its own chapel and reception rooms. Just 15 minutes drive from Cribbs Causeway. A whole morning or afternoon costs about the same as a brief service at a crematorium. Burial or ashes interment. Complete burial service from £1,495.
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School's community Ramadan celebration

DOWNEND School hosted an event for pupils, staff and families to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The school teamed up with Bristol Muslim Cultural Society to host its first community Iftar in April.

During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset.

Iftar is the name of the sunset meal that breaks the fast, and is usually shared with family and friends, or at a mosque with members of the local Muslim community.

Specialist mentor Talal Khan, from the school's inclusion team, said: "This was a chance to acknowledge and celebrate Muslim students, staff and parents, whilst also giving the wider school community an insight into what makes this month so special.

"For the first event of its kind, the uptake was much larger than expected, with around 80 attendees, consisting of a

Pupils and parents attended the community Iftar at Downend School

nice mix of students, staff and parents, with both Muslim and non-Muslim members of the school community coming together in good numbers."

The evening started with a presentation from Rizwan Ahmed of Bristol Muslim Cultural Society, who highlighted some facts about Ramadan.

This was followed by a call to prayer by a student, and the breaking of the fast with dates and water. The communal prayer, also led by a Muslim


Ear care, fact and fiction

Our ears can be funny things, they come in all shapes & sizes and are usually totally taken for granted - unless we have a pain, ache or hearing difficulty. “How can I safely care for my ears?” I hear you ask.

To start, an ear wax factoid:

Did you know that ear wax can be wet or dry. For most of us it’s often genetically determined, it’s considered to be the wet type in most people of Caucasians or African descent and dry in most people of East Asian descent.

What does safe ear care sound like?

Firstly there is a reason for the oft quoted Ear Doctor saying “don’t put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear”. The delicate structures inside your ear really, really don’t like being poked, scraped or wiped with rolled tissue paper or cotton buds. Such items are definitely not called earbuds despite many people referring to them by this name! These can actually push ear wax or debris further into your ear which can increase the risk of hearing problems.

Turn down the volume

Whilst perhaps a controversial thing to say, particularly in a house like ours with teenages around, regularly being in or around loud noise can be damaging to our ears and hearing. Wearing ear protection around loud noises such as drilling or concerts can reduce the risk of ear damage and hearing loss. When listening to music or the TV consider wearing ‘over the ear’ headphones rather than in ear devices such as ear buds so you place more distance from your eardrum and the mini portable speaker that makes up our headphones. Keeping your ears dry

Prolonged exposure to water, such as if swimming regularly, can impact on your hearing and ear health if the water sits in your ear canal for too long. This is particularly risky if swimming distances in open water, and the water contains harmful bacteria. Tilting your head to one side then the other after swimming can help excess water drain out of your ears. For regular swimmers swim ear plugs are a good idea, you can even order custom fit ear plugs!

Staying active

Regular exercise encourages good blood circulation which helps your ears stay in good health. Doing activities you enjoy, whether dancing (just turn the music down a touch eh!), running or walking can help you exercise regularly, which benefits more than just your ears.

student, was "impeccably observed" by non-Muslim attendees.

Talal added: "Once the prayer was concluded, everyone took their seats in the Sixth Form common room and enjoyed a delicious array of food, very kindly arranged by BMCS.

"Many parents chose to bring in cold food donations in the form of delicious desserts.

"The school looks forward to hosting another community Iftar next year."

Future options

SIXTH form students from Downend and Mangotsfield Sixth Form and their families had a chance to find out more about their options for the future at a post-18 careers event.

The event in March included workshops on applying for university places, student finance and apprenticeships.

It included guest speakers from universities and exhibitions from employers including the NHS, Heidelberg Materials and Bristol City Robins Foundation.

Head of sixth form Kate Long said: "We were delighted to have over 100 people attend the event, and take part in workshops and visit our careers fair in our sixth form common room.

"We are always delighted to invite outside experts into school to share information, and we look forward to hosting our event again next year."

If you think you have an ear problem, such as ear wax building up, 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.

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.

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Cup in memory of Jude

THIS year's annual Bristol Box Cup will be held in memory of talented boxer Jude Moore.

The former Mangotsfield School pupil, who also attended Christ Church infant and junior schools, died unexpectedly in March last year, aged 19.

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Jude, who lived in Hillfields, had been set on turning professional and had been a previous winner of the box cup event, among many other titles.

Jude was a National Champion at Schools level in 2017, aged 14, and Juniors in 2019, and was Western Counties champion five times. He represented England in European championships and won a GB Three Nations championship.

He was described by former WBC world super middleweight champion Glenn Catley, who worked with him at Downend, as "one of the most naturally gifted boxers ever to come out of Bristol". The 10th Bristol Box Cup, which will be held on June 22 and 23 at Thornbury Leisure Centre, is organised and run by Jude's old club, Fishpondsbased Downend Boxing Club.

It is aimed at entry-level school-age boxers, providing a platform to compete in an international-style event and celebrate boxing at a pivotal stage in their careers.

Since its launch in 2014, the event has been a success, attracting 130 boxers last time, and this year's event looks set to be even more popular.

Organiser Joanne Turner said: "Within an hour of launching the participants' registration, we already had 100-plus applications from all over England, Wales and Ireland, so the number is going to be a record for us."

Boxing starts at 1.30pm each day.

For more information, email

“My mother has been so incredibly well looked after. The nursing staff are so very kind, thoughtful and nothing is too much trouble. My mum feels safe and comfortable.”

Joanna, Daughter of Resident at Quarry House (source:

At Quarry House care home in Fishponds, the safety, care and well-being of our residents are at the centre of everything we do.

If you are looking for a home or a home for a loved one, we would be happy to show you around our beautiful, family-owned home in Fishponds, Bristol.

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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, have 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.

Farewell to Angela

DOWNEND & Bromley Heath parish clerk Angela Hocking received a fitting send-off after 20 years of service.

Angela, who retired at the end of March, was invited to the annual parish meeting on April 18, when parish council chairman Janet Biggin presented her with a selection of gifts bought with donations from councillors, residents and people who worked with Angela during her two decades in post.

Describing her as "the most amazing lady", Cllr Biggin said: "She has been a real stalwart, in taking us through some difficult, interesting and very happy times.

"She has had to turn her hand to such a variety of things, such as Christmas trees and lights, the building of a skate park, the Wallace & Gromit and a Unicorn Fest, not to mention all those litter and dog bins, planters and park benches!"

Drain plan for park

DOWNEND & Bromley Heath Parish Council is weighing up its options for improving drainage at King George V playing fields after recent heavy rain caused part of the park to flood.

Water flowed continuously from a bank between Mangotsfield Cemetery and the sports pitches on the lower part of the playing fields earlier this year, forming a pond around the path behind homes in Farm Court, following months of heavy rain.

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Last month's Voice reported that the parish council, which is responsible for the upkeep of the park, was investigating the source of the water, which could be a natural spring.

Readers have pointed out that the area where the flooding occurred was previously the site of a pond, before the park existed.

At April's parish council meeting, clerk Kevin Spratt said the source of the water had not yet been located. It is believed it may be somewhere under the cemetery.

The area has a 'French drain', combining pipework and gravel underground, but this was overwhelmed by the recent rainfall.

Wessex Water, which is responsible for the sewer system, has said it is not possible to link the drain to its storm drainage.

That leaves the council with the option of either installing an underwater soakaway tank, which would cost up to £100,000, or a gravel pit costing around £5,000.

Letters: Page 31

23 Downend Voice May 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 ADVERTISING FEATURE Book
Terms and conditions apply. Fees vary. Participating centres only. Please refer to your local study centre. Subject to availability. Save £50

THE Church has searched for more ways it can serve its local community, from caring for the less fortunate and needy, to helping with projects that help to build community spirit and relationships. Our aim has always been to bring people closer together and help them feel valued, just as Jesus taught us in the New Testament and still guides us to do through prayer.

So we will be using the May bank holiday to do exactly that. On May 4 to 6 we will be actively engaged with the Bristol Noise, a charity that facilitates events that encourage and equip Christians and churches to "show God’s love in practical ways" to their communities.

This annual event, run over the May Bank Holiday, is where Christians volunteer to serve their communities in practical ways all over Bristol, to build unity, show generosity and engage with all age groups.

For our part in this, Christ Church will be involved in tree planting, litter picking, holding a family fun day and serving tea to the elderly.

On Saturday May 4, there will be an afternoon tea for senior citizens in the parish from 2pm to 4pm, to aid with combating loneliness and either building or strengthening friendships. There will be coffee and tea, scones with jam and cream (or is that cream and jam?)

and entertainment, held at Christ Church.

On Sunday May 5, you’ll see people out and about litter picking in various locations around the parish, helping to tidy our streets. We will also be tree planting in the fields of Lincombe Barn, to provide sanctuary for wildlife and shade for all of us on those long, sunny days that we are all dreaming of, and places of adventure and imagination for children.

On Bank Holiday Monday, there will be a family fun day at Christ Church from 2pm to 4pm.

There will be a bouncy castle and games for the children, face painting for all (because why

should it just be for kids?), and a BBQ to keep us all fed.

We’ll all be praying that the weather will be kind to us and that we can all have a great, enjoyable time.

We would love to see you at the afternoon tea or the family fun day – and you can just come along to Christ Church, where you will be made very welcome.

There is more information about both events on the Voice what's on pages and our Facebook page – or you can call us on 0117 908 9867.

24 Downend Voice May 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377 NEWS CHURCH NEWS Mangotsfield Village Festival Your Local Family Day Showcasing Local Talent Saturday 8th June 2024 11am-8pm Pomphrey Hill Sports Field North, Johnson Road, Mangotsfield BS16 7JR Parade at 10.30am from the village green Music Acts 16.10 KRIS NOCK BIG BAND 17.30 LIQUOR AND POKER 18.50 SOUL DESTROYERS TO MINIMISE CONGESTION AND THE IMPACT ON THE LOCAL AREA IT WOULD BE GREAT TO LEAVE YOUR CAR AT HOME TO BOOK A STALL BE INVOLVED OR HELP OUT PLEASE GET IN TOUCH - FREE ENTRY Donations welcome on the day 32nd YEAR Dog Show, Music and Dance, Del Boy, Stalls, Arena Displays and Demonstrations, Chuffy, Food and Drink Lots of activities for the whole family
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n Volunteers litter picking on last year's Bristol Noise weekend

Methodist church celebrates 150 years

STAPLE Hill Methodist Church, the handsome Victorian building in the High Street which you will have passed or even visited, is 150 years old this year.

We as a church community are celebrating, and would love you to join us at any of our special events.

You may well already be a regular visitor to the many groups and activities for all ages which happen here.

We are proud that we provide a friendly welcoming space to our local community here in Staple Hill, which we are all part of, and hope to continue doing so, well into the future.

We are looking forward to a series of events, which will be free of charge (donations welcome) and at which refreshments will be served.

The first is a ‘Through the Decades’ flower festival on May 25-27, during which the church will be full of beautiful flower arrangements showcasing local talent.

We will be open from 10am4pm on the Saturday and Monday, and 2.30-5pm on the Sunday, when the festival will be followed by a Songs of Praise service, at 6pm.

Then as part of Heritage Open Days, from September 6 to 15, an exhibition will take you on a journey from the mid-19th century to the present day, with historical exhibits, artefacts, stories and activities, and even the odd costumed character!

There will also be a chance


to reminisce if you have been involved here in the past.

Other smaller events are also planned, including concerts by the Northavon Singers on June 8 and Redland Wind Band on July 13, and a celebration dinner on November 2, as well as a vintage picnic.

We will be welcoming back former preachers to take our celebration services.

Details of these are to be confirmed: please see our notice boards or new website, www., for further information.

You can also pop into any of our Saturday coffee mornings, from 10am to noon every week, where you are assured of a warm welcome and some excellent Fairtrade tea, coffee and homemade cake, all at excellent prices!

We are really looking forward to welcoming in as many of the local community as possible this year, to come and see our beautiful building, soak up the atmosphere and contemplate the history and the future – especially if you have not had a chance to do so before.

Just come and have a look!

The church, at 131 High Street, is typical of a large Victorian nonconformist chapel, with large gallery, choir stalls, pews, fine pipe organ and excellent acoustics.

Recent modifications, including an enlarged vestibule and coffee bar, do not detract from the beauty of the building, which has been at the centre of the local community since it was built.

Raising for Raeyah

A CHARITY inspired by a young girl who lost her life to cancer is inviting schools and nurseries to be part of a special day of fundraising.

Raeyah's Hands of Support has been set up by the family of Emersons Green girl Raeyah Evans-Rice, who was just four years old when she died last March from a rare form of cancer.

While she was undergoing treatment her parents Becky Evans and Kevin Rice, who now live in Soundwell, decided to set up a service to help other parents going through a similar experience.

It focuses on supporting children with autism who are being treated for cancer at Bristol Children's Hospital, and their families.

The charity is planning a 'Raising for Raeyah' day on June 7, where children can wear pink, purple or blue clothes to school or nursery in return for a £1 donation.

The aim is to raise funds and awareness of the charity's work.

Becky and Kevin have written to local settings asking them to take part in the event.

Anyone who would like to get involved can email admin@

More information on the charity's work can be found at its website

We are a diverse, inclusive and open-minded worshipping community, welcoming all who wish to join in our traditional style of Methodist worship – a chance to sit quietly for an hour on a Sunday morning, soaking up the music and words and reflecting on life and its

challenges today.

As well as our new website you can reach us by email at staplehillmethodist@hotmail. or on Facebook @ staplehillmethodist.

See you sometime in 2024! Anna Graham

25 Downend Voice May 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 NEWS CHURCH NEWS
Staple Hill Methodist Church in 1874, when it was known as Hebron Methodist Church

Yoga returns to Page Park

People taking part in one of last year's yoga sessions

SUNDAY morning yoga sessions are returning to Page Park from May.

The free sessions were attended by up to 200 people at a time last year.

They will be held every Sunday morning at 10am, from May until September 15, in the park's sensory garden.

A professional instructor takes the sessions, which are being supported by the Friends of Page Park.

The Friends are encouraging people to

donate, either via a bucket collection at each session or online at cafdonate.cafonline. org/18954, to help fund next year's sessions.

New loos nearly ready

PAGE Park's new toilet block is on track to open at the end of May or start of June.

Friends of Page Park vice-chair Steph Purser said the colour schemes for the toilets would be "nice and bright", with lime green among the colours chosen.

All three toilets will be accessible, with one designed for people with severe disabilities, including hoists, curtains, adult-sized changing benches and extra space to accommodate carers.

The friends have raised £20,000 towards the £245,000 project, which is also being funded by the government's Changing Places Toilets scheme and South Gloucestershire Council.

Park events

PAGE Park will host a series of big events in the coming months.

First on the calendar is an artisan market on May 18, from 11am-3pm, which will include the Friends of Page Park's plant sale, supporting the group's plant fund.

People who would like to donate plants should bring them along from 9am on the day.

On May 31 a fun day is being staged by charity Ignite Life from 11am-3pm, including a fun fair, entertainment and stalls.

Next comes the Bristol Refugee Festival Celebrate with Me event, which is returning to the park for a third time on June 15.

A week later the park is set to host an Armed Forces Day celebration event on June 22, with a parade followed by entertainment. For more details visit

Then on July 6 comes the a party to celebrate 25 years of the Friends of Page Park, which is expected to be similar to the Platinum Jubilee and Coronation events held over the past two summers, although on a smaller scale, concentrating on music, food stalls and children's activities.

The Friends are looking for a master of ceremonies to announce the acts playing at the bandstand this year. Anyone interested should email

Clean-up success

MORE than 15 volunteers took part in a big clean-up event at Page Park in April.

People cleaned and painted railings and helped clean up the boat feature in the park's sensory garden, which had its soil removed earlier in the month after grubs attacked the roots of the plants. New soil and "sustainable" pollinating plants are replacing them.

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Homes join plastic bag recycling scheme

HOMES in Downend and Mangotsfield, Hambrook and Soundwell are among 20,000 which will be included in an expanded scheme to take plastic bags and wrapping as part of kerbside recycling collections.

South Gloucestershire Council is expanding its participation in the FPF FlexCollect project, a national scheme to recycle soft plastics, to cover around one in every five homes in the district.

The scheme started in 2022 with pilot collections from 2,000 homes in Chipping Sodbury, Bradley Stoke, Olveston and Alveston.

A council spokesperson said that since then, more than 19 tonnes of plastic bags and wrappers – enough to fill more than 7,000 standard council wheelie bins – had been collected across the district and sent to several different UK facilities to test recycling methods.

Packaging that can be recycled includes sweet, crisp and multipack wrappers, sleeves from plastic bottles, cheese, meat and microwavable food packets, bubble wrap, cling film and plastic net bags for onions, oranges and other fruit and veg.

The authority said it could not share a full list of the streets involved in the extension of the project, as not all homes on some longer streets would be included in the trial.

Those households which are included in the expansion were due to be given information leaflets over the coming weeks, followed by blue plastic bags to put their waste soft plastics in. The bags will be hand-delivered, with residents encouraged to ask deliverers about the scheme if they have any questions.

The scheme does not affect the existing collections for plastic trays and containers.

The council aims to see how large-scale soft plastic recycling works, to help plan for future collections across the country. It plans to extend the service to all households in South Gloucestershire by 2026.

Another trial project, to collect grass cuttings and use them to generate energy, is being extended to Staple Hill and Mangotsfield this year.

The project, called Greenprint, involves collecting grass cut from verges, parks and other green spaces, rather than leaving it on the ground.

It is then mixed with food waste collected from homes and taken to an energy plant to create biogas using a process called anaerobic digestion, where the waste is broken down in the absence of oxygen.

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Blue bags will be used to collect the plastic for recycling


CAN it really be 10 years? Back in 2014, Ant Miles and a team of like-minded individuals decided to put on a few folk concerts in Downend. By their own admission, they didn’t really know what they were doing, but muddled through, made it work, and 10 years later it has grown into a monthly fixture on the calendars of music lovers from Downend and beyond.

10 years deserves a special event to celebrate, and Downend Folk & Roots are thrilled to reveal details of their 10th Anniversary

Celebrating our 10th anniversary

Celebration, which will take place over the weekend of 19-21 July this year. They’ve assembled a lineup of the very best folk, roots and acoustic music artists, including many who have played a big role in their story over the last decade, and have teamed up with their regular venue, Christ Church Downend, for some communityfocused events which will really

make it feel like a little festival!

The weekend will kick off with a ceilidh and ploughman’s supper on Friday 19 July, with Bristol favourites The Molecatchers providing the music.

On Saturday 20 July, there is a full day of the very best music. The day will start with a lunchtime performance from Katie Grace Harris. Under-18s will go free for

this part of the day, which is also individually ticketed, and there will be activity sheets and free squash for younger children.

Attention then turns to the Saturday afternoon concert. Jim Moray, patron of the club since the beginning, a will headline the gig, He will be joined on the bill by Janice Burns & Jon Doran, and Road Not Taken, the four-piece that was formed out of Downend Folk & Roots.

The celebrations continue on Saturday evening. Lady Maisery headlined back in November 2016, and returned triumphantly in December 2018 with their Christmas show Awake Arise. Inviting them back to headline the 10th Anniversary Celebration was a no-brainer… it’s been far too long! The trio will be joined on the bill by Downend Folk & Roots newcomers Bryony Griffith and Alice Jones, while local favourites Gavin Osborn & The Comment Section will open the evening.

In addition, there will be events taking place in the Parish Hall throughout the afternoon, including crafts and games.

Sunday will be a bit different. The club are teaming up with Christ Church Downend, and the day will kick-off with an optional, and very short, church service, before the musical regulars and members of the church head down to Lincombe Barn Park & Woods, where they’ll spend 90 minutes weeding, clearing paths and cleaning railings. It’s then back to the church for a soup, bread and cake lunch (all complimentary), before a closing concert, which will feature the fantastic Bristol-based folk choir Heartwood Chorus and a very special guest headliner, who will be revealed soon. You won’t want to miss it… and all of Sunday is COMPLETELY FREE!.

All events will take place at , and seats are unreserved for everything. You can buy a WEEKEND TICKET for £55 per person, or you can just get a SATURDAY TICKET for £45 per person (the ceilidh is not included). You can also buy tickets individually for the ceilidh, Live at Lunchtime and both Saturday afternoon and evening concerts, if you can’t make it for the whole weekend.

It promises to be a special weekend, so book now as places are limited. Go to or find out more on social media.

28 Downend Voice May 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377




BACK in the summer of 2022, a young duo performed the opening slot at Downend Folk & Roots. Immediately after the gig, the organisers were inundated with requests from the regulars to get them back for a headline gig. No, not requests, actually; demands. That pair are folk-fusion duo Good Habits, and the organisers clearly listened, as they are back in Downend to headline the popular monthly concert on Friday 17 May.

Composed of Bonnie Schwarz (cello + vocals) and Pete Shaw (accordion), the pair mix virtuosic musicianship and vocal harmony with vivid storytelling, drawing on their diverse musical tastes and weaving them into an action-packed narrative of folky goodness.

After a pandemic spent ‘happily stranded’ in New Zealand for all of 2020 and 2021 where they were supported and endorsed by Amanda Palmer, they arrived back in



OF all the brilliant musicians that have played this wonderful place over the last ten years, there can't be many who are as constantly, determinedly creative as Hannah James.

From vocal trio Lady Maisery, to new-folk with Sam Sweeney, from her Jigdoll Ensemble to an album of accordion and clog dancing with Swedish-Estonian musician Tuuklikki Bartosik, she seems to revel in collaboration, in creating magic with people from different places  Her latest collaboration is with French cellist Toby Kuhn. It is a musical marriage that is heaven sent and, tonight, they are remarkable. In the Gloaming, from their 2021 album Sleeping Spirals, has a distinctly French feel to it. James’ accordion and Kuhn's cello weaving along wide boulevards, delighted to be in one another's company. Although there's only two of them, the sound they create is enormous. It's a room-filling buzz and thrum,

the UK to spread their joyous music throughout Europe.

Since returning home, they have toured relentlessly around the UK and Europe performing at festivals including Glastonbury, Cambridge Folk Festival, and Shrewsbury Folk Festival whilst developing a loyal fanbase. Won Shrewsbury Folk Festival’s ‘Launch Pad’ and the Purbeck Rising Award whilst also being nominated for the prestigious Christian Raphael Prize.

Their captivating debut album Going For Broke received glowing international coverage with FRUK describing their breath-taking live shows as impossible to resist. Their touring in New Zealand was non-

stop, including performances at the country’s biggest festivals: Cuba Dupa, Festival of Lights and Lunasa.

Opening the show will be singersongwriter Billie Maree. Billie writes and performs folk-esque songs, with vocal quality likened to Sandy Denny and Judy Tzuke although they are very much their own artist with a strong and infectious sense of spirituality and self.

Inspired by an upbringing in the landscape of Devon, their debut EP

We Belong reflects the nuances of human experience – with a focus on accepting all parts of ourselves, the shadows and the light. Calling in a sense of belonging.

They self-produced and mostly

that takes over your entire being.  James spins feminine folklore on Jezerka, telling the tale of a Croatian lake. Her voice is the most beautiful thing, it seems almost incapable of a false step, impossibly pure as she twists a dark Carter-esque tale from thin air. Kuhn's cello is plucked, percussive, hypnotic, insistent. There are constant flickers, subtle contrasts between the two of them. This is complex and stunning, like a picture that unveils depths the more you look at it.

Kuhn's cello playing is astonishing. On the instrumental tune, Under Sea, it bubbles and eddies, builds from plucked to bowed as it surges through, overwhelming the senses. It’s a

self-recorded the debut EP, Each song was written about moments that moved Billie during the darker months of winter. Billie was inspired to learn how to record and edit their own music as they wanted to have as much input into their creation as possible.

Tickets for the concert, which takes place at Christ Church Downend on Friday 17 May, 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 7pm 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.

harmonies chiming with cello and accordion. On The Ragged Woman, she shows that she and Kate Bush are twinned souls. They don't sound alike, but they live in the same world.

Two instrumentals effortlessly sum up the head-spinning beauty of this evening. Firstly, a new tune written for Peter Lord of Aardman Animations fame. It is a waltz that morphs (ha!) into a jig and is impossibly romantic. Secondly, Vine Dance is a flower-y, blossom-y explosion. It is emphatic and ascendant. Utterly glorious.

therapy. His playing may have folk roots but there's experimentalism too, a post-classical edge that glistens. Forest is slow, like breathing, and intense, Kuhn's part evokes a ravaged field of trees, burnt and scarred. On Jealousy, the cello raindrops, the patter of James’ clog dancing joining until it's a deluge. A massive, swirling, sweeping thing.

A sense of the epic pervades every corner of this evening. James is a wonderful songwriter and it is, therefore, no surprise that The Giant is about to become a proper storybook. It is filled with lullaby twinkles (courtesy of a thumb piano) and a romantic swish. James telling the tale and then using her voice as another instrument, wordless

There was a bit of a Derbyshire theme to this evening's proceedings. Not only does Hannah James hail from that part of the world, but the support act does too. Seb Stone is a traditional singer, whistle player and Uilleann Pipers playing his first Bristol gig. With a strong, warm voice he brings the old songs back to life. The pipes add a satisfying drone and nicely offset the simplicity of Stone's storytelling.

Hannah James has long made some of the loveliest modern folk music around and her collaboration with Toby Kuhn seems to have unlocked yet another rich seam of creativity. Tonight was incredibly exciting, an epic adventure, a dizzying travelogue.

29 Downend Voice May 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 DOWNEND

560 at 10k

THIS year's Frenchay 10k was "yet again incredibly well supported", with more than 560 runners taking part.

The 42nd race on April 14, from UWE's Glenside campus in Fishponds, raised money for charities Freewheelers (blood bikes) and Suicide Prevention UK, who provided marshals along with members of Emersons Green running club.

Race director Dave Guyatt said: "Both charities will receive a donation from the race committee, to the tune of several thousand pounds each. We were blessed with some lovely spring sunshine, which was welcomed after such a wet period."

The winning time was just over 36 minutes, with most of the field arriving between 50 and 70 minutes.

Dave added: "As ever, we were grateful to our long running sponsors Star Legal (Fishponds) for valuable financial support. Many residents and families of the runners lined the route and we were delighted that everyone returned safely without injury."

Join our history walk

DOWNEND'S Community History and Arts Project is holding a free history walk in May.

Everyone is welcome to join this fascinating amble around the centre of Downend, to find out how our area grew from a wild and dark forest into a thriving modern community.

During the walk, on Saturday May 11, we will discuss some places which no longer exist, like Cleve Hill House, the Quaker burial ground, the Cottage Homes and the hat factory, as well as some which are still standing, like the Green Dragon, WG Grace’s birthplace and the King George V Playing Fields.

We will cover some local people and incidents, and recount changes in society over the centuries.

As well as sharing the history they have found, CHAP members are also keen to collect people’s own reminiscences, as the group’s aim is to gather and share local history. So please come along with your memories and stories from the past, or questions if you are keen to know more.

The event will be supported by Historic England’s Local Heritage Education Manager Michael Gorely.

The walk is open to people of all ages and abilities and will not include any hills. There is no need to book. Meet at the Scout Memorial at 10am.

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.

For more information visit www.downendchap. org, email or write to CHAP, 49 Overnhill Road, Downend, Bristol, BS16 5DS. Helen Rana

30 Downend Voice May 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377 LOCAL HISTORY
with CHAP
n Janet Biggin and Nick Smith of CHAP with Michael Gorely preparing for the history walk

Park 'leak' is part of nature

I AM a Downend resident, and past generations of my family have lived in the area, for a couple of hundred years at least.

I read the article regarding a presumed water leak in King George V playing field (Voice, April) with interest.

It most definitely is a natural spring, which once formed part of a very beautiful and valued stream.

The park was historically a beautiful wood, and the surrounding area farming and grazing land (hence Farm Court and Farm Road).

I am amazed and alarmed that a number of residents are complaining about a natural feature, provided by 'Mother Nature'.

It has been highlighted in the media recently that our natural waterways should be protected and preserved. The solution is not to try to block them up or re-route them. This is why the country is facing huge problems with flooding.

Why on earth would anyone want to 'pave over paradise'?

Perhaps the best solution for those who don't want to get their feet wet is to build a bridge – or, of course, they could always move to the inner city!

HAVING read your article on the water problem within the playing field, I wonder whether anyone has considered checking the historic mapping of the area on the Know Your Place website?

A quick 20-second check of the mapping shows the precise area of the flooding to coincide with a natural pond, which appears on historic mapping from the

mid-19th century through to the mid-20th century, just prior to the housing development in the area.

This may well be a spring-fed pond, as there were other pools/ ponds around the old farmhouse and an adjoining area of marshy ground.

Solving what appears to be an historic water feature, either natural or man-made, could be problematic. Ian Gething Downend

Cinema in Downend

DOWNEND now has its very own monthly cinema, courtesy of Home Instead, the home care company, in the North Street Hall, on the third Monday of the month.

With tea and cake included, it is excellent value at £4. Booking is now now required, at 0117 435 0063. Subtitles are shown.

Most of the films shown are feel-good or light-hearted romcoms.

April’s film, The Windermere Children, was a bit darker, and relates to a group of traumatised Polish Jewish children who survived the camps, were thought to be orphans and came to England after the end of the war, to be rehabilitated and settle.

Like Schindler’s List and some other films, we see the real life survivors at the end, who are quite affecting. Despite the trauma, it was an uplifting film that was well worth watching.

The May film is Love Sarah.

Jonathan Seagrave Downend

A very impressive show

I RECENTLY attended the Redgrave Theatre to see Tale of Two Cities, The Musical, by the very impressive St Mary’s Players of Staple Hill.

I was not sure what to expect but, as always, was not disappointed. I did not know there was a musical of Dickens' book – similarly a couple of years ago, I did not know of Titanic, The Musical. Both productions were so professional, the singing superb and in between these two productions the players have also performed Evita.

Whilst all the performers work as a team and were excellent, I must mention the outstanding performance of Sam Board, Mike Johnson and Emily Sollors.

Looking forward to the next production.


Help celebrate hospital birthday

WE are preparing to celebrate 10 years of the Brunel building at Southmead Hospital – and are looking for the public to get involved too.

Since the building opened in May 2014 there have been more than 3.5 million outpatient appointments, more than a million people treated as inpatients and more than 900,000 emergency

department attendances.

Not only is it a fantastic facility, it has also transformed healthcare across our communities in the decade it has been open.

As we look ahead to the next 10 years and the opportunities it will bring, we want to understand what the Brunel means to you – be that something personal or more general: whatever it is, we would love to hear it.

Please share your experiences, what the Brunel building means to you and any photos you are willing to include, by emailing, tag @NorthBristolNHS in a post on X or Instagram using the hashtag #Brunel10 or share a comment on our Facebook page.

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Free Legal Stock Take meeting

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

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.

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.

√ 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.

√ 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.

√ 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.

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

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.

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New life . . .

THIS time of year, we can see the signs of new life everywhere. Colour has returned to our gardens as the flowers start to show off their beauty, leaves and blossom are on the trees but of course, all this new life means that the grass is growing quickly and if you do not embrace the ‘no mow May’ philosophy then it needs cutting regularly! We have had a new granddaughter in our family recently which has reminded us of the particular joy that comes from seeing a new baby enter into the world even though that new life brings lots of extra work and sleepless nights! Have you ever noticed that when a new baby is born the parents, and grandparents, just can’t seem to stop talking about them. You would think this desire to talk about new babies would diminish when the second or even third comes along but it doesn’t seem to. For those who don’t want or can’t have children it must be

a bit frustrating or annoying at times when the conversation keeps returning to this new life. However, please do not be too harsh on the parents because for them, this new life is something really precious and therefore they just can’t stop themselves from wanting to talk about it.

At the very end of March, we celebrated Easter, which for Christians is a special occasion for us to remember and celebrate the new life that comes from knowing Jesus as our Lord and saviour. The new life that we have been given through Him dying on the cross at Calvary to take the punishment that we deserve for our sins so that we may be forgiven and thereby start a new life free from the guilt and fear of death. We read in 2 Corinthians 5 verse 17 and 18 that “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is

a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ…”

The joy we have from this precious new life means we too just can’t stop ourselves talking about it as we want everyone to know and so does Jesus Christ. The reading in 2 Corinthians continues (vs 18 to 20) “…And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”.

The wonderful thing is that anyone can have this new life. It doesn’t matter your gender or how old or young you are; it doesn’t matter how rich or clever you are; it doesn’t matter about your social status or ethnic background; and most importantly it doesn’t matter what you have done in the past for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

(Romans 10:13)

If you would like to hear more about the new life that Jesus offers there are many churches in our area who are willing to share this good news with you, so please come along to either a Sunday service or one of the many midweek drop-in activities (most Sunday services start at 10:30 but not at all the churches so please check!)

Bible verses quoted from New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation

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Defence firms big and small create jobs with a future

PROMOTING local aerospace and defence jobs is one of my key priorities.

To that end, I was honoured to welcome Rishi Sunak to the Rolls-Royce facility in Filton.

The Prime Minister opened Future Works, which showcases the future of the aerospace sector including exciting, world-leading technologies, such as the Tempest fighter jet project and Small Modular Reactors (SMRs).

We also had the privilege of meeting some amazing apprentices, who are inspirational role models for the next generation of engineers and scientists.

Also this month, I visited the team at MBDA. I was particularly impressed by MBDA’s commitment to investing £500 million in the UK over the next five years, really affirming their dedication to innovation.

Minister for Decarbonisation and Technology Anthony Browne and I paid a visit to GKN Aerospace where we were particularly impressed by their new collaborations with Vertical Aerospace in building the second prototype of the VX4 aircraft. I was also delighted to attend the opening of

Rheinmetall’s new office in Aztec West.

In addition to promoting jobs with large aerospace and defence companies, entrepreneurialism and the growth of small businesses into larger ones is critical for Britain’s future.

That’s why I was so pleased to visit local engineers Ricky Baines and Lee Tustain at Drone Forge, which makes small drones. Investment in this innovative sector is ensuring that cutting-edge technology being produced in the United Kingdom is keeping us safe and providing jobs and apprenticeship opportunities for the long term.

Ensuring that the M49 junction is finished is a priority. I was keen to point this out to Secretary of State for Transport Mark Harper on his visit to the junction, which followed our visit to the DHL facility in Bradley Stoke.

I recently visited Little Stoke Community Café, where their staff are getting on with business as usual with their signature friendly service!

Following my recent visit to Almondsbury Church of England Primary School, I was

delighted to welcome some of their pupils and staff to Parliament.

They all had a tour of Parliament, and then a session in the Parliamentary Education Centre where they learned more about how our democracy works.

In Filton, I attended the Spring Fair at St. Andrew’s Methodist Church and, with the hard work of so many volunteers like Susan Isherwood and Monique Levont, they were able to raise money for BRACE Alzheimer’s Research – a local charity based in Southmead which supports those who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

I have also recently met with volunteers Roland Coldrick and Peter Davis from the Bristol Rapid Relief Team UK at my office in Bradley Stoke. Giving food to those in need is at the heart of what this charity is about.

I have also met with Iris Hammond, who has participated in a run from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise approximately £40,000 for the Down’s Syndrome Association.

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New displays are coming to our high street

HOW nice it is to see some sunshine again, with no rain forecast on some days!

Reading my articles you probably think I am a typical Brit who is obsessed with the weather - however, as we are so dependent on it at In Bloom, we do think a lot about it.

I quite like this time of year, because we are growing plants in both our polytunnel and our home greenhouse, so at least we are warm and dry.

In our greenhouse we have rather a lot of tagete and marigold plants I took seed from last year's plants, and they have all come up. However, as we are not totally organised in the greenhouse we often have a tray or two of plants that we have forgotten to label and are not sure what they are! Fortunately, however, once they grow, we can usually recognise the leaf shape and identify what they are. This year I had a full tray of something growing really well, and finally realised they were poppies grown from seed taken

from last year's poppies in the garden.

We will be seeing four new large containers in the High Street very soon. These are one metre square black planters and are being installed as part of a grant from South Gloucestershire to bring more sustainable planting to local high streets.

The plan is we will be putting buddleia plants in them in the summer, which are fantastic shrubs for attracting butterflies.

Mystery plants blooming in the bee garden

We have selected a dwarf variety called Buzz and we are planting four colours – white, magenta, ruby and candy pink.

At the end of the summer, we will be removing them, giving them a trim and overwintering them at our garden site. We will then have pots planted up with winter bulbs and flowers, which will be inserted into the containers. This will ensure that we have colour all through the year, as often with sustainable

planting there is no colour in winter.

We are also continuing planting in the bee garden, and have lots of shrubs that I cannot even pronounce the names of! Some examples are coreopsis, tanacetum, verbenea bonariensis and bistorta amplexicaulis.

I am not sure how we will ever remember what is planted and where it is planted!

We have now laid all of the pathways, and the plants we have planted already are really blooming.

Our picture shows some tubs we bought recently for the bee garden on the reduced counter at a nursery for £1 a pot, which have now bloomed and are fantastic.

Unfortunately we are not sure what they are, but we think they are small red tulips. Hopefully we can investigate and I'll let you know next month.

Jackie Baker 07504244361

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Bee a part of No Mow May

IF you peer over your garden fence this May, you might think your neighbour’s lawn is looking a little scruffy.

A few more dandelions than normal, or (horror!) patches of grass growing at different lengths. But don’t tut – that may be on purpose. And it’s a good thing!

Yes, it’s that time of year again – No Mow May, where people keep their lawnmowers and strimmers in the shed for 31 days, and give space back to nature.

It’s a simple idea. Giving the mower a breather means spring plants getting a chance to set seed before the first cutting.

This means your lawn becomes a haven for insects, birds, hedgehogs, and more.

And it allows wild plants to get a foothold in May, to feed bees, and other pollinators, through summer.

I’ve backed this campaign

since it started in 2018 and every year, I’m always fascinated speaking with residents about the different plants they spot in their backyards.

I’m not just talking daisies or buttercups either, but plants we’d not often see in our gardens – one resident told me she’d even started growing wild strawberries!

Worryingly, future generations won’t see these either if we continue down our current path. Tragically we’ve lost 97% of our wildflower meadows since the 30s.

That’s why I’m again urging readers to take part by doing, well, nothing! Leave the mower alone, and watch the flowers fill your lawn.

Check out campaigns/nomowmay for more information.

If you can’t imagine allowing your entire patch to run wild, then how about leaving a circle

of grass in the centre of the lawn to bloom? Or why not stagger it – so that you have one area that’s mown once a month, one area mown at the end of summer, and so on.

For those without a garden, fear not! I’m urging everyone to check in with their local church, school or anywhere with grass or fields, and ask if some space can be left for nature this year.

Ultimately, the momentum behind No Mow May shouldn’t stop with May, and thanks to the West of England Combined Authority I lead, it won’t.

An incredible 620,000 square metres of land is being transformed for the region’s pollinators thanks to bee-rilliant bee projects we're funding.

This is double the target I set when launching a £1 million Pollinator Fund for projects that support bees, and other pollinator superheroes.

Projects like the creation

of mini nature reserves in ten primary and secondary schools across the West, including in Coalpit Heath, Temple Cloud, and Bristol.

Alongside my annual Bee Bold Awards, we're making the West the bee and pollinator capital of the country.

But I know we can go further.

So, this year, please give No Mow May a go. Who knows, you might like it so much you give the lawnmower a permanent shunning. The bees will certainly thank you for that.

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Skinny jeans are coming back

ACCORDING to fashion bible British Vogue, skinny jeans are back in fashion for 2024.

The spray-on jeans first hit the fashion scene more than a decade ago, and I think it’s fair to say that pretty much everyone

adopted the look.

Indeed, I find there’s at least one pair of skinny jeans lurking in the back of almost every client’s wardrobe I see.

So for many, skinny jeans never went away. Albeit they mixed up their selection of jeans with other, more looser-fitting styles that have swept into high street stores in recent years. Think straight, wide-leg, boot cut and flare.

Personally, the only time I think they look good (particularly on my ‘strawberry’ body type) is when I wear them tucked into a pair of knee-high, high heeled boots. It gives a streamlined silhouette.

And that’s the issue with skinny jeans –they take a bit of work.

They don’t really suit most of our body shapes. Most of us aren’t straight up and down – a rectangle body shape – but we still want to wear them.

There are plenty of jean designs to flatter everyone in 2024, so no pressure – but if you do want to get back into skinnies, here’s some thoughts to consider before jumping in:

*For pear body types: choose high-rise designs with no gaping at the waist, showing off your curves.

*For apple body types: honestly, stick to straight, boot-cut or wide-leg, which are

more flattering, and no cropped designs that shorten leg length.

*For hourglass body types: keep body in balance – wear the same/similar colour on your top half and choose jeans with stretch to work with curves. Ideally, I would choose slim over skinny jeans.

*For strawberry body types: wear with boots as above, to balance a wider top half with leaner lower half. Look for cargo detail to widen and balance your silhouette.

*For rectangle body types: wearing skinnies is easy for you. If tall, opt for a midrise. Petites should wear skinnies with nude shoes, for added height.

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

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Skinny jeans made using sustainably sourced cotton. Picture: Primark.

WE are pleased to see there's been some improvement to parking arrangements for e-bikes and scooters, although there's still work to do.

We look forward to formal bays being marked on the ground, to give users a clear visual message as to where to return the vehicles so that pavements are without obstruction, especially for those with pushchairs and prams, and those with a disability.

While the authorised side of things sorts itself, we need to play a part in supporting the police, especially our beat team, in identifying and taking effective action to confiscate the illegal bikes and scooters we see in regular use.

Let us know the details at if you know of such an instance and we'll pass on the intel.

As better weather is arriving we start to leave the front of our houses insecure for ventilation, then move to our back gardens to enjoy the weather.

This is an open invitation to the opportunists, especially if your front garden has vegetation cover so is not easily observed by others.

Despite regular and repeated advice, some people are still surprised to find that if they leave things in a vehicle overnight, they've gone by morning. This can be 'just loose change' through to vans full of expensive tools and other kit.

We know from our monitoring that there are those out there who are looking out for this mistaken behaviour 24/7, in every nook and cranny of our area. So beware, bring it all in/lock it all up and make sure those electronic vehicle keys are in a shielded container, so they can't be cloned – and that all keys are nowhere near the front door, where they may be hooked through the letterbox.

A Facebook group asked if they could receive the electronic copy of our newsletter, now we've stopped being able to distribute paper ones to all but a few. The answer was: 'yes of course'.

If you've a similar group and want to take the same initiative, get in touch at


The Force is with us...


Community Association's latest fundraising event had some help from a galaxy far, far away.

Volunteers dressed as Chewbacca and a stormtrooper from Star Wars were among those who spent two days completing a virtual 1,189 mile course on spin bikes at the Red Lion pub on Easter Saturday and Sunday.

The event, with a raffle and charity BBQ, raised more than £4,000 for the MCA's nominated charities, the MND Association and St Peter's Hospice, with donations still coming in.

MCA members Mike Heath, Karen Fox and Matt and Sarah Proud organised the event with the staff of the Red Lion.

Mangotsfield Residents Association chair and community pastor Clive Heath said: "All who took part or helped, including the Red Lion, should be proud of what they achieved for these two charities."

The next charity event will be a darts extravaganza on the next bank holiday weekend, on Saturday and Sunday May 4 to 5.

All are welcome.

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ARE you free on Wednesday May 8, from 2.30pm onwards?

Why not come along to the Crafty Egg in Fishponds for an informal social? You’ll meet some existing members of Bristol u3a (you in your Third Age) and have a chance to find out more about us and 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.

We’re always looking to start new interest groups locally, and the Sociable Cycling Group has been established for just over a year.

It meets twice a month, on the first and second Thursday mornings, and rides will usually start somewhere along the Bristol to Bath or Ring Road paths.

The first ride of the month is fully accessible to all abilities - short, on cycle paths or quiet lanes at an easy pace. The second will be for the more confident cyclistslonger, on roads and more challenging.

Whatever the distance, there is always at least one stop for a cuppa and cake. It’s a highly participative group and routes are suggested by group members. Note that all participating cyclists are fully responsible for their own safety and the safety of others around them.

Bristol u3a 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/learning new things.

There are over 150 interest groups across Bristol for members to join – simply Google “Bristol u3a” to see for yourself, or contact me at to find out more.


Whats On @ Downend, Emersons Green & Staple Hill Libraries : May 2024

Saturday 4th May - Lego Club at Staple Hill Library, a FREE drop in session for 4-10 year olds, starts at 10.30am

Monday 6th May (Bank Holiday) – no staffed hours but Open Access will be available 8am –7.30pm

Saturday 11th May - Lego Club at Downend

Our new club for kids

HERE at the Staple Hill Community Hub we are always looking at how we can best provide support and help to all members of our wonderful area.

In addition to our lunch club, help for job seekers and children’s Sprouts gardening club, we have now launched a new after-school club for young people.

Run by Turtle CYP, it will be held on Tuesday afternoons in term time.

Play at an after-

Sports, games, arts and crafts and food activities will all be part of the club, which is for children aged from seven to 11.

Based at the Community Hub, parents will need to fill out a registration form at the first session.

Turtle CYP (children, young people and professionals) was started in 1998 by a group of local organisations who identified a need in their community.

It has also been known as the Four Towns Play Association, 5 Alive and South Gloucestershire Playscheme.

In 2021 the organisation became a registered charity and changed its name.

Playscheme manager Barbara Ball said: "We are really excited to be working with Staple Hill Community Hub, to be able offer this new after-school club, and look forward to working in Staple Hill.”

The charity started by running free playschemes for children aged 5-11 in the school summer holidays in Patchway, Bradley Stoke, Filton and Stoke Gifford.

Over the years this has changed and has included other areas, such as Winterbourne, Severn Beach and now Staple Hill.

Our new club is on Tuesday afternoons between 3.30pm and 4.30pm.

Please call Barbara on 07510 380596 for further information.

Library, a FREE drop in session for 4-10 year olds, starts at 10.30am

We will be installing a new computer system including a new website for users and Libraries West App across all libraries from 23rd May. This will provide a better experience for library users. During the changeover staff will have a limited system to work with between 23rd May and 5th June.

Steve Bellamy

So, please remember to bring your library card during this period as we wont be able to look up user details.

Also Open Access will NOT be available in any South Gloucestershire library between 23rd May - 5th June.

Monday 27th May (Bank Holiday) – NO staffed or OPEN ACCESS will be available – see above Tuesday 28th May – FREE drop in craft activity at Staple Hill Library for primary school aged children, starting at 10.30am

Wednesday 29th May – FREE drop in craft activity at Downend Library for primary school aged children, starting at 10.30am

Steve Bellamy

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Matthew Pick school club

It takes work to look this good

HAVE you noticed how pretty the Dame School garden looks at the moment?

That’s all down to Mavis, Diane and Sue, three local residents and members of our group who, every Tuesday morning, are doing their bit to “brighten the place up a bit”. They deserve our thanks, and if anyone would like to help them then please let us know.

In March we held a litter pick around Burley Grove and Hillside.

It’s amazing how much litter can be collected in a little over an hour – or should that read “it’s depressing how much litter can be collected in an hour”?

By the time you read this, we’ll have had our first meeting in a long time, on April 25 in the Red Lion.

We are making it more of an informal chat rather than a formal meeting, and hoping that encourages more people to come along and get involved.

The next South Glos Council community engagement forum for Staple Hill, Mangotsfield and New Cheltenham will take place on Tuesday May 14, at 7pm.

The venue isn’t confirmed yet but is likely to be at Mangotsfield secondary school. It’s going back to being a face-to-face meeting, but with the option to join remotely.

It’s the first time this “hybrid” meeting has been tried outside of the council chamber, so it would be great to see lots of people there.

The police will cover, amongst other things, how to stay safe from scams, there will be a presentation on children's mental health and a conversation on Knife Crime.

All are important and relevant to our area.

It’s also another chance to meet and speak to your local police team, Avon Fire and Rescue

and members of the council about anything and everything local.

Did you know that there is a quiz night at St James Church every Wednesday, at 8pm? They raise funds for local groups – we’ve been grateful recipients, so why not go along?

Our next Red Lion coffee morning will be on Wednesday May 1 at 10 am, and all are welcome.

We are planning our next set of HAMs, 'hour a month' work sessions to improve the area –more info when we have it.

If you want to get in touch then please do so at, via the ever popular Mangotsfield Matters Facebook or telephone our chair, Clive Heath, on 07507 168700 or me on 07918 701881.

Chris Amos n Flowers at the Dame School garden n Litter collected around Burley Grove and Hillside.


OUR April meeting, on the last day of the month, features one of our previous committee members, Clare Barrington Chappell, who is giving a talk on how to be a model – and some very juicy behind-thecatwalk stories!

Clare was a founder member of the Downend WI committee ten years ago, so it is really lovely to welcome her back!

Our meetings planned for the rest of the year include self defence, nutrition and exercise on May 28, a talk called Hive & Herbals from Alyson Hurst, our local bee legend, at Avonmere Care Home on June 25 and one from Heather Norman, a milliner based in Chipping Sodbury, on July 30.

As I have mentioned previously, when things are beyond our control some of the items on the programme may be subject to change, but we sincerely hope not, as we are really looking forward to them all!

We are also looking to hopefully arrange some extra trips for our members during this year, too.

So, if you would like to come and see what we are all about, you would be more than welcome. 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.

It’s a chance to meet new people and experience new things, so if you would like to know more about joining us, please contact us via our email

Guests are welcome for a small charge of £4 which includes a Tea or Coffee.

We look forward to welcoming you! Shelley, President


ALL of a sudden, the year seems to be slipping by.

I walk to our April meeting in bright daylight, and the beautiful cherry blossom tree on the junior school’s front lawn is in full bloom.

I get my usual warm welcome at the door as I sign in, collect my name badge, wander over to hand in my food bank donation and, last but not least, get my cuppa (in my BYO mug) and biscuits. We live the high life at BHWI.

The school hall looks different this evening as it is currently being re-decorated, but primarily because all the long folding tables are piled up in the centre of the room, like some monstrous Damien

Hirst work of art.

Coming to WI is always a relaxing and therapeutic experience, but tonight is doubly so, as this evening’s speaker is Nicky Dowding, a hypnotherapist and positive mind-set coach.

Nicky opens with an overview of the workings of the human mind, and how we can create and develop techniques to help ensure that our positive thoughts will soon develop in to positive outcomes.

At times in your life is it is far too easy to think yourself down rather than “big yourself up”, but you don’t need to let this happen.

By the close of her therapy session, we are all so relaxed that we wonder where the time has gone, but obediently put our chairs away and wander off home to bed.

Personally, I enjoyed a great night’s sleep, so thank you, Nicky.

Next our ladies will be welcoming the Bristol Shanty Crew, and we hope you’ll all arrive in good voice on Thursday May 9, for a fun evening - or Sue and her motley crew, aka the committee, might make you “walk the plank”! Only joking.

Please email us at if you would like to give us a try or just require some further information about the benefits of becoming a WI member. Margaret Hanwell STAPLE HILL WI

DO you know what the Hierarchy of Road Users is?

Some of our members did, but some hadn't heard of it.

We were reminded by our speaker, an ex-policeman who now specializes in giving road safety talks to the more mature driver, that this was a change to the Highway Code in 2022.

It set out new rules for passing cyclists or horses or giving priority to pedestrians waiting on corners to cross, if you were going to turn left, amongst a few other points.

He gave us many tips, answered many questions and provided us with many relevant leaflets and giveaways, including high-viz jackets to keep in our cars in case we ever have to get out on a busy road.

He endeared himself to us straight away before he started, as he said that he had been expecting to speak to a much more mature group of ladies and not so many younger ones. It was a very worthwhile talk for all ages.

We welcomed some new members and saw many new faces at our very successful coffee morning early in April at Staple Hill Methodist Church.

We are trying, by popular request, a new venture of meeting at our local Wetherspoons for coffee and a chat one morning a month, on different days of the week.

Our first date was such a success that we nearly took over Wetherspoons!

If you are looking for a new way of meeting people, come and visit us.

We meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm at Christchurch Parish Hall in North Street, Downend. There is plenty of parking available.

You can visit our website at

Maureen Wood


BETH Morgan from the Great Day Choir came to our April monthly meeting.

This proved to be a hugely entertaining evening. There was so much laughter, and a great deal of singing – I think we even impressed Beth with our vocal efforts!

The ever-popular WI Country Markets will be selling their wares at our annual resolution meeting on May 20.

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.

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


I THINK I can finally say spring is here: clocks have gone forward and the evenings are lengthening. I love this time of year – tulips are giving us a beautiful show of colours and the bluebells are popping through the earth all round us.

At our April meeting we chatted and crafted, making a lovely spring wreath from crepe paper. It always amazes me how we all start with the same crafty items, yet at the end of the evening no two finished items look the same. Our members are certainly creative.

Our March meeting was slightly less strenuous – we had a talk from Kathryn on First Aid, giving a fascinating insight into all the wonderful work that the Red Cross do. Who knew “Baby Shark” might save a life?

We have lots to look forward to this year: as well as hearing about bats at our May meeting, we have been organising some outings.In June we are going on a tour of the Province of Bristol Masonic Hall in Park Street, with afternoon tea provided. In July we’ll be heading out on a pirate walk, “a pleasant walk around the quays, discovering Bristol’s turbulent history”.

If you would like to know more about our WI, please contact us via email at beechmerebelles@gmail. com or follow our Facebook page, which is Emersons Green & Lyde Green WI Beechmere Belles.

Or come along as a guest for the evening - it’s free for your first visit, and we promise you a warm welcome, tea or coffee and cake!


OUR afternoon tea at J’s Café in Lyde Green saw 16 of our dollies attending.

The café is part of a complex with all sorts of facilities.

Jackie, the owner, greeted us and asked if we would like tea or coffee. Our tables had been dressed with individual salad dishes and crisps, and the afternoon teas were displayed in lovely swan-tiered stands.

It was a wonderful afternoon, and we also spent some time chatting with the residents, who love to engage with new people.

Our next meeting in the hall will be a quiz, with quizmaster Bryn. There will be much discussion about the following meeting, which is a cold water swimming experience in Clevedon.

In January our speaker, Sophie, gave us an insight to the safety aspects of cold water swimming, and she will be there to meet us in Clevedon to help, guide and keep us safe.

Tickets are going well for a 50s evening of rock n roll, jump jive and swing with Cadillac Xpress. The event will be held at St James Church Hall, Richmond Road, on June 8: doors open at 7pm, music starts at 7.30pm, finishing at 10.30pm. Tickets cost £16.

There is plenty of room for dancing and it is BYO evening, with a raffle. For more information contact

June will be a fun skittles evening at Mangotsfield United Football Club. Looking further ahead, we are now planning a trip to Blenheim Palace for their Christmas market and lights.

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

May 1

n MOTHERS UNION MEETING, Christ Church Downend, 2.15pm, with talk from John Lockwood on 'A Social History of Downend'. All welcome.

May 2

n SPEAKER/COFFEE MORNING at Lincombe Barn, Gardening with Spring in Mind with George Alway. Doors open at 10.15am for coffee/ tea, talk from 10.45-11.45am. Entry £3 for talk, tea or coffee extra. All Welcome.

May 4

n FREE COMMUNITY AFTERNOON CREAM TEA WITH MUSICAL ENTERTAINMENT, 2-4pm, Christ Church Downend. Part of the city-wide weekend of action, The Noise, run by local churches.

Mon 6

n FREE COMMUNITY FAMILY FUN AFTERNOON with BBQ, bouncy castle and games, Christ Church Downend, 2-4pm. Part of city-wide weekend of action, The Noise.

May 11

n HISTORY WALK IN DOWNEND WITH CHAP (Community History and Arts Project), at the Scout Memorial outside Sainsbury's Local at 10am. Free event – all welcome to find out more about our historic

places, people and changes in society, and to share memories. Suitable for people of all ages and abilities. No need to book.

May 11 n LUNCHTIME SINGING SESSION, Lincombe Barn, Overndale Road, noon-2pm, led by award-winning conductor and educator Ben England BEM. Tickets priced at £12 to cover costs. For more details email singmay24@

May 11 and 25

n COMMUNITY GARDENING EVENT to help make Staple Hill High Street greener, 10am-noon. All welcome, equipment and refreshments provided. Meet at Fountain Square. For more information call Aimee-Claire on 07972 919159.

May 12

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

May 17

n FRIENDS OF LINCOMBE BARN PARK & WOODS stargazing experience at the Jubilee Hall, Downend Folk House, 7.309pm. Due to limited availability please book in advance via

Free event but suggested donation of £1 per person to cover costs. more information at lincombe-woods.

May 19

n PAGE PARK PRAISE, with Staple Hill Salvation Army Band and Musicians, Page Park, 3pm. Bring a chair if you can and enjoy an hour of good music. Call 0117 956 9733 for more information.

May 20


Monday 20th May at 2pm Love Sarah (12)

A pastry chef called Sarah is knocked off her bike and killed on the way to picking up the keys for the bakery she’s always dreamed of opening. Afterwards, the three most important women in her life – her Mum, best friend, and daughter, decide to make a go of the business. A warmhearted drama starring Celia Imrie, Rupert Penry-Jones and Bill Patterson. Tickets: £4.00 including refreshments. Carers welcome, easy access For more information please call 0117 435 0063/4. Christ Church Hall, 57 North Street, Downend BS16 5SG

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.


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 from 6th Oct for the Kundalini movement meditation. Contact Andrea on


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 STAPLE HILL JOB SEEKER SUPPORT GROUP, Staple Hill Community Hub, Berkeley House, Berkeley Road, every Monday, 2-4pm. Laptops and Wi-Fi available for job searches, free tea and coffee, welcoming environment. Call Julie 01454 868374 to say you are coming.

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. 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

WHAT'S ON LOCALLY 42 Downend Voice May 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377

£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.

n FRIENDSHIP & EXERCISE 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



ARRANGING CLUB We are a friendly group, we meet at 7.30pm on 1st & 3rd Wednesday each month from September to June at Lincombe Barn, Overndale Road, BS16 2RW. Ring Genise on 0777 2451217 for more information.


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


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.


CLUB Musical entertainment from 2-4pm every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at North Street Church Hall. All are welcome.


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: Tania by email at

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.

n THE FRENCHAY FOLK 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

n DOWNEND FLOWER 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.

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 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. n MANGOTSFIELD AND CASTLE GREEN UNITED REFORMED 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.

n HAMBROOK MEN’S PROBUS 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.

n BROMLEY HEATH PROBUS 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.

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43 Downend Voice May 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 WHAT'S ON LOCALLY

Email for more information.


n TAI CHI FOR PARKINSON’S. 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.


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


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 SPROUTS GARDENING CLUB for children aged 7-11, Staple Hill Community Hub, Berkeley House, Berkeley Road, every Sunday from 2-4pm. More details from the hub on 01454 868374.

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

n COMMUNITY GARDEN WORKING PARTY, Percy Walker Court, Lincombe Road, Downend, every Sunday 10am-noon. All welcome.

44 Downend Voice May 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


ADVANCES in photography using mobile phones in the last 25 years has been extraordinary, as has digital photography in general.

At the moment, the image quality of a mobile phone isn't on a par with your DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera, but it's getting there.

The best camera is the one you have with you and, nine times out of ten, it's your phone.

What are the advantages? It's in your pocket or handbag, and it seems you can use it even where you see signs saying "no cameras allowed".

You can take a photograph, do post production on your phone

and send it to a social media platform or to friends within minutes.

You don't need a top-of-therange phone: most budget and mid-range ones will produce acceptable results – just work within its limitations.

Third party camera apps can expand those limitations, allowing you to shoot in raw (uncompressed and unprocessed) image format, if your camera supports it, and at slower shutter speeds.

A selfie stick will allow a higher or lower viewpoint, as well as the selfie snap – most having a mini-tripod and Bluetooth remote built in.

When taking pictures, choose the lowest ISO setting, to minimise digital noise. Use a tripod or support the phone if the shutter


More space for our new members

FOR those of you who are frequent visitors to Bromley Park, a new feature in the car park is our latest container.

This has only been placed in the car park as a temporary measure, as any vehicle that can lift and move something of this size cannot drive onto the grass at the moment due to how soft the ground is.

The container will eventually be clad in timber, similar to the one already there, and will be moved next to the existing one.

We need the extra container because of

speeds are low.

'Sunset' was taken by my 15-year-old granddaughter, with post production in Snapseed, a free mobile app.

'Lamp and Flag' was taken in a National Trust property, when cameras weren't allowed.

The third image is a Bristol street scene, taking advantage of early morning light.

I hope this has given you a taste of how to make the most of mobilograpy – I'll have more tips

next month.

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. Alternatively, if you want to spend more time with your camera, 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.

our expanding membership – we have greeted three new members in the last couple of weeks.

This has come about at a time when we are not able to use the pavilion at the moment, due to a health problem with asbestos which the parish council are trying to get sorted as fast as possible.

Many thanks for their help with this, so we can get back to using the facility soon.

You may have also noticed that we are scraping off the flaking paint on the outside of the pavilion, and this will be repainted as soon as weather conditions improve.

As always, there is not a good time for this to occur, as we have a lot of work to do prior to our summer sales events where we get a majority of

45 Downend Voice May 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169
our funding. Anyone wishing to contact us should email John Lockwood
n Bristol by Ian Boulton
n Sunset by Sophie Ball n Lamp and Flag by Ian Boulton

Seeing the world in black and white

MAYBE it’s my age, but I find it difficult to think of the past as being in technicolour.

Rather it’s the black and white of old films that spring to mind. The TV of my youth was in black and white, as were the photographs in newspapers and many of the films that I saw. Likewise, family photos, my recorded reminders.

For photographers, black and white can have a special redolence. The earlier history of photography was the light and shadows of black and white, and many of the great photographers worked solely or largely in black and white.

If you are old enough to have started photography in the days of film cameras, the chances are that your first photos were in black and white.

For all these reasons, and the special qualities brought by excluding colour, many photographers still like to take black and white photographs.

Lincombe Barn Camera Club acknowledges this by having an annual black and white competition.

Let’s consider three of the recent entries, to examine why less can be more when colour is excluded.

The first, 'Solitude' by Bruce Gibbs, would also be a good photograph in colour but would have a different focus. The eye would be drawn to the stained-glass window at the end of the church,

the brightest colour in the shot. In black and white, it is drawn to the figure which gives the photograph its title. The lack of colour also enhances the mood.

'Thru the Window' by Roy Shergold has a complex window frame at its centre. What would be confusing in colour becomes clear and bold in black and white, drawing the eye inevitably to the round centre. What is beyond the window becomes merely background and not in competition with the foreground elements.

Finally 'Urban Cowboy', by Owen Richards, a simple portrait of a striking face and profile. Presented in black and white the character leaps out from the face, the viewer is forced to return the challenging stare of the sitter. Simplicity adds to the impact.

Are you interested in photography and want to find out more? Do you want to learn more about using the full extent of your camera? Why not join us?

We have a full programme of activities: competitions, presentations from guest speakers


I HAVE finally been converted to growing vegetables – for the first time since, as a young girl, I helped my dad on a Sunday morning, while Mum cooked what we had grown for the roast.

In a week I have become hooked on growing veg in a small space. At this very moment I am waiting for a BBC book, 'Small Space Harvests', to come through the letter box.

It all started just before Easter, when Tony bought me another publication in the same series: 'Your Garden from Seed'.

I kept referring to it over Easter and discussed how we could

and learning exercises for members. Visitors and guests are always made welcome (£3 if you just want to try us out).

If you’re interested, take a look at our website at or contact us on Keep it simple but enjoy yourselves Sid Stace

From flowers to vegetables

grow such things as runner beans, cauliflower and broccoli in a very small back garden.

Regular readers will know I am a fanatic about Alpines and pock plants. I am now beginning to become fanatical about culinary herbs and, the other Sunday, picked a small bouquet garni to stuff in the cavity of the chicken. It consisted of garden mint, rosemary and thyme. The aroma of the cooked herbs had permeated through the chicken, which was very flavoursome when roasted.

Tony had bought an April edition of a well-known gardening magazine, on which were attached two packets of seeds. We then visited a garden centre and acquired some more seeds.

My enthusiasm was bursting over, as there were many seed varieties to choose from.

I came away not only with two varieties of runner bean but a tray of cauliflower plants and a tray of broccoli as well. Next month I will tell you how and where I am going to plant them.

For our speaker and coffee morning on April 4 Jeanne Long talked about how she helps ladies in crisis by providing handbags with essential toiletries in them. It was a very inspiring talk.

On May 2 we have George Alway, talking on gardening with spring in mind. Full details in 'what's on'.

47 Downend Voice May 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169
n Solitude by Bruce Gibbs n Thru the Window by Roy Shergold
n Urban Cowboy by Owen Richards

BRISTOL & West Hockey Club's women's 2nd team has replicated the success of the men's 4s in completing an unbeaten leaguewinning season.

B&W Jaspers 2s finished 6pts clear in their division, with 16 wins, 2 draws and no defeats, scoring an impressive 72 goals and conceding only 15.

Although promotion was already in the bag, the title was secured with wins over Yate 3s (3-0) and Wick 2s (0-5) in their final games.

From start to finish they played attacking hockey and generally dominated play in every game; they will head into Berkeley Division 1 next season.

The Ladies 3s battled to secure their league title. With two games to go, they dispatched Keynsham 3s 6-0 to put their goal difference to over 20+ ahead of their nearest challengers, three points behind. They came through a tough final fixture with a 1-0 win, ending a stellar season that saw them win 19 and only lose 1 game, scoring 91 goals and conceding only 8.

Unfortunately, the Ladies 1st team were not able to establish

Jaspers finish the season in style

themselves in their new league in their first season after promotion, finishing last with two wins for the season, albeit one was against the side placed 2nd at the time.

Nonetheless, they rallied week-in, week-out and are already preparing their campaign to go straight back up next season.

Elsewhere, the Men's 1s competed in the West

Premiership for the first time in the club’s history, securing a more than respectable 7th-place finish, with six wins, 10 draws and six defeats.

Slightly disappointed to finish a single point outside the top half, they are more than capable of competing and will challenge for a top-5 place next season.

Men's 2s struggled to find consistency and had to help bolster the 1st team when

needed, but finished 5th in their division and will certainly be looking to push for the title next season.

Men’s 3s had a fantastic season, finishing second in the league: they were the only team to beat runaway winners Old Bristolians 2s.

The Junior section of the club continues to grow, and secured the title in the local Badgers League. Not only that, the club hosted Italian club Galatea, with youngsters of all ages competing in a mixed friendly tournament. Our Sicilian visitors thanked us for being the only club in Bristol prepared to host them, and issued an invitation to Sicily for all ages – another great tour (holiday?) awaits!

If you are interested in joining us for some casual or competitive hockey in the summer league from May onwards, visit www. for more information.

Rain hits cricket season

THE season for Carsons and Mangotsfield Cricket Club has got off to a slow start, with four of the first five games cancelled due to poor weather.

They won the one game played, against Shaftesbury Road, by 24 runs, with Matthew Clatworthy's 50 (retired) and Kieran Gallagher's 47 accounting for more than half their total of 189.

The weather meant players have been unable to start using outdoor nets, but the club will run two adult sessions per week, one with former Gloucestershire professional Damian Forder.

The club is also running the national All Stars programme for children aged 5-8: search for the club on the All Stars website if you have a child who is interested in having a go at cricket.

We also have spaces in our Under-9 age group.

The club is also looking to develop their links with local businesses through match-day sponsorship.

For more information about the club email Ian Coles

Ruby commits to padel

DOWNEND youngster Ruby Mathias has quit tennis to concentrate fully on padel - a similar sport played on a smaller, enclosed court where the ball can be bounced off the sides.

Ruby, 11, tasted success in a Lawn Tennis Association padel tournament in London where she won the under-12 and under-16 titles with her partner Elizabeth Vellacott.

She also won the Avon Cup, an adult competition based at Surge Padel in Fishponds and has competed in an adult LTA event with French coach Kevin Graff that included adult GB players.

Ruby is now number 3 in Great Britain for her age group, and number 5 for under 16s - she is encouraging more girls to take up the sport.

SPORT 48 Downend Voice May 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377
Bristol & West Jaspers 2s celebrate their title

Cleve sign off with home win

CLEVE'S last home game of the season was a well-deserved win in a well-contested game versus Clevedon.

The visitors had beaten Cleve the previous season and appeared confident. Cleve, however, were particularly good in contact, led by Matt Lynch who made some great drives into Clevedon’s 22. Clevedon got onto the scoresheet first, winning and slotting over a penalty. Cleve went on the offensive and, after a period of pressure, Freddie Richardson was released into the corner and went over to make it 5-3. Another penalty was awarded to Clevedon after a forward drive, to take them back ahead as the game became an end-to-end competition. After a driving maul, Will Warman cut to the line. Harry Goodfield finished the move off, with a conversion making it 12-6.

Hip arthritis SPORT

The visitors responded, and after a catch and drive they scored a try to pull back within a point. Cleve then moved the ball well and scored in the corner, to pull 17-11 ahead and, on the restart created another good move, with Theo Garnett going inside to score again.

During the second half Garnett was again on the end of a good move, using skilful footwork to score again. After five minutes of sustained pressure Clevedon scored a converted try to make it 27-18. They continued to pressure near the line but were held up, and a break by Lynch put Cleve near the line. He passed to fellow forward Will Bartholomew, who went over, with the try converted.

Cleve were not finished: after good ball movement Freddie Richardson went over again to make the final score 39-18 to Cleve.

*Cleve are holding a Sevens tournament on June 28-29. As well as men's and women's elite and social competitions, there will be music, food, bars and entertainment at the Hayfields. For more information email


Flyers catch up

SPRING is here and the rain has finally stopped long enough to get some games on for Downend Flyers' three women's and 21 girls' teams!

However the club is still playing catch-up. The adult first team has four league games to play, with two points needed to be mathematically safe in the sixth tier for another year.

The reserves can enjoy their last three games, having secured their status in Gloucestershire Division 2 for next season. Our girls' teams are completing their league programmes before their switching to the tournament season, especially our event in June!



SO, to say this month’s blog took me down a rabbit hole would be an understatement. It all started with Mr Gary Brindle, our illustrious publisher of the Voice, who has given me permission to tell his story here – let’s face it, he has the power to edit it anyway!

A short while ago Gary called and asked if we could help him with a few mechanical pains that he had been experiencing. Some of these were simpler than others to pin down but, as we managed to improve his symptoms, it quickly became clear that Gary had a hip problem.

He was suffering with a combination of hip pain and reduced mobility and function so we decided to take some X-rays to investigate. Luckily, we have a high quality digital facility on site at Cleve Chiropractic – it’s the gold standard for diagnosis of hip osteoarthritis (OA), otherwise known as “wear and tear”.

Sure enough, we found Gary had some mild to moderate OA in his hip, which was clearly aggravating the problem. With this firm and quick diagnosis under our belt, I promptly referred Gary upstairs at the clinic to see our Olympic Games physio Keith.

Keith is an all-singing, all-dancing, prescribing physiotherapist who can also do ultrasound guided injections alongside his regular duties – indeed, this makes up the majority of his work these days. Keith injected Gary with a

steroid to try to confirm that the problem was originating from the hip. If he started to feel better, with the symptoms reduced or disappeared, then the hip could definitely be identified as the culprit – otherwise, we would have to keep looking. However, as night follows day, Gary’s hip pain disappeared, so we were confident of the diagnosis.

At this juncture, it’s important to mention that we’re now in the world of trying everything to at least delay, or hopefully avoid, a hip replacement. While these operations are very successful, they involve major surgery and a significant recovery period that most people would rather not rush into.

After a steroid injection, the window of “painless opportunity” is often short-lived, maybe lasting only a few months, or even weeks. For Gary, we began a thorough rehabilitation programme of exercise and treatment but, as his hip function returned, so eventually did his pain.

So the plan was to take advantage of our shiny brand new traction machine, which we introduced to the clinic in January mainly for the purpose of decompressing spines for those painful neck and lower back disc injuries that we treat nearly every day. This machine is unsurpassed as a device to relieve disc injuries and helps the majority of patients avoid surgery.

I have only ever tractioned

hips manually (using my hands) and, practically, it’s very hard to do. It’s tricky to generate the force required and to be consistent, so we don’t really use it much as a treatment option. I dare to say that traction is not in widespread use for OA hips for this reason.

However, because we have this new capability, I embarked on a review of the written evidence for traction of OA hips and what I found was enlightening. The research goes back a long way and shows that traction of a stiff OA hip is more effective than rehab, though a combination approach is best.

The thinking is that machinebased traction provides a consistent outcome and is therefore better than the varying experiences of therapists. It can reduce pain and increase mobility and function. The more traction you have the better the effect – and the more traction is combined with your treatment, the less treatment that you need!

One study showed that 10 treatments of traction provided excellent outcomes in the majority of patients at 12 weeks – at least in the short to medium term. What’s more, none of the research that I found showed any negative side effects of hip or even knee traction. Also, hip traction can significantly reduce any referred knee pain.

At the clinic, we get very good outcomes by injecting hyaluronic acid (HA) into OA joints, including hips and knees. HA acts as a long lasting lubricant and reportedly slows down the progression of OA whilst improving pain levels

and function. So there’s no reason why we cannot combine these approaches safely.

If you think that you may have wear and tear in your hip, Cleve Chiropractic and Physiotherapy Centre offers a personalised combination of care including:

• An X-ray of your hip for immediate diagnosis

• Confirmation with an ultrasound guided steroid if appropriate

• Providing a rehab plan that includes hands-on treatments and use of the anti-gravity treadmill

• Traction of the hip

• HA injections to lubricate the joint, which can last for many months or even more than a year

Some or all of these approaches may be appropriate for you or someone you know –speak to us about a tailored care programme. Book a consultation with any of the physios, chiros or sports therapists at our Mangotsfield clinic – we can help find the right route back to a healthy you.

Gary’s treatment, including traction, is in its early stages but he will tell you that he’s already getting some much-needed relief from pain. Fingers crossed, if we continue down this path, we will get him back to his old self in no time.

49 Downend Voice May 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169

Mangos finish in mid-table

MANGOTSFIELD United finished the league season in 13th place – but still have at least one cup final to play.

The final three home games of the season were all played by the end of March and turned out a mixed bag, beginning with a 4-2 home defeat by Roman Glass St George, who have become a bit of a bogey side this past couple of years.

After a goalless first half, Josh Jenkins and Shea BenningtonMannings scored early in the second half to put the visitors 2-0 up, before Jack Nunn (68) and Jaydn Crosbie (75) brought the scores level. Roman Glass clinched the win with late goals from Jonathan Walker (86) and Loui Ward (89).

Five days later came a 1-1 home draw against Highworth Town. An even game saw Daniel Grieve put the Wiltshire side

ahead after just nine minutes, but the Mangos kept plugging away and Jaydn Crosbie levelled on 65 minutes to share the points.

The Mangos completed their home programme for the season on March 26 – possibly their earliest home finish of all time –with a deserved 3-1 win against Tytherington Rocks in the GFA Trophy Semi-Final.

Jaydn Crosbie (14) and Henry Ikeije (38) gave the hosts a commanding 2-0 half time lead, and although Toby Waterman gave the Rocks some hope in the 79th minute, Rohan Nelson netted in stoppage time to wrap up a good win for the Mangos. An appearance in a cup final is always a nice way to end a season!

The Mangos were supposed to meet Cinderford Town in the final, but the Foresters were

thrown out of the tournament, having fielded an ineligible player in the semi-final. Beaten semi-finalists Cheltenham Saracens will now take their place.

Mangotsfield had no games whatsoever over Easter, and weren’t in action again until April 10, when they drew 1-1 at play-off chasing Slimbridge.

The hosts led at the break through George Neill, but Mangos deservedly levelled on 55 minutes through Stuart Tovey, to secure what turned out to be the final point of the season.

With league Saturday fixtures finished but matches being played on midweek dates, as teams caught up on postponed games as best they could, next up was a 1-0 Monday night defeat at Cinderford Town, whose late winner came from Chris Knowles.

The final league game, at newly-crowned champions Worcester City, turned out to be a lively affair.

At half time, it was 2-2, which the home crowd hadn’t anticipated, with Jaydn Crosbie (10) and Will Ashton (44) scoring for the Mangos.

But the sending off of Stuart Tovey on 41 minutes meant they played with 10 men for the entire second half, and such pressures led to them conceding three second half goals. Worcester’s goals came from Jordan Lymm, Jamie Insall, Elliott Hartley, Elliott Keighley and an own goal.

As the Voice went to print the Mangos were still waiting to find out their opponents in the semifinals of the Marsh Challenge Cup, while the GFA Final against Cheltenham Saracens was due to be played at Almondsbury on April 25.

50 Downend Voice May 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377 SPORT



Gisela Norman, a highly experienced acupuncturist of 30 years

Gisela treats a wide range of conditions from physical complaints, including

Call her to discuss your health issue on: 07968 855 001 or make an appointment direct at the Willow Surgery, Hill House Road, Downend on: 0117 970 9505

A Member of British Acupuncture Council and Lecturer



DOWNEND VOICE LOCAL SERVICES 51 Downend Voice May 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 LOCAL SERVICES AERIALS APPLIANCE REPAIRS A.G. AERIALS For Digital TV Ring Round — Then Ring Us We will undercut any quote for quality work Est 1967 • Free Quotes • No VAT TELEPHONE DOWNEND 0117 956 4516 MOBILE 07770 634 804 AERIALS AERIALS Call Nick on 07970 529787 Email: ● TV Aerials & Satellites ● Extra Points ● Repairs ● Sky Work Undertaken ● Telephone Extensions ● TV Wall Mounting ● CCTV ● Data Points & Wi-Fi Extensions ● TV/DAB/FM Multi Point Systems The Aerial Co. Est.2004 Blue Flame Services 0117 960 0296 0797 0122137 BEAUTIFUL, CONTEMPORARY, KITCHENS, BATHROOMS & WETROOMS, ALSO CLOAKROOMS & UNDER STAIRS TOILETS We install Wren, Magnet, Howdens and Wickes Kitchens As one of the most used areas in the home, fitted kitchens need to be a flexible space while being able to stand up to daily wear and tear. A new fitted kitchen can be customised to suit any layout and lifestyle. Give your bathroom or wetroom the look it deserves with a beautiful range of traditional and modern styles. We take great pride in our work and we respect clients homes and belongings. All works are fully insured. To discuss your needs or to arrange a free, no-obligation quotation, please do not hesitate to contact us. 0117 960 0296 0797 0122137 blueflame_a6leaflet.indd 2 We install Wren, Magnet, Howdens and Wickes Kitchens As one of the most used areas in the home, fitted kitchens need to be a flexible space while being up to daily wear and tear. A new fitted kitchen can be customised to suit any layout and lifestyle. Give your bathroom or wetroom the look it deserves with a beautiful range of traditional and modern styles. We take great pride in our work and we respect clients homes and belongings. All works are fully insured. To 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
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LOCAL SERVICES 52 Downend Voice May 2024 News? Call Ken 0n 07715 770 377 ELECTRICIANS Apricot Electrical DOMESTIC AND COMMERCIAL FREE ESTIMATES 0117 956 3285 Mobile 07976 665448
AND PROFESSIONAL THE REWIRING SPECIALISTS CAR REPAIRS 100% Mobile - to work or home! Bumper Scuffs • Alloy Wheel Refurbishment • Vandal Scratches Minor Dents • Calliper Painting Headlight Restoration • Motorcycles Repairs 70% cheaper than car body shops Tel: 0117 329 3773 Mob: 07780 713 665 Outside Work = Perfect for Social distancing CYCLES WANTED ADULT BIKES WANTED Mountain, Racing, Folding Electric And Cargo Bikes CASH PAID - WE COLLECT Comfort Cycles 07963 898633 email: Call Jules 07711 857607 Ken Gardening Services Local & Friendly • Spring garden clean • Weeding • Mowing Lawn Care • Hedge cutting • Garden design • Plant supply • Spring mulching • Fence painting • Patio pressure CARPENTRY PHILIP PERKINS General Carpenter/Kitchen Fitter (Member of the Guild of Master Craftsmen) 0117 9373941 OR 07788 115945 CALL FOR A QUOTE - NO JOB TOO SMALL Carpentry • Kitchens supplied & fitted or supply only • Full kitchen or fronts only • Worktops • Fitted Wardrobes • Door Hanging • Skirting • Stairs & Balustrades • Laminate & Wood Flooring • All aspects of general carpentry work
ELECTRICAL 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 GARAGE DOORS GARDEN MAINTENANCE • Third generation Family Business • World Class Customer Service • Independent Specialists • Free Surveys & Advice • 10 Year Finish & “Safe & Reliable Function” Warranty • Downend Based Call Charlie on 07375 883596 or email All Types of Garage Doors 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 May 2024 Sales? Call Gary on 07799 461 169 MAN WITH A VAN 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 PLUMBING & HEATING Tel: 0117 9676268 Boiler installation, servicing and repairs 10 Year Warranty’s available 518308 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 May 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 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 Decorating Painters & Decorators Contact: Dave Beauchamp Mob: 07739 382 524 E-Mail: Facebook: Interior and Exterior Affordable, Reliable, Professional


















• 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 FRIENDLY PROMPT SERVICE,




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 May 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: ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS E-Mail: From as little as Per month +VAT £22.50 ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS SHOWER REPAIRS Apricot Showers Approved Contractor FREE ESTIMATES 0117 956 3285 Mobile 07976 665448




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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