Fishponds Voice April 2017

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fishpondsvoice April, 2017 — ISSUE 27

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Making a noise about McDonald's proposals What a hoot! Meet Thor the owl Minerva Primary Academy in Hillfields, where the emblem is an owl, are sponsoring a live rescue owl called Thor. PAGE 23

Blow for estate as buses are lost Hard-won bus services for the Hillfields estate are being axed at the end of the month because not enough people have been using them. PAGE 11

THEY sang, they played music - and they brought traffic to a standstilll. More than a hundred people of all ages dressed in colourful clothing and turned out to voice their opposition to a proposed McDonald's drive-through at

the former tile warehouse in Fishponds Road. The protesters on March 25 ranged from tots in buggies, on trikes and in bike seats to pensioners. Many - though not the babies - will make their views known at a planning

inquiry this month. It starts on April 20 and will look into the fast-food giant's appeal against Bristol City Council's refusal of permission for the proposed development. Full story: Page 3

Victory over affordable homes Developers have bowed to public pressure and agreed to include some homes for rent and part-ownership at the Blackberry Hill Hospital site. PAGE 13



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April, 2017

Green and glorious spring in Fishponds




about Making a noiseoposals pr s d' al McDon

SPRING is in the air – so what better time to get out and about in the varied community of Fishponds? As always, people have been going the extra mile to make our area even lovelier. Well done to those who have taken part in litter picks and helped clean up the Coombe Brook nature reserve. More than 100 people also turned out for a funfilled procession to make known their opposition to a McDonald's drive-through on Fishponds Road. D THE WORL AROUND Many local people feel strongly about this, and UCE FROM OD PR ILY FRESH DA intend to attend the public inquiry this month, although it must also be said that some residents 7 43 58 0117 96 BUILDING are in favour of the development. K AT REAR OF LARGE CAR PAR It is good to stand up for your beliefs, and we'd like to pay tribute to our local Greater Fishponds What a hoot! owl Meet Thor the y in Academ Minerva Primary the emblem Hillfields, where ng a live is an owl, are sponsori Thor. rescue owl called PAGE 23

e Blow for estat as buses are lost the

services for Hard-won bus are being axed Hillfields estate month because at the end of the have been not enough people using them. PAGE 11

played music THEY sang, they traffic to a - and they brought standstilll. people More than a hundred in colourful of all ages dressed out to voice turned clothing and d on to a propose their oppositi rough at drive-th ld's McDona

warehouse in the former tile Fishponds Road. on March 25 The protesters buggies, in ranged from totsbike seats to in on trikes and - though not pensioners. Manymake their the babies - will planning at a views known

It starts on inquiry this month. the will look into April 20 and appeal against fast-food giant's 's refusal d Bristol City Council for the propose of permission development. Full story: Page




bowed to Developers have and agreed to public pressure and homes for rent ry include some at the Blackber part-ownership Hill Hospital site. PAGE 13




Victory over s affordable home

BS16 3AA








fishpondsvoice Publisher Gary Brindle 0117 907 8585 07799 461169

ADVERTISING Tel 07453 954261 Tel 07799 461169 EDITORIAL Letters to the publication can be sent to the above e-mail address or by post to Letters, Fishponds Voice, 6 Elkstone Walk, Bitton, Bristol BS30 6JT. The editor reserves the right to edit your letter.

ward councillors, who have put in hours of effort on McDonald's and on other issues highlighted in this edition, including bus services, parking and the Blackberry Hill development. It is not an easy time to be in local government, which is having to make difficult decisions because of financial constraints, so hats off to them. We also bring you news of a new layer of local democracy – the election next month of the first West of England Metro Mayor. You can read about all six candidates in this edition. Fishponds Voice is here to share news about our community, so send us your stories and photos. Email us at or write to 6 Elkstone Walk, Bitton, Bristol, BS30 6JT. We also have a website – Facebook and Twitter. We hand-deliver more than 7,500 free copies to homes every month and are increasing our circulation. If you live outside our delivery area, look out for the paper in local shops, cafes and libraries.

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Journalist Linda Tanner 0777 0700579

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Fishponds Road is not the right place for a drive-thru McDonald's - residents PEOPLE living opposite the Fishponds site that McDonald's wants to turn into a large drivethru and restaurant have united to oppose the plan. Geoffrey Barnes, of Dunkirk Road, has collected 124 signatures from residents in Drummond Road and Midland Terrace, who fear it will have a negative impact. “We are objecting to the McDonald's plan on the grounds that it will bring additional congestion, pollution, noise and inconvenience to our area,” he said. Mr Barnes spoke to 131 people about the proposals and only two were in favour of McDonald's moving in to the old tyre warehouse. Five preferred not to sign, making 94 per cent who supported his petition. He said many people, including himself, had no

objection to the fast food chain, but thought Fishponds Road was the wrong place for a drive-thru, takeaway and restaurant. The proposals include a traffic island in the middle of the road, which would make it virtually impossible for people to turn right out of Drummond Road towards the shops, doctors and dentists in Fishponds centre, he


said. Drivers would have to turn left and then right into Brentry Road for a rat run that would increase traffic on roads behind the site. Mr Barnes, who joined more than 100 protesters in a colourful march from the site along Fishponds Road, said: “McDonald's should not be

allowed to ride roughshod over the expressed wishes of the local community.” A planning inquiry into McDonald's appeal against Bristol City Council's refusal of permission for the development opens at City Hall on April 20. Mike Jempson, chairman of Say No to McDonald's in Fishponds, said many more people had stated their intention to address the planning inspector with their concerns. Mr Jempson and Peter Tickner will put forward the NoMacinF case at the six-day hearing. He said he was pleased with the turnout for the demonstration, which also received strong support from drivers tooting their car horns. "It was great to see so many people, including children, taking part, and there was a fun atmosphere," he said.


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April, 2017


We're pioneers of Suspended jail term vegan fish 'n' chips for wallets thief FISHPONDS is now home to the UK's first vegan fish and chip shop. Matter Fastfoods opened its doors on March 11 and its vegan dishes - with no fish or animal products in sight - are a big draw. Favourites include “tofish” and chips, falafel, mushy peas, curry sauce and Chinese stir-fry - all of which are entirely plant-based. The shop, which opened in a former Chinese takeaway at 660 Fishponds Road, is run by Jon Luke of Matter Wholefoods in Easton. It has already won a 'Proggy' award from animal charity PETA in recognition of its animal-friendly achievements in commerce and culture. PETA director Elisa Allen said: “As more and more diners are seeking plant-based meals, Matter Fastfoods’ hearty ‘tofish’ and chips has arrived right on time. PETA hopes this vegan chippy will be the first of many across the UK.” The charity says that choosing a vegan takeaway spares animals suffering and that vegans are also less prone to develop cancer and diabetes than meat-eaters are and have a lower carbon footprint. Over time, the business plans to introduce vegan fried “cheeken”, fresh juices and salads.

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A FISHPONDS man has been given a suspended prison sentence after a series of thefts and other offences across Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Craig Tutton, 37, was arrested and appeared before Bristol Magistrates on Monday February 27 charged with the theft of a laptop and a wallet in Winterbourne, taking a car without consent in Stapleton and fraud by false representation – using a stolen bank card in a shop – also in Winterbourne, all earlier this year. He asked the court to take into consideration 13 other offences, including several thefts of bags and wallets, fraudulent use of stolen bank cards, taking a vehicle without consent and theft from a motor vehicle. Some of these included

thefts of bags, keys and wallets from leisure centre changing rooms and staff-only areas of businesses. The offences happened between November 2016 and February 2017 in areas including Fishponds, Frenchay Hill, Kingswood, Stapleton, Clifton, Cribbs Causeway and Easton. Tutton was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, a month-long overnight curfew monitored by an electronic tag and a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement. A second man, Kai Rossiter, aged 35, of Brislington, was due before Bristol Magistrates on Wednesday March 1 charged with possession of cannabis and the theft of a wallet in Fishponds on Sunday February 26.

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Stir over Costa bid

'Spare a thought for the locals when you park near Vassalls' VISITORS to Oldbury Court Estate are being urged to show they care by parking elsewhere. The car park at the popular open space is not big enough to accommodate visitors at peak times, meaning cars are often left on neighbouring roads. People living near the attraction, which includes the play park at Vassalls, fear the situation will be made worse if Bristol City Council goes ahead with a plan, approved by councillors in February, to charge for parking. Visitors seeking to avoid the charges will be tempted to leave their cars in the streets nearby. The residents asked that consideration be given to residents' only parking or additional – and enforced – double yellow lines before a parking charge was brought in. In a petition to the council,

they said: “Unlike Ashton Court and Blaise Castle Estates, Oldbury Court Estate has no convenient public transport and the car park is effectively located at the end of a long cul-de-sac, and is surrounded by residential streets, many of which are narrow and easily obstructed,” they said. The residents pointed out that the council has recognised the parking shortfall at Oldbury Court and has approved planning permission for a permanent overflow car park. However, as work has not yet begun, this looks unlikely to be started before the autumn, meaning that a temporary overflow car park will have to be used, as in the last two or three years. The council's website still states that parking is free at Oldbury Court. The Voice asked

for a statement on when or if charges would be introduced but did not receive a response before going to print. Stuart Main, who lives in Perryman's Close, said the council had been slow to communicate with residents. He said many people were not aware of the proposal to charge for parking and urged visitors who were able to consider parking further away and walking to the park. “Perryman's Close is narrow and it is a dead end. When cars are parked there it can be difficult for deliveries, emergency vehicles and nursing and care vehicles to get through,” he said. Until 2013, the St Matthias campus of Bristol UWE provided an overflow car park, but this has now been developed for housing.

PLANS by the giant coffee chain Costa to move into the centre of Downend have provoked concerns about the loss of individuality on the high street. Costa, part of the hospitality group Whitbread, wants to move into the former bank premises vacated by the Hungry Caterpillar Play Cafe after just eight months. Because the play cafe Sally Apps, received planning permission principal of a year ago, Costa does not need Bristol Met, consent for a coffee shop. It with students is seeking approval for new signage. Residents posted support for independent coffee shops on social media and on the South Gloucestershire Council's planning website. Parish councillors also heard concerns, but said that market forces were not a planning reason to object.


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‘Tinder for mums’ MUM Lily Pawley was so fed up with the isolation and loneliness of being a full-time parent, she decided to confront the problem in a very modern way. The 29-year-old from Emersons Green took to technology dubbed 'Tinder for mums' to create a parenting community where like-minded mums can meet up and make new friends. Inspired by statistics showing that 50 per cent of new parents find it hard to make local mum friends, Lily started using a new app called Mush. The app, which is free, has three main features - the Mush Matcher which uses algorithm to find similar mums based on location, mutual friends and similar age children; Let's Mush, a tool which enables mums to plan events and meetings or see who is free to meet right now; and Mush Guides, a growing hub of content written by mums for mums. Lily, who is mum to 21-month-old Stevie, said: "It can be such a shock to go from having a busy life full of work and social occasions to nappies and CBeebies.” Started in London by two friends who found themselves in a similar situation to Lily, Mush has been designed to make the lives of mums more sociable and fun by enabling meet-ups. The number of mums using the app in the area has doubled since Lily and her friend Alice Gilbert, 32, launched a publicity campaign, and meet-ups have taken place in Coffee One in Fishponds. “The important thing for us was that everyone is welcome. Don’t sit at home thinking it’s just you and you’re alone. Connect with us and let’s all get out into the local area. Bristol has so much to offer parents of young children,” said Lily .

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LINCOMBE Barn Camera Club members achieved success at the Western Counties Photographic Federation annual competition, the Knightshayes Trophy. The subject this year was ‘Diffraction’ and members of the 102 clubs could eah submit two images. Rachel Domleo was awarded second and third places, while Anita Fullerton and Joy Flood each gained Highly Commended certificates. Bruce Gibbs also received an honourable mention on one of his images.

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April, 2017



Cheers! Residents raise a toast to idea of a micropub in the High Street 'A GREAT asset to an up and coming area' - that's the verdict of one of the many supporters of plans to set up a trendy micropub in the heart of Fishponds. Fishponds resident David Sibley wants to turn the old Osborne Stationers into a drinking establishment with a difference. Micropubs have started sprouting up across the country, offering customers locally sourced beers as well as handmade ciders, wines, soft drinks and artisan bar snacks. Because they are not tied to any major breweries, they can offer customers cheaper pint prices. They are small and intimate with the aim of promoting conversation by doing away with gaming and fruit machines, juke boxes and live music. There are now more than 175 micropubs across the UK with two already established in Bristol - one in Gloucester Road and one in Chandos Road. Mr Sibley has asked Bristol City Council for permission to change the use of the vacant shop at 800 Fishponds Road, which was last used temporarily to sell fireworks, into a public house. Already the authority has received dozens of letters in support of his plans. One resident, who lives in Oldbury Court Road ,said: "I'd like to support this application as I think it would be a great asset

to an up-and-coming area." Another, of Elmgrove Road, said: "I support this innovative and positive use of a high street unit that has been of mixed and short term use for at least the last two years and is currently empty. "This development will enhance Fishponds high street in the same way the two micropubs that are already established in Bristol have." In a letter accompanying his application Mr Sibley, who has previously worked as an assistant bar manager, said: "The intention of the micropub is to be a low-key amenity, not a nuisance. As a micropub selling cask ales, traditional ciders and simple, local, artisan bar snacks it will be a distinctive alternative to the nearest pubs which belong to national chains. "As a community-based independent operation, the micropub will not compete with other alcohol outlets and avoid selling anything sold in

The business would employ two part-time and two full-time members of staff with proposed hours of opening from noon10.30pm Monday to Friday, noon-11pm Saturday and noon4.30pm on Sundays and bank holidays. Mr Sibley went on to state: "Hopefully we will gain a reputation as a micropub that has a friendly atmosphere, provides good quality local products, serves, supports and employs within the community, supermarkets or nearby off whilst enhancing the local licences. Instead the focus will neighbourhood. be on the diversity and quality "I very much believe that of beers which appeal to real ale customers of my micropub will enthusiasts. be keen to use the services of "We believe a micropub the food establishments and will maintain the commercial other businesses nearby and vice diversity of the area, attract versa." footfall beneficial to other A decision is expected to businesses and add to the Right at Home is oneRig o be made by the council before character of the area." trusted care compan Monday May 8. tru team of friendly, relia tea Right at Home is one of the UK’s most Rig specialiseOur in assisting spp trusted care companies. local tru at Home is one of the UK’s most need a helping handtea new team of friendly, reliable CareGiver’s Right at Home is one of the UK’s most Quality care and Right trusted care companies. Our local tasks in their own hom tas specialise in assisting people who may team of friendly, trusted reliable CareGiver’s care companies. Our local spe Companionship specialise in assisting people who may need a helping hand with day-to-day team of friendly, reliable CareGiver’s ne a helping hand with day-to-day Our services include Ou in the comfort of need tasks in their own specialise home. tasks in their own home. in assisting people who dement may tas Specialist Our services include: your own home need a helpinginclude: hand with day-to-day Companionship Ourcare services Specialist dementia tasks in their own home.Transportation Ou Companionship an Specialist dementia care Transportation and errands Help with washing, Companionship Ourdressing services include:Help with washing and personal care personal care Transportation andand errands Light Housekeeping Specialist dementia care Housekeepin Meal preparation Companionship Help with washing,Light dressing Medication reminders Meal preparation and personal care Transportation and errands Post-operative support Holiday and respite cover Light with Housekeeping Help washing,Medication dressing remin and much more... Mealpersonal preparation and care Post-operative su To find out how we can help care for you or your family, call Holiday and respit Medication reminders Light Housekeeping and much more Post-operative support 01793 602502 Meal preparation Or visit Holiday andreminders respite cover Medication Registered with the Care Quality Commission. Each Right at Home office is independently ownedTo and operated find out how we Right one is ofone theof UK’s most Right atRight Home is one of the UK’s and much more... Post-operative support at Home themost UK’s most trusted care companies. Our local trustedtrusted care companies. Our local Holiday and respite cover care companies. Our local

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April, 2017


Children and staff at Chester Park Infants entered into the spirit of World Book Day,dressing up as their favourite story characters. The staff stayed in character as they led the children through activities to promote a love of books. Year 2 also had a day of story-telling activities with a professional story teller, who also read and performed a story to all the children during assembly.

School still requires improvement - Ofsted CHESTER Park Infant School remains in need of improvement, the watchdog Ofsted has said. Inspectors visited the school in Lodge Causeway in February, two years after they judged it to require improvement in all areas. Their latest report, which has been made under a tougher inspection framework, rates it as requiring improvement overall and in the categories of leadership and management, pupil outcomes, early years provision and quality of teaching and learning. However, for personal development, behaviour and welfare, the school is now graded as good. “Leaders set high expectations for behaviour. Pupils understand and rise to these expectations. Staff demonstrate strong care and

support for pupils. In turn, pupils show respect and tolerance for each other and for adults,” the report said. Inspectors also noted that parents were proud of the school and spoke highly of the care and guidance given to children. But they said children did not make good enough progress in their learning or achieve the results they should. “The quality of teaching is uneven across the school and is not yet typically good,” Ofsted reported. “Improvement in the key areas identified at the last inspection has not happened as quickly as it should." In particular, the most able children and those from disavantaged backgrounds were not doing as well as they ought, the report said. The lead inspector Tonwen Empson acknowledged that

the lengthy absence of the head teacher Susan Tyte and a large number of staff changes had inhibited efforts to ensure consistently good teaching across the school, which has 208 pupils aged four to seven. Acting head teacher Madeleine Orr was praised in the report. "The acting headteacher leads the school with confidence and drive. The newly formed staff team share her drive to improve and work effectively together. "Morale is high and there is a noticeable determination to move teaching and learning forward. " Miss Orr said staff understood the need to establish consistency across the school and were maintaining a clear focus on the areas for improvement. "We are determined to

become a good school," she said. She was also pleased that Ofsted had highlighted some of the school's strengths and recognised the strong nurturing environment. Ofsted commented positively on the "broad and interesting curriculum, which motivates pupils to learn about the world around them". "Leaders ensure that pupils develop strong British values such as respect and tolerance. The diverse cultures within the school are widely celebrated. Pupils care for each other and look out for one another. Everyone is valued here," the report said. Governors were also praised for their steadfast support for the school and for working with the local authority to secure the external support needed to enable the school to improve.




786 Fishponds Road, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3TT

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April, 2017



Principal Jan Saunders and pupils at Frome Vale Academy

Staff in costume at Bristol Brunel Academy

World Book Day fun at Minerva Primary Academy

Principal Duncan Cruickshank and pupils at Begbrook Academy

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April, 2017


Remember the old school days? LOOK closely at these two black and white photographs, perhaps you might recognise yourself peering into the lens. The photos were taken at Chester Park Junior School and were typical of the style of school photography in the 1960s. The class picture was taken during school year 1968/9 and the nativity in 1960. Fifty years on, the school is facing a period of great change with a move to a new building in Abingdon Road this June. To celebrate the history of the old building, the Friends of Chester Park Junior School are holding an open day for ex-pupils, parents, staff or interested locals to come and have a look and reminisce about times gone by. The Friends welcome all to come and see the playground, recall the assemblies, roam the classrooms and hopefully catch up with old school chums. The event will be held on May 13 from10.30am12.30pm at the junior school. Tea, cakes and commemorative merchandise will be available. The school would love to hear from you if you have any old photos which can be displayed on the day as well as any memories you would like to share. For further information and to allow organisers an idea of numbers, call Sue on 0117 330 1574 or email

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April, 2017



Teenagers threatened

Blow for Hillfields residents as bus services are dropped BUS services to the Hillfields estate, which residents fought to get improved, are being cut again at the end of this month. First West of England is scrapping the 16 route from Hanham via Kingswood and Fishponds to Bristol Parkway and is changing the 17 service from Kingswood to Southmead Hospital so that all journeys are via Staple Hill rather than some through Hillfields. The changes, which come in on April 30, will mean a long walk to a bus stop for some residents. It will also take away bus links between Hillfields and Lodge Causeway and Fishponds centre, where many need to travel for shopping and visits to doctors and dentists. Hundreds of people signed a petition that led to the introduction of the improved services early last year - but not enough passengers have been

using the buses to make the routes profitable. South Gloucestershire Council, which has outlined all the bus changes on its website, explains that after First served notice on the 16, it sought another operator but was unable to find one that could operate it for the funds available. Hillfields ward councillors Anna Keen and Craig Cheney are trying to have the buses reinstated. They said: "We are both disappointed to learn that the 17 will no longer pass through Hillfields on its way to Southmead Hospital. We are aware that there are a number of local people that rely on this service and will now be expected to take a lengthy walk to be able to access the service. "We have been talking to First Bus for the past few months on this change, having

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negotiated a change to the previous proposals which saw a service still routed through Hillfields once an hour. "Having fought successfully to save the 16 in its previous guise as the 81 we are very frustrated to hear this is being cut. We know the strength of feeling that was displayed last time this cut was proposed and worked with local residents to gather a petition of over 500 signatures against this. "We recently met with First Bus to discuss these changes and will continue to press them, as well as speaking to South Gloucestershire Council, for alternatives. If you live in Hillfields and would like to raise your concerns with us we would love to hear from you." Email Cllr.Craig.Cheney@ (07469 413304) and uk. (07342 031891)

A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of affray after an incident in Fishponds Park. Police were called to the park on the afternoon of March 14 after a man threatened two teenagers after school. The 40-year-old man from Oldbury Court was refused bail and recalled to prison as he was out on licence. Local beat manager PC Joanna Sibson said the man was now back in prison. "I want to congratulate the children involved for sensibly returning to school after the incident had happened, so that the school could call us and we could take action. “We are monitoring the area regularly and you will see increased patrols around the park to deal with the ongoing problem of anti-social behaviour. Please continue to report all incidents of ASB in the area so that we can build up a clear picture of where the main problems are.�


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n NEWS RUNNING partners are hoping to use humour to drive home a serious message. Dave Hellings, from Downend, and Claire Phillips, from Fishponds, are taking part in the Bristol 10K in May in support of CALM - an award winning charity dedicated to preventing male suicide. But the duo are planning to do it in style - Dave by dressing as a chicken and Claire by donning an egg outfit. They hope their unusual attire will attract attention and lead to more donations for one of the country's lesser known charities. CALM - Campaign Against Living Miserably - aims to raise awareness of male suicide and provides free and confidential support and information to men of all ages who are down or need help. The charity is close to Dave's heart as his father took his own life just over 10 years ago. Dave, 36, said on average men in the UK are three times more likely to take their own lives than women. "I've been directly affected by

April, 2017

Using humour for serious message the issue as my father suffered from depression and committed suicide. Men don't really talk about depression and that's part of the problem. I suffered with a bout of depression when my father's death sunk in about a year later. The charity wasn't about then but thankfully I got through it. "I've looked at CALM's website to find out what they do and can see that they are doing some really positive work and providing a good service to people who need support. I have had a few friends who have suffered with depression recently so I pointed them towards the site." Dave and Claire, who are both single, became running partners after becoming friends on Facebook because they both attended the same school, Whitefield in Fishponds. They meet up a couple of times a week and run on average four miles each session. Dave, a civil servant, said:

Physically Rewarding Intellectually Stimulating Socially Enjoyable A new approach to an ancient Art

"I did run a lot a few years ago but had knee surgery so had to stop running. I've done all sorts of races - marathons, 10Ks, ultra marathons. Now I go to the gym in my lunch-break and run with Claire once or twice a week. "Claire wants to complete the 10K in under an hour but I'll be happy to just get to the end! "Dressing up to run the 10K seemed like fun. Both of us have never run in fancy dress before but we thought it might get a

bit more attention. As it's going to be a bit more difficult to run in costumes, we thought people might be more willing to sponsor us." Claire, 37, a client services representative, said: "We have set ourselves a target of £500 but anything that we can raise will be lovely. Reaching £500 would be amazing though. "I thought rather than supporting the usual cancer charities, we should go for something different. A lot of people suffer with mental illness, especially men, so it's good to help raise awareness of the charity. "Men don't talk about things but there are charities out there that can help them." You can help Dave and Claire reach their target by donating via their JustGiving page. For details visit https://www.justgiving. com/fundraising/ChickenVsEgg To find out more about CALM, visit https://www.

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April, 2017



Blackberry Hill developers bow to public pressure

Folk group supports CLIC shop MEMBERS of Folk Around Fishponds, who meet in the Cross Hands, have handed over £200 to CLIC Sargent. They wanted to help the children's cancer charity after hearing how its shop in Straits Parade had been attacked by an arsonist. Peter Rowley, from the club, said: "We were all saddened to hear about the events at the shop before Christmas and wanted to do something to help as it's in our local community. All the door money on the night of our February 28 meeting was set aside and we also had a generous donation from one of the club regulars." The club has raised money for charity in the past. In 2014 it raised £900 from the sale of a CD for two local music based charities and last year members raised £150 for St Peter's Hospice in memory of a founder of the club, Jonathan Davy.

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THE giant company planning to build hundreds of homes on the Blackberry Hill Hospital site appears to have backed down on its refusal to make some of them available for rent or part-ownership. Galliford Try originally said that building a proportion of "affordable" homes would make the 305-property estate unprofitable. But after protests from the charity ACORN, a petition of more than 500 signatures, investigations by the Bristol Cable newspaper and intervention from Frome Vale Councillor Nicola Bowden- Jones, it is reported that Galliford Try has agreed to provide about 100 affordable homes on the site, increasing the overall total to 344. A revised planning application is likely to be submitted to Bristol City Council very soon, replacing the one from last year which has drawn dozens of objections. Protesters have cautiously welcomed the announcement from Galliford Try's regional director Jon Young but say "the devil will be in the detail" as to whether the homes are genuinely affordable. Councillor Bowden-Jones said on Facebook: "Pleased that Galliford Try have announced that 100 affordable homes will be built on the Blackberry Hill site, all those weeks I have spent in negotiation have paid off. Brilliant news."

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for Regional Mayor New rail stations, more frequent trains, night buses & capped fares Affordable homes to buy and rent, protecting precious green belt Against a damaging Hard Brexit

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Bookies make Lib Dems favourite for Metro Mayor Bookmakers Ladbrokes have made Liberal Democrat candidate Stephen Williams an early favourite in the West of England Metro Mayor election on 4th May.

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April, 2017



So why are we voting for a West of England Mayor? PEOPLE living in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath are voting for a Metro Mayor to lead the new West of England Combined Authority for the next four years. More than 900,000 people are eligible to vote in the combined authority elections held on May 4. Residents in the Fishponds are might wonder what the point is of adding yet another layer of government to the region. Put simply - devolution money - £900 million to deliver infrastructure locally over the next 30 years. That works out at an additional £31 million each year. The Government wants

to have a named individual accountable for the additional powers and money being devolved to the West of England Combined Authority. Additional powers locally should mean better government for the West of England with a budget to deliver planned sustainable growth across the city region, it says. The West of England Mayor will work together with the Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and the leaders of South Gloucestershire and B&NES

councils, Matthew Riddle and Tim Warren, to oversee a coordinated plan for the region. The three local authorities will still be responsible for most public service delivery, such as waste management, schools, and recreational facilities. Oversight of transport, housing, economic growth, adult training and skills will come under the new West of England Combined Authority, with the aim of creating a strategy for the whole area. Other financial benefits

include the opportunity to take part in the business rates retention pilot and a higher rate of payments from Government across the devolution region for roads maintenance, worth approximately £1m per year. Six people have declared that they are standing in the election, including: Tim Bowles (Conservative), Aaron Foot (UKIP), Darren Hall (Green Party), Lesley Mansell (Labour), John Savage (independent) and Stephen Williams (Liberal Democrat).

Aaron Foot, UKIP

Darren Hall, Green Party

FOR many people within the new West of England combined Authority, choosing the region’s first Metro Mayor will be an important decision for them. Therefore, it’s absolutely crucial, that come May, voters aren’t restricted to choosing between a selection of career politicians that are almost indistinguishable from one and other. With me on the ballot, they’ll have the opportunity to vote for someone completely different. If elected to be the new Metro Mayor, I will work with everyone across the new West of England Mayoral Combined Authority, and I firmly believe that direct democracy can and will deliver outstanding levels of service and will ensure all voices are heard. As your local UKIP Candidate for the West Of England Metro Mayor, I have three commitments. Firstly, as a farmer, I understand the vast importance of the greenbelt and thus I do not want to see our nation stripped of its prime agricultural land and natural wildlife habitats. This is why I will fight hard to prevent our countryside becoming swamped by overdevelopment, as our countryside must be preserved so be enjoyed by future generations. I will also pledge to get the Bristol and Bath gridlock sorted once and for all. This will be achieved by ending the war on motorists and implementing an integrated transport network where bus, train and road user all work together. Finally, I want to be the voice that represents you, the public, this is why in the first 100 days in office, I will create a direct democracy platform so we can shape the West Of England together. This will be done so that we can all champion change.

I GREW up in Gloucestershire and lived in the Bristol area for the last 15 years. After graduating from Swansea University as a mechanical engineer, I joined the RAF as an Engineering Officer. Later I undertook a Masters in Business and worked in public services in a number of roles spanning crime & drugs, culture and media & sport. I was the national spokesperson for the FRANK drugs campaign and supported Gloucestershire’s recovery from 2007’s flooding. I spent 5 years working with Bristol City Council, running the Bristol Green Capital Partnership, and led the team that won the European Green Capital Award. Over 20 years, I have become more active in campaigning on environmental issues and despite my reservations, I was persuaded to enter politics. I ran to be the Green Party’s Bristol West MP, achieving 23% of the vote, coming a close second to Labour. During the campaign I saw how the Green party’s vision and messages of hope connected with residents fed up with the hollow promises from ‘the greenest government ever’. As Metro Mayor, we can improve the lives of thousands who live and work in the West of England by investing in better public transport, affordable housing, and jobs that pay a living wage. We must do more to provide people with meaningful work and investing in people. We have the opportunity to be a world leader in the smart cities agenda, creating a strong local economy that protects and regenerates the natural resources upon which we all enjoy.

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VOTE FOR ACTION TO IMPROVE FISHPONDS’ TRAFFIC PROBLEMS On 4th May this year people in the Fishponds area have the chance to vote for action to tackle traffic congestion and improve public transport across our area. That’s because the new West of England Mayor will have new powers over major transport schemes – so we can Conservative West of England Mayoral candidate Tim Bowles has an get things moving on action plan that will put Fishponds priorities at the top of the agenda. He’ll work with MPs and Councils across the area to get things done issues like the Ring Road/ – and he is the only candidate committed to working with the Prime M4 J18a Link and the Minister to make a success of Brexit locally. Hockey’s Lane junction. There have been too turn out and vote in this crucial election – to many years of indecision and small schemes that have just tinkered around ensure that the problems faced by people in the Fishponds area are right at the top of the agenda. the edges of big problems. The new West of England Mayor will also have powers over housing and development – across Bath & North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bristol. That means influence over house building decisions and preserving our green spaces from inappropriate development.

If people in the Fishponds area don’t vote on 4th May, our voice will not be heard. That means decisions taken by the new Mayor would be dominated by the interests of parts of Bristol alone, and not the whole area. So it’s vital we make our voice heard.

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WEST OF ENGLAND MAYOR: WILL HAVE BIG POWERS OVER Q Major transport schemes Q Housing and development

Q Economy and jobs Q A budget of nearly £1 billion

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April, 2017



n METRO MAYOR Tim Bowles, Conservative Party AS a local community campaigner, I’m passionate about our region and that’s why I’m standing to be the first West of England Mayor. I’ve combined a successful business career with public service as a local Councillor over the last fourteen years and I want to use my skills, experience and determination to make our region even better. Our community is a great place to live with a growing economy and new jobs. But success brings demand for more housing - and transport infrastructure is just not keeping up. Local people want to see further improvements to transport and they want to be able to get on the housing ladder more easily. If elected, I will adopt a better approach to development – so the right homes are built in the right places, protecting our green spaces and prioritising urban regeneration. I’m also determined to make transport a priority like a new station at Henbury and Horfield, speeding up the Portway Park and Ride station, and increased services from Sea Mills and Shirehampton stations. The West of England Mayor can make a real difference to the lives of people in the West with nearly £1 billion of extra Government money and key powers over housing, transport, the economy and jobs. But we need a strong local voice to champion our region, we need a Mayor who can work with our Government, local MPs and Councillors to get things done instead of using the role to score political points.

Lesley Mansell, Labour LESLEY Mansell is standing for Metro Mayor to make a difference. An experienced negotiator, the NHS manager believes she has the qualities to unite the leaders of Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire. “My vision is to ensure everyone in the West of England can share equally in our region’s success,” she says. “I will put people first, working hard to get the best out of the three local authorities so devolution works for the many, not the few. “This election presents an opportunity for us to tackle the inequalities of our housing market, the insecurity of our jobs market and to end the frustrations of our journeys across Bristol.” Lesley, who lives in Radstock and works at Southmead Hospital, says her first priority is to address the region’s housing problems. “Getting homes built is essential for the region’s economy and, with better planning and contracts, new housing developments will also deliver apprenticeships and employment. We have already seen in Bristol what can be done when there is the will to build houses." Sorting out the region’s transport problems is another issue close to Lesley’s heart. ‘Too many of our roads, buses and trains are overcrowded, with congestion damaging our local economy and air quality so I will take the lead on transport to find green solutions so people can get to work and get around better.” One solution to rush hour congestion is, Lesley believes, to encourage employers to allow staff to work from home more often. As an equalities manager and trade unionist, Lesley will put equality at the heart of all she does, so everyone can benefit from prosperity.

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Stephen Williams, Liberal Democrat THE election of a “Metro” Mayor for the West of England is an exciting opportunity to take our region forward. London has benefitted from the strategic leadership of its Mayor. Now we will have the same powers and new sources of money so that we can make the big decisions locally, rather than asking for permission or funding from the government in Westminster. The new Metro Mayor will be able to invest in the local economy, with £120 million available in the first four years. I will invest in cheap start up space for new businesses and social enterprises. I want to encourage tech and digital entrepreneurs, the fast growing industries of the future. I will also support those businesses that are developing a low carbon, sustainable economy. I will lead trade delegations to bring more jobs to our area, building a world recognised brand for Bristol and Bath. I will set aside land for new homes that are affordable for purchase and rent, safeguarding the green Belt. I will use new transport powers to regulate all of bus providers, cut journey times and improve air quality. I will reopen rail stations, starting with Ashley Down, Charfield and Saltford. I will work with our county neighbours to bring more rail improvements and a new tram link to Bristol Airport. This is a big job and I am the only candidate to have served as a minister in the government, as well as an MP and councillor. I can make the case to the government for even more resources and powers, taking our region forward to greater prosperity.

John Savage, Independent ON May 4, we enter a new phase of devolution that will profoundly change the way that our region is run. I have lived in the West of England for the last 40 years and for the first time in my life I see the possibility of a real shift in power from Westminster to local people. Last year three councils in the West of England – Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire – agreed to a devolution deal which will allow our region to determine its own future, as well as an additional £30 million in extra funding from government. This is an unprecedented opportunity for the West of England and it is essential that we do not waste it. We need a leader who can work across the three local authorities; someone who will not be bound by bureaucracy nor party interests. This is not the time to be divisive, but to unite the West of England around a common purpose and, in doing so, truly let this region reach its full potential. The West of England’s Mayor must use their position to facilitate co-operation between the local authorities for the good of all. I intend to stand as an independent candidate for this election and draw upon my vast experience of partnership working – with government, local government, businesses and charities – to bolster the status of the West of England and champion it as the best places to live and work.


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April, 2017


The YouF of Staple Hill show off fabulous new HQ YOUNG and old alike are being encouraged to attend an open event which will showcase the transformation of the former Staple Hill School. The You Foundation, which runs a youth project in the building, would like as many people as possible to come along to its open day to find out what the space can offer youngsters in the area. The event will take place on Saturday April 1 from 12-2pm. The You Foundation (YouF) was previously Staple Hill Methodist Youth Project, although the only link with the church was that the project was based at Hebron Methodist Church. For years local councillors Shirley Potts and Ian Boulton had been campaigning for the young people of Staple Hill to have their own base for a youth club. This was finally realised in January when the youth

club moved into the former school following a ÂŁ350,000 cash injection from South Gloucestershire Council. Youth club sessions take place on Mondays, 7-8.30pm for Year 7, 8 and 9 aged children and 8.30 onwards for Year 10s and Thursdays from 8-10pm. Activities include pool, table tennis, sports, games consoles, craft activities based on themes and cooking. Outreach sessions

in the community take place on Wednesdays. The building, which is also home to a Sure Start Centre, is run by trustees of the You Foundation, which finances youth provision by renting out space to other groups and organisations. Trustees of the You Foundation are in the process of signing a lease for the building from the council. Youth worker Rob Sharp, who runs sessions for young people with a team of workers, said: "It's a purpose built youth centre which Staple Hill has never had before. Previously we were always unpacking and

packing things away at the end of a session. This new space is much more welcoming for young people. It's much more focused towards their needs. It's a great space for young people to have. "The open day is a great chance for people to come and have a nose around! The building has a long history in Staple Hill and a lot of people used to go to school there. I'm sure they would be interested in coming along to see how the building has been repurposed and not lost. Families can also come along and see what facilities we have and what's on offer for young people." You Foundation trustee Maggie Curtis, who set up Staple Hill Methodist Youth Project more than 15 years ago, said: "The building has had a complete refurb by the council and it's absolutely fabulous. It really is a wonderful space for young people."

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April, 2017



IT was a tall order but Bristol Metropolitan Academy’s basketball teams are celebrating after notching up more than 50 wins this academic year - and no defeats. The academy's teams recently took part in the South of England Basketball Finals with Year 8 and Year 10 teams both taking the title with wins over the top teams from across the country. The teams remain undefeated in competitive competitions, across every age group and gender, since September 2016.

Basketball's riding high Tom Hooper, head of PE, said the success of the teams is due to Bristol Met's innovative new programme which has the intention of producing professional basketball players of

the future. He said: "This programme also improves students’ behaviour, attendance, punctuality and will help them to develop life skills such as higher aspirations and improved selfesteem. “The boys' on-court performances, positive attitude and determination to succeed made them a credit to the academy, the basketball programme and their families. I am extremely proud of all the boys and girls who represented us so well.”

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April, 2017


Hair today, gone tomorrow for Kelly FISHPONDS Taekwondo Academy has raised more than £500 for the Brain Tumour Charity with a head shave and bandana night. Member Kelly Jones, 30, offered to have 20 years of hair growth shaved off to raise the funds. Adults and youngsters from the 100-strong martial arts group took it in turns to shave a strip from her head until she was left with a ‘number two’ cut all over. Other members paid to wear bandanas for the evening to raise funds for and awareness of brain tumours. The event was held to honour Gary Lear, the father of David Lear who runs the academy with wife Karen. Gary is suffering with a terminal, malignant brain tumour that was diagnosed last year. Kelly said: “I wanted to do something to help. I hadn’t had my hair cut since I was 10 so there was about 10 inches to

shave off. “It feels very strange to have short hair. Luckily it’s not too cold!" Kelly took up taekwondo 18 months ago, joining daughter Izzy, seven, who has been training with the academy for three years. She said: “It’s a great family activity and everyone is great friends. I’ve got to know David through the club and this was a way I could give something back. His father shaved the final piece

off my hair, which made it very special.” David’s efforts for the Brain Tumour Charity follow a year of personal fundraising last year for Cancer Research UK, when he raised over £750. He said: “The fundraising evening at the club was very emotional for everyone. My family were really touched that everyone did so much to help. “My dad has had surgery to try and remove the tumour but it is growing back and there is a lot of collateral damage. He has already lost 60 per cent of his vision. "As well as raising money, my dad being there meant that the event raised awareness of what cancer does to people.”

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Since the club was set up in 2011, it has outgrown its original Fishponds base and currently operates out of Staple Hill primary school on Wednesdays and Fridays, offering tuition to age four to adult. David said: “The club is like family. Everyone has each other’s back. Events like this show how much support we all offer each other.”

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April, 2017



Doorstep burglars injure man, 92, and make off with cash AN ELDERLY man and his wife were left distressed after distraction burglars talked their way into their Staple Hill home. Police are now appealing for information and asking the community to be on the alert following the incident, at around 10.40am on Tuesday March 7. A man called at the couple’s home claiming that he needed to check the water supply. He was allowed inside and persuaded the 82-year-old woman to leave the door unlocked. The man left a short while later, and as the lady was locking the door after him a second man came down the stairs and demanded to be let out. The woman cried out and her 92-year-old husband came to help her. He was pushed away and suffered a cut to his hand before the second man left the property. The couple then found that a wallet containing cash and bank cards was missing. Officers attended and carried out a search of the area and house-to-house enquiries. Crime scene investigators carried out a forensic examination of the property and the couple's home security will be reviewed. The elderly gentleman was very shocked by the incident and both he and his wife were checked over by paramedics. The first suspect is described as white, aged 40 to 50, with a grey beard or heavy stubble and a


strong Irish accent. The second man was white, in his 20s, about 5ft 9ins, stocky and wore a dark-coloured hoodie. Investigating officer PC 4220 Mark Lockyer said: “This is a nasty incident which has left an 92-year-old gentleman and his wife in a very distressed state. I’d ask anyone who has had someone matching the description of these suspects call on their home, or who has any other information which could help our investigation, to contact us straight away.” Anyone who can help is asked to get in touch through the police website www.avonandsomerset., or by calling 101, quoting reference 5217050522. PC Lockyer added: “I’d urge anyone who has an unexpected caller to use a door chain and ask to see identification. If you’re in any doubt, keep them out. Genuine utility company staff will be happy to wait or to call back while you check they are legitimate by calling their company using the number in the phone book or on your bill. “If you or someone you care about is concerned about doorstep crime, it’s worth signing up for the password schemes run by most of the gas, electricity and water companies. If an unexpected caller has left you feeling alarmed or intimidated, please call 999 straight away.”

Martial arts aces scoop 32 medals at national contest MEMBERS of the Elite Martial Arts & Fitness Gym in Staple Hill were crowned British Club Champions and presented with the annual Chung Do Kwan Cup after scooping 32 medals at the national championships. Prominent amongst the winners at the British Chung Do Kwan Taekwondo Championships were Ellis Riley and the Turner brothers, Dean, 15, and Sean, nine. They all dominated their respective full-contact sparring divisions as defending British Champions and did not disappoint when it came to overcoming their opponents. Many other members also won gold, silver and bronze medals in full-contact sparring,

semi-contact sparring, Korean weapons, Patterns and demonstration techniques. Chung Do Kwan is the name of one of the oldest and original Taekwondo groups in Korea and now has a global membership through the World Taekwondo Chung Do Kwan Federation. The Elite Gym in Staple Hill has a history and reputation of producing top national and international competitors. It is also building strong links with local schools through a specialised programme delivering training to children in their schools and helping educate them about this popular Korean Martial Arts. For details call 07598 505299


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Sat 8th 8.30pm. The

Dunbars. (Rhythm/blues - bluegrass) The Star’s Open Mic. Wed 12th 8.30pm. The Propane Brothers. (bluegrass) Sun 16th 4pm. T.S.W.C. (The Stripper Was Cancelled) rock. Wed 19th 8pm. Music Quiz. Thurs 20th 8pm.Irish Music Session. Sun 23rd 4pm Open Mic. Thurs 27th 8pm. Female Singers Night. Sun 9th 4pm


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(all female singers welcome)

Sat 29th 8.30pm. The

Petty Hegglers.

(Fiddle fuelled folk rock blues)

Visit us on facebook – The Star Fishponds

99 High St, Staple Hill, Bristol BS16 5HF 0117 329 2332 To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261


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April, 2017



Calling all brainboxes THERE were originally three Methodist churches in Fishponds - the Primitive Methodist on the corner of Wharf Road which was destroyed in the war, Ebenezer Chapel by the old library, known locally as the Clock Chapel and is currently being turned into flats, and Trinity where the Poundstretcher store now stands. The members of Ebenezer and Trinity came together in 1967 and built a new church - Fishponds Methodist Church - on an empty piece of land next to the parish hall (now Wayland Court) in Guinea Lane. We have been there now for fifty years and have a great deal to celebrate during the church's 50th annivesary weekend of June 24-25. On the Saturday we are having a drop-in afternoon from 2-4pm in the church hall. It will be an opportunity to re-visit the church or see it for the first time, to have a cup of tea and a

piece of cake and meet old friends, look at photographs and share memories. On Sunday morning at 10.30am, a special anniversary service will be conducted by Rev Richard Barrett, minister of the church from 2003 - 2011, followed by a buffet lunch in the hall. We would love to meet up with old friends on both these

To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261

occasions. If you would like to stay for the lunch, please let us know by May 31 by contacting the church by letter at: Fishponds Methodist Church, Guinea Lane, BS16 2HB or email: We are looking forward to a lovely weekend. Come and join us! Mary Barrington


HOMELESSNESS prevention charity Julian House is appealing for small and large Bristol-based businesses to enter its grand corporate quiz. The Brain of Bristol quiz night with three-course dinner will take place on Thursday May 18 at the Grand Thistle Hotel in the city and coincides with the charity's 30th anniversary year. During the evening, a special guest quizmaster will take teams through a series of six challenging rounds including a mystery smells round. Tables are for 10 guests and packages start from ÂŁ400 per table. Julian House has more than 20 different projects, accommodation sites and social enterprises in Bristol, Bath and Wiltshire. For details of the event, including table packages and sponsorship opportunities, email or call 0753 9926809.

Got News? Call Linda On 0777 0700579


April, 2017



School's wise decision PUPILS at Minerva Primary Academy in Fishponds came face to face with a rather special guest at an assembly last week. It was the first time the youngsters had met Thor, a rescue owl they are sponsoring. Friends of Minerva Primary Academy used funds raised through various events to sponsor the nocturnal creature from Avon Owls. Members of the Friends came up with the idea because the academy's logo is an owl. It means the school will have its own special plaque that will travel with Thor to educational events to show people that he is being sponsored by Minerva Primary Academy. The academy will also receive

an adoption certificate from Avon Owls, a large photograph of Thor and a pack with information about their adopted species. Thor is a male owl and arrived at Avon Owls as a hatchling. He

adores attention and loves to sit on shoulders. Cath Archer, lead learning mentor, said: “The pupils really enjoyed meeting Thor the owl at the assembly. I would like to

thank the Friends for raising the money to be able to adopt the owl. This has been a great educational experience for our pupils which I feel sure will carry on back in the classroom.�

Caring for Eye Health FOR GENERATIONS Our thorough Child & Youth eye exam is funded by the NHS Dyslexic Vision Assessments & Vision Therapy Clinics are now available

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April, 2017


Eye Blog . . . with Jonathan Best of Marian Blake Opticians

Global Eyewear: History The earliest spectacles were made from quartz lenses which were designed to be held in place either by hand or by placing on the nose (which of course was a problem, since noses have different shapes and sizes! The modern style of glasses was developed in 1730, when London optician Edward Scarlett devised rigid side pieces that rest atop the ears. This kind of eyeglasses is still in use today. The American scientist Benjamin Franklin, who suffered from both myopia and presbyopia, grew weary of having to switch between distance and reading glasses and developed the bifocal lens in 1784, while British astronomer George Airy developed the first lenses for correcting astigmatism (rugby ball shaped eyes) in 1825. By the 20th century, both in America and Europe eye glasses were produced to be functional, comfortable, and stylish. Today, we continue to discover newer, lightweight material for lenses and produce both framed and frameless eyeglasses. If you have any questions about the best frames and lenses for you, make an appointment with me. At Marian Blake Opticians we pride ourselves on giving a thorough personalised service and expert advice. Book now on 0117 9651861 today or book online at www.marianblake.

Jonathan Best Bsc (Hons)MCOptom Optometrist Jonathan qualified in Optometry from the University of Manchester and recently moved to Bristol to be closer to family. He lives with his wife and two small children in Staple Hill.

To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261

CHILDREN from Gracefield School in Downend were visited by a full size Chinese dragon, courtesy of Impact Theatre Company. The dragon, traditionally operated by seven people, gave pupils a spectacular parade presentation in the school playground. The visit formed part of the children’s studies into the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Appeal after wrecking spree POLICE are investigating after vandals attacked shops and a bus stop along Fishponds Road and Straits Parade. They are urging anyone with information about the incidents, which took place overnight on March 5-6, to come forward. Fishponds neighbourhood sergeant Anthony Westwell said five commercial properties and the bus stop on Vassalls Road opposite the Co-Op had windows and glass broken. “We are currently reviewing all CCTV in the area and would ask anyone with information to please contact us via the force website or by calling 101 quoting reference number 5217049456,” he said.




FEW weeks ago I visited Milan in Italy for an Optical Conference, and managed to do some tourist sightseeing on the side! I had the privilege of being able to see some of Da Vinci’s writings at a museum, and what fascinated me were his drawings of glasses and lenses! When we put a pair of glasses on, we take for granted how easy they are to buy and make. Read the history about glasses and you’ll start to feel lucky you live in the twenty first century! The first visual aid instruments were reading stones in around 1000 AD. These reading stones were developed to help monks in reading and writing. The monks with presbyopia used reading stones that were placed on the reading material as magnifying glasses. The Venetians started to make reading stones out of glass that were placed on the reading material. They later learned to produce them with glass lenses that could be held in front of the eye instead of being onto the text. The first spectacles with its frame and sidebars were probably made in 1268 in Pisa, Italy, but it was not known who invented them. By the 1400s, Florence, Italy became a leader in sale, production and innovation of high quality eyeglasses. It has already been documented that vision declined after the age of 30 and the concept of five-years glasses were made in Florence. Prescriptions were changed every five years as the glasses user aged.

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April, 2017





Mu m

THERE is almost nothing more emotionally draining than when your baby cannot express what they want. What a relief that help is at hand from Katherine Amor who runs Sing and Sign classes in east Bristol. She has helped more than a thousand babies and their parents understand each other through using word-based sign language. Widely used and developed by speech and language professionals in the UK, Sing and Sign is compatible with other signing systems that are meant to be used with speech. The classes are weekly and run for 45 minutes at various venues. My daughter had picked up various bits of baby sign from baby groups: ‘more,’ ‘food/hungry,’ ‘no,’ ‘bye.’ When I signed up to the Sing and Sign classes in my local area, my daughter was fifteen months and saying some words, common animal noises and singing the odd word in Wind the Bobbin Up. Now at nineteen months, after four months of sign, she is joining words to make sentences. More than that, I understand what she wants and she can express it to me either through sign or through speech. Sometimes both, when she is adamant that she wants to be heard! The structure of the class is repetitive with a slight variation each week. For babies, this makes for comfortable territory. They know what will happen and feel safe. It also lends itself to a certain excitement and anticipation when the next thing is about to happen, such as an appearance from Jessie Cat, a popular and regular feature. The classes are small; there were eight babies in my class, and they book up quickly because they work. Katherine learns everyone’s name after week one and notices and remembers their quirks, likes and dislikes, which makes it a welcome place to be. For the first few weeks, the babies wandered around the room aimlessly as Katherine sang and signed her way through new songs, whilst I struggled to keep up, and assumed that nothing much was being absorbed. It wasn’t until a few weeks later when suddenly at home she would start signing and speaking, that I realised it was from a song in the group. “NO MORE!” she now performs when I try and offer her something. “Mummy help me” or “Mummy come back” are significant cognitive stepping stones in our house. All are followed by gestures that underline how she has learned it. The teacher teaches concepts that have transformed how we communicate at home: ‘up/down,’ ‘stop/go’, ‘hide/hello,’ ‘high/low.’ In addition, we now know the signs and words for food: ‘beans,’ ‘toast,’ the full range of vegetables as well as fruit and colours. Signing has offered my toddler so much choice and control over her environment. The gestures and performance elements in the songs that accompany these concepts make their cognition even stronger. It is remarkable to watch babies begin to understand the concept of sharing or exchanging/trading a toy. It is reinforced every week and I feel a certain sense of relief knowing how to communicate sharing or exchanging when my child swiftly snatches something out of another child’s hand or when another yells, ‘mine.’ We address sharing every week in a safe space with others the same age, rather than just apologising and looking mortified. I don’t have a sibling at home to test sharing out on so for us this is a bonus. If you want to help your child develop a wider vocabulary and to enhance your communication and connection further, I’d highly recommend Sing and Sign. It is a real pleasure. It is important to note, "Sing and Sign teaches keyword signing, always with the spoken word, at the one-word level, which is appropriate to the age group. If your baby is deaf, you may have been advised to learn British Sign Language. BSL is a complete language, which includes grammatical structure and Sing and Sign recommends you learn this wonderful language via an accredited BSL course, if this is more appropriate for your child's needs.” Sing and Sign courses are 10 sessions long and follow the school terms. They recommend that your baby be at least six-months-old before joining Sing and Sign Stage One. All classes last about 35-45 minutes. Cost this term is £62 for the 10 sessions. More information at: Claire Stewart-Hall

To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261

WHOLE SCHOOL OPEN MORNING FRIDAY 28TH APRIL 09.30AM – 11.30AM Places available for September 2017 in: Nursery Reception Year 7 Selected other year groups

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Telephone: 0117 965 5207 Got News? Call Linda On 0777 0700579



April, 2017

n MAYOR'S VIEW WE have agreed our budget for the next year and are looking to the future to see how we can put our ideas for making the city a fairer place into action in what are difficult circumstances. The Bristol Impact Fund is a significant part of that work. Last month my Cabinet approved £3.29m worth of grants for charities and organisations around the city that do essential work to support our communities and some of the city’s most vulnerable people, including grants for 23 groups who have not benefited from any council funding before. These grants have been spread across the city with a focus on 49 different life-improving projects targeting support where it is most needed. I am confident that the successful organisations will deliver the best outcomes for Bristol, but am also conscious that unfortunately it is a limited pot and not everyone who applied could receive funding. In these cases we are arranging to meet with these organisations to talk about their applications and try to hook them up with other potential funders. To see a list of which projects received

funding, visit Another way we will be working with communities throughout 2017 is through our year as a European City of Sport. We want to use this award as a platform to help bring more world class sport to Bristol and encourage more home grown talent. To do this we need to make sure that the city as a whole city feels enabled to get involved in sport and to get more active. Not only is sport and being active a great way of improving our physical health but it can also improve our general mental wellbeing. By encouraging more people to take part we will be helping to improve the health of our city and reduce the demand on health and care services. On Sunday 2 April, we are holding a family fun morning with our sports partners from around the city at Eastville Park. Everyone’s welcome to come and try a range of sports including basketball, football, rugby and tennis for free. There will also be some cricketing and we’ll be bringing along the ICC’s Women’s World Cup trophy, promoting the

upcoming tournament fixtures hosted by Bristol in the summer. The fact that Bristol is a host for one of the biggest events in the international cricketing calendar just goes to show Bristol’s potential to draw in world class sport. I am working with organisations around the city to see how we can make the most of Bristol’s potential. I have already held two conferences with members of our local sporting community to discuss this and look forward to seeing how these ideas develop as the year progresses. Elsewhere in the region, big changes are under way. On Thursday 4 May you will have your opportunity to vote for who you think should be elected as the Mayor of the West of England Combined Authority. The Combined Authority will have new powers and direct control of funding previously controlled by Westminster. Our deal is worth over £1bn over 30 years, meaning you’ve got a billion reasons to get out and vote. If you’re not registered to vote in elections you’ll need to do so by midnight on Thursday 13 April. Just visit register-to-vote.

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Each month Bristol mayor Marvin Rees shares his views with Fishponds Voice

Whoever you choose as Mayor of the West of England will work alongside me, Cllr Tim Warren (Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council) and Cllr Matthew Riddle (Leader of South Gloucestershire Council) as members of the Combined Authority, working alongside our business community and other partners as we manage new powers over regional transport, housing, adult education and skills. For more information, head to the West of England website at www. Rozey Days Montessori in Bristol is a small private nursery offering a child led and holistic approach to education in a Montessori based environment. We are open 48 weeks a year. Our building both looks and operates as a home environment. This is entirely intentional and allows children to make themselves members of the Rozey Days community. With a carefully selected layout and free flow throughout the building, children’s learning is self-directed. Outside space is an integral part of our building and is used to complement our philosophy of freedom of movement Our goal at Rozey days is to encourage children to develop their own sense of responsibility and nurture self-esteem and confidence through meaningful activities and interactions.

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April, 2017



Hospital expands

PARTS of Fishponds are now looking much tidier thanks to the efforts of residents. Local people joined MP Kerry McCarthy and Hillfields councillors Anna Keen and Craig Cheney on a litter pick as part of the Bristol Clean Streets Campaign. They were joined by Bristol mayor Marvin Rees, students from Bristol Metropolitan Academy and staff from Little Hayes & Hillfields Early Years & Family Centre. Using equipment provided by Bristol Waste, the group set about making the Lodge Causeway and Forest Road areas spick and span. Councillor Keen said: "We were really pleased by the support we received and hope to make this a regular event. We are committed to making our area

visibly cleaner." Residents can help the campaign by: • Making sure the many public bins are used and by picking up anything accidentally dropped • Ordering and using nets for green recycling bins to prevent plastic and cardboard blowing around and littering streets. Order or replace yours here: bins-recycling/order-new-binsboxes-and-net • Reporting incidents of fly tipping or streets that need cleaning here: https://www. street-that-needs-cleaning • organising, joining or requesting a clear up session in your area with the help of your councillors. Email cllr.anna.keen@bristol.

Clean team!

A £1 MILLION investment in The Priory Hospital in Stapleton will enable more patients with mental health needs to be treated. The announcement comes ahead of World Health Day on Friday April 7 - which this year focuses on the theme of depression. The independent psychiatric hospital, in Heath House Lane, has increased its beds for inpatients to 73 to help cope with demand for its services. The hospital, rated “good” by the industry regulator, the Care Quality Commission, has long-stay rehabilitation and acute mental health inpatient units. It also provides a range of outpatient-based therapy services, and a specialist eating disorder service. With the expansion, Priory has also recruited more staff.

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Kerry McCarthy MP for Bristol East

writes for Fishponds Voice

April, 2017

Are you paying too much for energy bills? FUEL poverty here in Bristol is a third higher than the national average, with many choosing between heating or eating, fuel or food. Figures show that consumers overpaid by a staggering £2 billion in 2015, while the profits of the Big Six increased tenfold between 2007 and 2015: it’s clear that the market simply isn’t working, and hasn’t been for far too long. After recent price rises of up to 15% from the Big Six energy companies, I recently spoke up in Parliament for everyone who is struggling with their fuel bills. That is despite Ofgem saying that it saw no reason for price increases, given that wholesale prices are only just starting to increase from a low base. It has not gone unnoticed that many of those rises have been piled on to electricity, no doubt to ensure that as people start turning their heating off, bills remain high over the summer. I called on the Government, who quietly dropped a promise to force companies to switch customers to the lowest tariff,

to act now to end this scandal – greater transparency is needed, along with improved annual renewal notices, and price controls. But, I would also like to take this opportunity to advise everyone reading this to check their tariffs and make sure they are getting the best deal possible. Under the present system, the difference between a company’s cheapest tariff and its standard variable tariffs is almost £200, with 70% of customers who are with the Big Six paying 11% more for their electricity and 15% more for their gas than others. This is equivalent to a halfpenny rise in income tax, so why do so many remain part of the 66% of customers who have never switched suppliers? At the debate in Parliament, I highlighted the work of Bristol Energy. They are a relatively new company owned and operated by the Council, whose profits go back into local services – needed more than ever given continuing cuts by the Government and last year’s £30 million overspend by the former

Mayor, George Ferguson. Bristol Energy offer special tariffs for people with a Bristol postcode, as well as a standard variable tariff which is significantly cheaper than those of the Big Six, by an average of £105. It has also recently launched efforts to tackle fuel poverty in the city through trialling a new non-profit-making Warm Homes Plus tariff for those most in need. They are looking for 1,000 people to go onto this tariff, which is only available by referral from organisations like Citizens Advice. It's great that some companies are taking fuel poverty seriously, but the Big Six could clearly do more. I would urge people to look into switching to save money, and to seek help if they are really struggling to pay their bills. Kerry McCarthy has been the Labour MP for Bristol East since 2005; contact her at or 0117 939 9901 for her latest newsletter or information about her regular surgeries.

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April, 2017



Could you volunteer for Carers Support Centre? CARERS Support Centre has put out an urgent appeal for more volunteers for its sitting service in Downend, Staple Hill and Emersons Green. The charity, based at the Vassall Centre, provides people to sit with people wo that their unpaid family carers can take a break. The service is free but a shortage of sitters means there is a long waiting list. Volunteers typically give two or three hours per week or fortnight and receive training and support. Their help means a carer can take regular time out to meet friends, go shopping or enjoy a hobby Marilyn Crump, sitting service co-ordinator said: “A volunteer needs to be someone a carer can trust and who wants to build a relationship with the cared for person. We take time to find out about and train volunteers so that we can match them carefully to a family. This

means that carers can take a regular break in complete confidence that the person they care for will be happy and safe.” For example, Ray is 69 and cares for his wife, Irene. She has

been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. They have been married for 48 years and for the last three Irene has been a totally different person; it has been heartbreaking for Ray. Since Irene’s

diagnosis he has experienced a loss of independence, until he found a sitter through the Carers Support Centre. They matched Irene with Barbara, who visits once a week and the two have really hit it off. Ray is enjoying being able to see his friends again. He said: “The sitting service is a lifesaver. It is just two hours a week, but you can put up with an awful lot if you know that you can get a break. “It's the only time I meet up with friends I’ve known for 50 years. Barbara is a very creative person and Irene always seems to be quite happy when I get back in. Just recently Barbara has got Irene knitting again. She has always enjoyed art and craft work.” To find out more about volunteering please contact Marilyn on 0117 937 5622 or mobile 07722 283 672 or email: Marilync@carerssupportcentre.

Pet obesity is a growing issue! Ask us about our FREE nurse weight clinics at Vets4Pets Bristol Kingswood

Book your appointment today Vets4Pets Kingswood, Willowdean Court, 247A Charlton Road, Kingswood, Bristol, BS15 1LT Opening times: 8.30am - 7pm Mon- Fri, 9am - 12pm Sat Call: 0117 961 6417 Visit: *Terms & conditions apply. Please ask in practice for more details.

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April, 2017


n PLANNING How do you cope with building works next door? Chris Gosling has some useful advice for neighbours WHEN planning permission is approved, the next step in most cases is building works. These do not take place in a bubble and this month’s article is mainly addressed to the ‘people next door’. You may have commented on the planning application, but it is also likely that the works did not need planning permission. Either way, carrying them out is going to have some effect on you, the next door neighbour. Where works require planning permission, there may be a condition applied to the permission which prevents the builders doing anything on site outside of the hours of 0800 and 1800, even taking deliveries. While it makes little difference in Winter when daylight is at a premium, at other times of the year these time limits can slow the work down on site so that the project takes longer to complete. On the other hand, such a condition can often offer a respite from construction at the weekends and after a hard day’s work, not to mention countering the effects of an eager homeowner who fancies a bit of DIY construction work at 8 in the evening. There are benefits to the neighbours of getting the project finished and crossed off the list of irritating things in your life. Set against that is the period of interference in the quiet enjoyment of your home. There is no easy answer to this dilemma. Nor is there an opportunity to set an end-date to the period of works

by anyone other than those undertaking them. One thing that will not be covered by a planning condition is the builders’ van or cement mixer parked in the street. This is a common cause for complaint when a planning permission is being implemented, but everyone has the right to use a highway as long as they don’t cause an obstruction. Building works often involve builders. There won’t always be somewhere for their van to park within the site. Even if the street is narrow and their vehicles wide, as long as they are parked in accordance with the yellow lines and other parking restrictions that apply to everyone, their use of the street is something that neighbours will have to take in their stride. Another vexed issue is ownership of land. Planning permission is not a right to trespass and even something screwed or hammered into a wall that someone else owns can be regarded as trespass. Often building works will involve Party Walls, which are jointly owned. These cases sometimes have to be resolved by an independent party wall surveyor, who works for the neighbour, but is employed by the applicants. Although planning permission does not give the right to enter a neighbour’s land, it can often benefit both parties access for access to be allowed in order to ensure that the works are completed more quickly and finished to an acceptable standard. A hot topic in London at the moment is adding basements. When you can’t extend outwards or upwards and you are not prepared to move, the only remaining option is to extend underground.

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The need to apply for extending buildings downwards works in the same way as in any other direction. The definition of development includes works under the ground. Due to the greater complications of the building works, the impact on the neighbours of creating a basement can be far greater than the impact of the finished product. It is not just about what is finally built, which will of course not be visible, but also the digging down, underpinning and disposing of the spoil that is generated. On top of that is the risk and uncertainty of the development undermining neighbouring foundations. This is one type of development that neighbours can do well without. However, I believe that as land values increase, it will become inevitable that people in Bristol will eventually follow the lead set by London and look to add their own basements. Once this has become established, to avoid the difficulties of retro-fitting basements, I would eventually expect them to be added at the design stage of new buildings, particularly to provide parking. However, due to the huge cost, it is land values which will

Planning matters

Chris Gosling dictate when this option becomes cost-effective. chrisgoslingplanning@gmail. com

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April, 2017


Have you been told you have rising damp? If so think again! Rising Damp does not exist and that’s a FACT!!! Do you own a Victorian property or possibly an even older property, that suffers with the following: damp walls, damp ceiling, broken, cracking and falling render? Does this sound familiar? Does your property have parapet walls and coping stones? If so, they are the problem and we can offer you the cure that will stop the water getting in at source. Fitting our Coping Covers over your coping stones will stop your parapet walls leaking permanently and improve the look of your home. Our revolutionary solution is both effective and affordable and, in most cases, easily fitted in one day! Evidence through research has proved that rising damp does not exist. The damp getting into your walls has come from above and not from ground level as we have all been led to believe. We guarantee that the cause of your damp will originate from above and not from ‘so-called’ rising damp.

So why is my property suffering with water and damp problems?

Coping stones protect the tops of external walls but when they are continuously leaking, problems occur.

The result is further damage such as hollow, loose or missing render. Changes in weather conditions are a major factor in the cause. Water that is trapped within the wall and behind the render expands and contracts. Within a few years it pushes the render away from the wall, leaving it exposed and vulnerable to further weathering and costly damage. The horizontal top surfaces of parapet and masonry walls are the most vulnerable point for water to enter a building. Water will naturally find the lowest point and therefore pushes down through the walls until it has reached the foundations and has nowhere else to go. Due to the rendering and plastering on either side of the wall, the water will become trapped. Over time, the water begins to seep through the wall causing the plaster to ‘break down’ and that is when you notice that your property has damp. Walls are often repaired, re-rendered and re-plastered thus only masking the problem but not actually resolving it. The damp tends to relocate to another part of the wall, whilst possibly already having spread into another room, either upstairs or downstairs, or even into your neighbours’ property.

What most builders say

Most builders will tell you the problem is the lead soakers between the wall and the tile, or the felt is leaking. The most common solution they will advise is to remove the coping stones and replace with lead or DPC underneath. This doesn’t work, we have repaired many properties to this failing and after time due to this poor procedure. This is not as effective and will cost you a lot of money, and in most cases more money again, as builders are aware that once coping stones are disturbed, more damage to the walls and render is inevitable thus causing even more expense and stress to you, the customer.

than not, they have become shabby in appearance and, due to years of weathering and movement, have become unstable. So not only do Coping Covers keep your walls damp free, they also enhance the look of the property. Depending on the size of your property, Coping Covers can be installed within one day, causing minimal disruption. This cost effective system guarantees to prevent any further expensive water damage to your walls and property.You will be amazed at just how affordable our product is. We offer group discounts for people who share the same walls.

The solution

Roofing services

Our solution is to install our Coping Covers directly over the top of the coping stones. This will stop any unwanted water leaking through and prevent any further weathering that the joints and mortar have been subjected to. This doesn’t cause any damage and once fitted, gives the wall and coping stones added strength, a chance to dry out and to stabilise. Clearly our Coping Covers smarten up the look of a property. Once installed, they straighten up the appearance of the coping stones, as more often

We supply a full roofing service in all aspects of roofing from refurbishment to new roofs. We cover most building projects, but these days mainly specialise in all types of roofing, parapet wall and chimney repairs and construction, and associated damp related issues. We undertake projects large or small, in and around the South West.



Are you sick of damp in your property? We have 30 years experience in manufacturing and construction, mainly in the renovation of Victorian properties. Over this period we have realised that damp occurring in these Speakis mainly to thea result experts at Coping properties of poor of chimneys, parapet walls, felt and tiles on We canThat stop damp at source a idea fraction of the cost of roofs. is when we came up withatthe of using covers over coping stonestreatments. on parapet other damp walls and chimney capping. Coping covers have a complete success rate, with customers reporting that their damp issues have disappeared. Our aim is to stop Coping Covers for damp at source. Our Covers come in a variety of colours, all your damp adds strength to your and roofing walls and are 100% water tight, best of all they make your property look needs fantastic and increase your property value. All of our work is guaranteed. Not only will we solve your damp issues, we are also experts in all aspects of roofing Visit us at work. With many happy customers in the Bristol area, we are proud to have a 100% success rate in solving damp and roofing problems.

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n LETTERS NHS funding crisis is a fact I refer to the letter from Stephen Buston "Is more money the answer?" in your last issue. Anyone working on the NHS frontline, or having to use NHS services, or even with a basic grasp of the current political and economic landscape, will have a clear understanding that the NHS is in crisis - this is a fact, not an opinion. A&E admission rates within four hours of attendance are lower than they have ever been, two-thirds of NHS trusts are reporting deficits, and social care spending - paid for by local government, is down 10% from 2009 to 2014. NHS spending was increased from 5% to nearly 8% of GDP by the last Labour Government but is set to reduce to below 7% by 2020 - against a backdrop of rising numbers of elderly people, who of course use the NHS the most. That's why Kerry McCarthy is writing in defence of funding the system properly. Although the Labour Party is currently unelectable, they at least have their heart in the right place on this matter. Mr Buston's factually inaccurate reverie does not alter the fact that the NHS is actually underfunded, with disastrous implications for the health and wellbeing of millions. His call for self-reliance in health and wellness would make John Harvey Kellogg blush. It follows that we should depart from the principle of 'free at the point of need' and the compact of universal healthcare that has been the bedrock of the NHS since its foundation. While healthy living should be universally encouraged, witholding healthcare from people

judged to have made unhealthy lifestyle choices would be exceedingly cruel and approaching fascism. Finally, I notice that you are carrying advertising for UKIP in your organ. When led by the Trumpian lickspittle Farage, this omnishambles of an organisation was instrumental in leading this country into the single most economically and socially selfdestructive, xenophobic act of this century. Their campaign included the bus-sized lie that their plan would 'save' hundreds of millions of pounds a week for the NHS brazenly exploiting huge popular appreciation of the service. For that alone you should consider who you allow to advertise. Robbie Allen

McD figures 'not reliable' If Nigel Taylor objects to 'misleading facts' about McDonald's plans for Fishponds (letters, March) he should turn his attention to the controversial multinational's own documents. Their original application was indeed to be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Only having seen the level of local opposition did they offer reduced hours of 6am to midnight at the appeal stage. And we know that elsewhere, once open, they have demanded longer hours. They are so committed to their new strategy of locating large drive-through restaurants in residential areas that they just cut and paste from application to application - so Fishponds was referred to as 'Hinkley' in one version, and one of their experts

refers to not 160 but a mere '80' covers. They talk about providing the equivalent of 45 full time jobs. However they tend to bring in fulltime experienced staff from other outlets and offer part-time work to young people and apprentices. Coincidentally this means they don't have to pay the minimum wage. Their traffic figures are equally unreliable, and are contested by our own experts and the council. What is certainly true is that the scheme will do nothing to alleviate congestion on Fishponds Road. Mr Taylor is entitled to his opinion, of course, but so are the 1,667 local residents who signed a petition against McDonald's, and the 495 who wrote in objections, not to mention the Planning Committee members who turned it down. Next month a Planning Inspector will weigh up the evidence and decide who wins. Mike Jempson Chair, Say No to McDonald's in Fishponds Group

hyperbole on his part. I'm not sure where to start. 'Only 103 cars per minute' at peak times. This equates to approx 1.72 cars per minute. These cars will be queueing to get in and out of the site and crossing the pavement pedestrians of all ages use to go about their business. Not only a clear danger to pedestrians, but increased traffic and associated pollution. Is 160 to 165 covers or 18 to 24 hours hyperbolic? I think not. I live a stone's throw from the site and firmly believe that the possibility of job creation - and by no means guaranteed for local people, is far outweighed by the possible negative impacts on our community, such as increased traffic, odour pollution from extractor fans, light pollution, anti-social behaviour associated with late night opening....the list goes on. This proposed development could be a blight on this largely residential area of Fishponds for years to come. I'm not against McDonald's per se, but this is not the place for this type of development. Oliver Weston

Not the right place for this The letter published in Issue 26 from Nigel Taylor amused and bemused me. He's certainly done his homework and got his Thesaurus out. As a fellow Fishponds resident, I've not noticed the many supporters of the proposed McDonalds development holding pro-McDonalds, meetings, posting posters or holding marches, but perhaps I missed them. A slight exaggeration, or perhaps

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Redmaids’ High School incorporating Redland High School for Girls

Visit us in May Senior School – Thursday 4 May, 10.00am Junior School – Thursday 18 May, 9.30am Juniors – 0117 962 9451

Seniors – 0117 989 8252

Independent day school for girls aged 4-18

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Got News? Call Linda On 0777 0700579



April, 2017

n WHAT’S ON IN OUR AREA Friday April 7 n ACTIVATE Fishponds Drop-in lunchtime concert at Fishponds Methodist Church, Guinea Lane, Fishponds 1-2pm. featuring the Hanham Ladies Choir. Please note the April concert is being held on the 1st Friday of the month, not the usual 2nd Friday as this will be Good Friday. Contact 0117 965 4521. Tea and Coffee available. Free entrance. Retiring collection. Friday April 7 n Tea Dance. Downend Folk House, Lincombe Barn, BS16 2RW.1.45-3.45pm. Pay at door Saturday April 8 n Carers Support Centre Spring Fair, 1.30-4pm, Christ Church Parish Hall, Downend BS16 5SG. Stalls including glassware, Easter crafts and plants for sale - along with face painting and other activities for children. Live music and plenty of cakes. Entry is free. Sunday April 9 n Easter ‘Songs of Praise’, 5pm Staple Hill Salvation Army, Broad Street, BS16 5LN, with band, choir and junior musicians, admission free. Tuesday April 11 n Speaker morning with coffee. Dr Burroughes on: The man who rebuilt Wessex - Benjamin Ferrey, architect.Downend Folk House, Lincombe Barn, BS16 2RW. 10 for 10.30am. Pay at the door Tuesday April 11 n Print an image of animal at the Steiner Academy 11th April 2017. There are 2 sessions available.

Suitable for children aged 7+. To book and for more information go to Wednesday April 13 n Downend Horticultural Society evening out to Lockyer’s fuchsia nursery. New members welcome. Contact Roger Davis 0117 957 1703 or Hilary Walton 0117 979 2832. for all the details. Tuesday April 18 n Downend Local History Society,Downend Folk House, Lincombe Barn. Overndale Road at 7.30 pm. Members’ Evening. From Our Archives - A Glimpse of Bristol in 1790. Visitors welcome at a cost of £3 Tuesday April 25 n Coach outing to The Royal Mint, Llantrisant. Downend Folk House, Lincombe Barn depart 9am. Return at Barn about 5pm. Tickets £27.50 (members) plus £4 for non-Barn members. Purchase in advance at Barn Office, 0117 956 2367. Thursday April 27 n Watercolour Landscape painting at the Kingfisher Cafe 27th April 2017 7.30pm-9.30pm. 4 evening sessions, all abilities welcome, suited for beginners. To book and for more information go to

REGULAR EVENTS IN THE FISHPONDS AREA Mondays n Gentle/beginners drop-in yoga

Classes for age 2.5 upwards! To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261

class, Kingfisher Cafe, Straits Parade, 6.45pm - 8pm. £8. Contact Debbie: 0796 8223670 or visit n Holistic Massage, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 9am n Tiny Tots, All Saints Community Hall 10:30am n Bereavement and Well-being support, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 11am n Computer Group, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 2pm n Ping Pong (Table Tennis) for over 55’s, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 2pm n Welcome Club for Retireds+, St Aidan’s Church Hall 2pm n Messy Church , St John’s Church 3pm n Prayers, St John’s Church 6:30pm n Zumba keep fit, Beechwood Club, Beechwood Road, Fishponds 9.30-10.30am For details call 0734 1813 559. n Alzheimer’s choir, Beechwood Club, 11am to 1pm, Paula Shears 0117 9610693 n Sequence dancing with Teresa, Beechwood Club, Beechwood Road 2pm. Tel 0117 965 0203 for details. n Ballroom tuition, Beechwood Club, Fishponds BS16 3TR. 3pm. Contact Teresa 0117 9650203 n Slimming World, Beechwood Club, Fishponds BS16 3TR. 6.309pm. Contact Ami 0746 2727 229 n Social badminton, Kingswood Leisure Centre 2-4 pm, intermediate level. n 4-8pm Ages 3 -15yrs Hip Hop classes, RedX Dance, Staple Hill, 07722 128159

Tuesdays n Art workshops with GreenFox Workshops, Kingfisher Cafe, Straits Parade, 7.30-9pm. Call to book (gemmalane99@gmail. com/07532327810). First Tuesday of the month. n Nordic Walking Classes, Oldbury Court 9.30-10.30am. Email: to book your place n Fishponds Friendship and Exercise Club.Fishponds Baptist Church (scout hall) 10-11.30am each Tuesday. Chair based gentle exercise for older people.Tea, coffee, friendly chat. Instructor: Spencer Davies. Telephone 07825 155954. n Morning Prayer, St John’s Church


We would love to publicise your event Send details of your events and activities in the following format:

WHAT IT IS WHERE IT IS WHEN IT IS in no more than 40 words: email us at: or call us on 07770 700579 / 07880 731148 9:15am n Foot Care Sessions, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 9:30am n Coffee and Craft Morning, St John’s Church 10am n Sing and Sign for babies / toddlers, All Saints Community Hall 10am n Level 1 Walking Group, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 10am n Music for Toddlers, St Mary’s Parish Rooms 10:30am n Lunch Club, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 12:30pm n Film Club for over 55’s, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 2pm n Pre-school Storytime/ Rhymetime, Fishponds Library 2.15-2.45pm n Eucharist with signing for the Deaf, Hillside Court, Batten Road, St George, Bristol, BS5 8NL 3pm n Messy Church, Fishponds CofE Academy 3:15pm n Woodcraft , All Saints Church Hall/Link 6pm n Evening Prayer, St Aidan’s Church 7pm n Evening Prayer, St Ambrose Church 7pm n Frenchay Parent and Toddler group, upstairs in the Frenchay Village Hall, 9.45-11.45am n Scouts (10-14 years), Fishponds Baptist Church Youth Hall. 7.309pm (Term Time only) Email: n Slimming World, Beechwood Club, Fishponds BS16 3TR. 9.30am to midday, Call Ami 0746 2727 229 n Diabetes UK, Beechwood Club, Fishponds BS16 3TR. 6.15-8.15pm. Meeting in small room. n Zumba, Beechwood Club, Fishponds BS16 3TR. 7-8pm.

Got News? Call Jayne On 0788 0731148


April, 2017 Contact Anna 0779 9180 437 n Badminton, Downend Sports Centre 8 -10pm. Call 0117 9400706. Email: ridgewaydownend@yahoo. n ‘Friends and Neighbours’, Fishponds Methodist Church Hall, Guinea Lane, 2 - 4pm alternate Tuesdays. A friendly, sociable group, usually with a speaker and followed by a cup of tea. n Staple Hill Probus Club meets on the first and third Tuesday of the month at Downend Cricket Club. 10.30am-12.45pm. Tea and coffee from 10am n Staple Hill Probus Club meets on the first and third Tuesday of the month at Downend Cricket Club. 10.30am-12.45pm. Tea and coffee from 10am n Pilate classes, St John's Church Hall, next door to Chester Park School on Lodge Causeway, 7-8pm, £6. Bring an exercise/yoga mat and wear comfortable clothing. 07952 941 531 n 4-8pm Ages 8 -25 yrs Hip Hop & Contemporary dance classes, RedX Dance, Staple Hill, 07722 128159

Wednesdays n Weekly Salsa class for complete beginners with Cressida. Cross Hands Pub, 1 Staple Hill Road. 7.309pm includes social and dancing. No partner needed. Ffi call 07808 581739 n Shared reading group is taking place at Hillfields and Little Hayes Family Hub and Library 12,30-2pm. Contact Emma Crago for details, 07970 247410, emmacrago@ n Songs for Little People, The Kingfisher Café 9.45pm £4 per little person, siblings £2. n Eucharist, St Ambrose Church 10am n Arts and Crafts, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 10:30am n Coffee Morning, St Ambrose Church 10:30am n Tai Chi, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 11am n Level 3 Walking Group, starting from St Ambrose Beehive Centre 1pm n Arts and Crafts, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 1:30pm n Punjabi Dance and Song, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 2pm n Support and Activity Group, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 2pm n Chair based exercise class, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 2pm n Ladies Circle, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 2:30pm

n Wives Group, St John’s Church 2:30pm n Messy Church, Air Balloon Primary School, Hillside Rd, St George 3:30pm n Home Group, Location varies 6:30pm n Phoenix Art Club, Fishponds Methodist Church Hall, Guinea Lane, Fishponds 10am-noon. All mediums, all abilities. n Dancing Tots, Beechwood Club, Beechwood Road 10-11am n Hannah More Club for senior citizens, Beechwood Club, Beechwood Road 2-4pm (fortnightly) n Women’s Reading Group, Beechwood Club, 1.30-3 pm, fourth Wednesday of every month. Call Anne 0117 9041875 for information. n Dance Tots, Beechwood Club, Fishponds BS16 3TR 7-8pm. Contact Eric 0791 4006 589 n Keep fit class, Beechwood Club, Fishponds BS16 3TR. 7- 8pm. Contact Beryl 0117 9774534. n Cycle UK (CTC). For all cyclists from beginners to professionals, commuters to sports. Beechwood Club, Fishponds, BS16 3TR. 8-10PM winter months only (other months are rides, see http://www. n Lodge Causeway Townswomen’s Guild, Briarwood School, Briar Way, Fishponds. Second Wednesday of the month (except August) 7.15pm. Different speaker each month plus handicrafts and walking group. Call 0779 9108 890 n Living after Loss, St Mary’s Parish Rooms, back entrance of church 11am-noon. An informal bereavement group. Please note this group is fortnightly. Call Lizzy on 0117 9650856. n Yoga, Beechwood Club, Beechwood Road, Fishponds 5.456.45pm. Call Nikki 0752 5735 500 n Flower Arranging practice classes, Downend Folk House, Lincombe Barn, Overndale Road 7.30 p.m, every 1st and 3rd Wednesday, September – May. All levels welcome. Call Isabel Cooke on 0117 9568504 n Frenchay Probus Club meets on the first and third Wednesday every month in Frenchay Village Hall. 10 am to noon. Visitors welcome. n Frenchay Folk Dance Club meets in Frenchay Village Hall on alternate Wednesdays at 7.45pm. Calling from Alan Davies and music by Mike Elsom. Dancers of all abilities and experience are welcome. Information at www.

To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261

35 or by emailing n Walks for single people. Solo Rendezvous meet at Downend Cricket Club, every Wednesday, 8.30pm, entrance £3, and walk every Sunday. Please phone for walk details: 01454 775508 / 01454 774984 / 0117 9850210. n Frenchay Folk Dance Club meets in Frenchay Village Hall on alternate Wednesdays at 7.45pm. More information is available at www. or by emailing n Frenchay Probus Club meets on the first and third Wednesday every month in Frenchay Village Hall. 10 am to noon. Visitors welcome. n 6-6.50pm All Boys Ages 7 -15 yrs Hip Hop classes, RedX Dance, Staple Hill, 07722 128159 n Diamond fellowship at Fishponds Baptist Church hall, Downend Road, 10.30am. Open to everyone, first and third Wednesdays every month. Variety of speakers, coffee mornings and annual day out and Christmas meal. Contact 0117 9653421.

Thursdays n Dance Fit with Cressida. Beechwood Club, Beechwood Rd. Easy pace weekly exercise class with range of dance steps and music. 2pm-3pm plus tea and chat. Ffi call 07808 581739. n Yoga class for beginners. Lincombe Barn, Overndale Rd, Downend. 6.30-8pm.Traditional yoga postures with focus on breathing and relaxation. Contact before: or 0752 5937201. n Morning Prayer - St Aidans Church 9:15am n Body toning/conditioning , Beechwood Club 9.30-10.30am. Call Sabrina 0794 1353 735 n Coffee and Craft Morning , St Aidan’s Church 10am n Free Beginners Computer Classes, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 10am n Eucharist, St John’s Church 10am n Eucharist, St Mary’s Church 10am n Parent and Toddler Group, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 10am n Ballroom Dance Class, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 12pm n Exercises and Sing-a-long Activity Session, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 2pm n Fit Steps, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 2pm n Dance, Latin Rhythm, and Zumba gold, Beechwood Club 2-3pm. Call Cressida 0780 8587 39


n Knit & Natter, Fishponds Library 2-4 pm (fortnightly) n Frenchay Parent and Toddler group, upstairs in the Frenchay Village Hall, 9.45-11.45am n The Senior Citizen Friendship Club, Beechwood Club, Fishponds BS16 3TR 3.30-5pm. Call 0782 5155 954. Email: n Beginner’s Taoist Tai Chi, Fishponds Methodist Church, Guinea Lane 7-8.30pm. Come and enjoy better balance through Taoist Tai Chi practice. Moving meditation for body, mind and spirit. taoist. n Fishponds and Downend Rotary Club, The Langley Arms, Guest Avenue, Emersons Green, Bristol BS16 7GA, evening. The club is actively seeking new members to share fun, fellowship and community service. Full details on website - Google “F&D Rotary” and look for homepage. n Baby Bebop Mums, Beechwood Club, Beechwood Road, Fishponds 11am-1pm, babies up to one year. Call Ruth 0796 6032 414 n Cressida dance keep fit and Zumba gold, Beechwood Club, Beechwood Road, Fishponds 2-3pm. Tel no. 0780 8581 739 n East Park Residents meetings are held on the first Thursday of every month at May Park School from 6-7pm. All welcome. Further information from Hazel Durn on 0117 9513868 or Tony Locke on 07919 173450 n 4.15-7pm Competition Crew Ages 7- 18 yrs Hip Hop classes, RedX Dance, Staple Hill, 07722 128159 n 7-9pm Kingswood Choir at United Church Kingswood, Regent Street, all abilities welcome. Contact Patsy Holdsworth 01179078994

Fridays n Greeting cards sold in aid of St Peter’s Hospice, Fishponds Methodist Church Hall, morning. n Nordic Walking Classes, Oldbury Court 9.30-10.30am. Contact to book your place. n The Friday Playgroup, All Saints Community Hall 9:30am n Line Dancing, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 10:30am n Rhymetime for babies and toddlers, Hillfields Library 11.30amnoon n Senior Citizens Bingo Club with

Continued on next page Got News? Call Linda On 0777 0700579



April, 2017

n WHAT’S ON CONTINUED optional fish and chip lunch, St Ambrose Beehive Centre 12pm n The First Friday Film Club - All Saints Church Hall, 2pm n Taekwondo, St John’s Church Hall 5:30pm n Grove Road Youth Club, All Saints Community Hall 7pm n Sensible keep fit to music for older ladies. Hillfields Park Baptist Church, Thicket Avenue, Fishponds 9am. Good company and a chat over coffee. Call 0117 9561231. n High density Zumba, Beechwood Club, Fishponds 6.157.15pm. Call Anna 0779 9180 437 n Zumba, Beechwood Club, Beechwood Road 9.30-10.30pm n Alzheimer’s group, Beechwood Club, Beechwood Road 2-4pm 2nd Friday in month, n Zumba keep fit, Beechwood Club, Fishponds BS16 3TR. 9.3010.30am. Call Sally 0771 2776 753 n Baby Bebop (Mums / Babies up to 1 year old) Beechwood Club, Fishponds BS16 3TR. 11am-1pm. Contact Ruth 0796 6032 414 n Alzheimer’s meetings Beechwood Club, Fishponds BS16 3TR. 2-4pm (2nd Friday in each month). Tel no. 0117 9756 441 n Fishponds History society Beechwood Club, Fishponds BS16 3TR 7-9 pm ( 1st Friday monthly). Contact John 0117 965 8110 n Coffee Morning, Speedwell Methodist Church, 10am-noon. Open to all. Friendly and caring. Lunch once a month. n Community art club at Castle Suite, Badminton Gardens, Beaufort Road BS16 6UE. 10amnoon on alternate Fridays. Professional tuition. Sessions will be held on alternate Fridays. Cost is £5 per session and materials are supplied. Limited numbers so

Est 1984


please, in the first place, contact Paul Foss on pobble57@yahoo. or 0117 957 0045 n Kingswood Photographic Society, St Barnabas Church Hall, Church Avenue, Warmley, BS30 5JJ, 7-9.30pm. We welcome and support all levels of experience including beginners. n 4.10-8pm Ages 6-18 yrs Hip Hop & Contemporary dance classes, RedX Dance, Staple Hill, 07722 128159

Saturdays n Diabetes group, Beechwood Club, Beechwood Road 2-4pm, 2nd Saturday, 2 monthly, September n Rehabilitation Pilates (Beginners), Lincombe Barn, Downend Folk House, in Britannia room. 9am. £7. Samantha 07736 309272,

Sundays n Morning Worship and children’s group, Speedwell Methodist Church, 378 Speedwell Road. 10.30am Friendly, informal and lively. n Morning Worship, New Place, Eastville Methodist Church, Fishponds Road. 10.45am. Holy Communion once a month. n Eucharist, All Saints Church 8am n Eucharist, St Mary’s Church 10am with Giggle Club in Parish Rooms n Eucharist, St Ambrose Church 10am n Eucharist or Lay-Led Service, St Michael’s Church 10am n Eucharist or Lay-Led Service, St Aidan’s Church 10:30am n Eucharist or Lay-Led Service, St

La Porta Barbering Company

John’s 10:30am n Eucharist or Lay-Led Service, All Saints Church 10.30am n All Sorts Youth Group, St Aidan’s Church hall 6pm(fortnightly) n Evensong , St Mary’s Church 6:30pm n Worship, Staple Hill Methodist Church 10.30am and 6pm. A creche is available for little ones and Sunday Club. Taize Worship is held on second Sunday evening of the month and communion is taken on first morning and evening of the month. Call 0117 9575221 n Fishponds Baptist Church (opposite the Cross Hands pub) - 10.30am. Friendly, welcoming church with people from a range of backgrounds, nationalities and ages. Children and youth provision for all ages. 6.30pm every Sunday, apart from the 3rd Sunday in the month when we have our ‘Messy church’ at 4pm with crafts, food and fun for all the family! There is a songs of praise service on the 4th Sunday at 3pm. n Redemption Life, Beechwood Club, BS16 3TR 9.30am-1pm n Church Group, Beechwood Club, Fishponds BS16 3TR 1pm n ARC, Beechwood Club, Fishponds BS16 3TR. 3.30-5.30pm or 7-9pm For bookings and other inquiries about Beechwood Club, call Terry King 0117 965 020, after 4pm. email: tk007h9736@ n Morning Worship, Fishponds Methodist Church, Guinea Lane 10.30am n R.F.I.Church Group, Beechwood Club, Beechwood Road, Fishponds 1-3pm n Sisters fellowship international, Beechwood Club, Beechwood Road, Fishponds 4-6pm.

Stammer support DO you stammer or know anyone who does? If so, you might be interested in going along to an open day to find out about a four-day course which could help you. The McGuire Programme has been featured on the Channel 4 documentary Stammer School and can give you the tools and techniques to deal with the physical side of stuttering as well as addressing the psychological side. The programme comes to Bristol on May 10 but you can find out if it's for you at an open day on Saturday April 22 where information on the McGuire Programme will be available. It takes place from 11am-1pm (presentation starts at 11am) at Futures Inn, Cabot Circus, Bond Street, Bristol, BS1 3EN. For further details call Matt Wilton, regional director of the McGuire Programme, on 0783 8172768, email matt.wilton@ or visit

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Est 1984

Traditional Gents Barbers 525 Fishponds Rd, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 3AH

0117 965 1220

To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261


Got News? Call Jayne On 0788 0731148

Quarry Court FISHPONDS

Luxury Independent Living with Extra Care in Fishponds Quarry Court Fishponds is now open, offering elderly residents who need care at hand: • 17 luxury affordable independent apartments • a secure beautiful environment • extra care and home support services - all making life easier. Each apartment includes • One or two bedrooms, lounge/diner and kitchen • Balcony or patio for most apartments • Jack and Jill bathroom with wet room shower • Fitted kitchen with thoughtful features such as a specialist NEFF oven • Quality carpets in your choice of colour, fitted ready for you to move in • Video entrance and 24 hour emergency call bell • Wheelchair and mobility scooter access Plus lots of superb facilities • Stylish restaurant with terrace and garden view • Stunning leisure suite, including gym, Jacuzzi and spa pool • Hairdressing salon • Roof patio garden • Communal lounge for socialising and activities Easy walking access to Fishponds with its vibrant community and wide range of shops and cafes.

Contact Ross Vickerman Talyors Estate Agents 770 Fishponds Road BS16 3UA CALL 0 0 1 7 322 6026 FOR A FREE BROCHURE

Quarry Court is a development of Bristol Care Homes

tel 0117 322 6026



April, 2017

n BUSINESS OF THE MONTH MYSELF and my partner Emma took over The New Moon in March 2016. As we look back at our first year we remember how far we have come since those early days. It ha s not been plain sailing and we have had to overcome many hurdles but with the extremely hard working team of staff , we have managed to get through setting a high standard in services and presentation. We have had many comments praising the professionalism of the staff, some of which are still in their apprenticeship stage. This has helped us achieve our vision of where we wanted to take the business. We now run a very popular Sunday Carvery that has brought in a whole different network of customers. We also have student nights and quiz nights early in the week. However our biggest evenings are on the weekends when we fill the pub with music and our dance floor is jumping. We try and cater for all ages and tastes with nights which include, karaoke, which at the moment is a competition and a very tempting £400 cash as well as an all vinyl disco with music ranging from Abba to Ska and an extra little help for our oaps who benefit with 25%

Focus on The New Moon

discount every Wednesday. We have a variety of bands ranging from Rock n roll right up

to present day. Only last weekend we had groups in their early 20 s dancing next to middle aged men dancing next to ladies in their 60s and more. The atmosphere in the pub is relaxed and happy and our customers seem to have a lovely time with us. We are still meeting new people as well as lots of regulars who all have a story to tell about this very old pub and its previous doings and landlords which we love to hear. As we look back we realise that many customers have become our friends over the year and we have felt an enormous sense of community spirit to which we are

very privileged to be part of. As we look to the next year we are planning a lot more live music on Bank holiday weekends to try and bring more of the community together as well as many more fund raisers. We would like to thank the many people who support us, because without you we would not be here, and also look forward to seeing new faces with many more stories of Fishponds past!

The New Moon

780 Fishponds Road, Bristol BS16 3TT Phone: 0117 965 8077

Christine English

BSc (Hons) Podiatry, M Ch S, HCPC Registered

Chiropodist / Podiatrist All aspects of foot care from a degree trained professional

0117 956 3978

Pendennis Clinic, 11 Haynes Lane, Staple Hill, Bristol, BS16 5JE FRee PARking oPPoSite CliniC

To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261

Servicing & Repairs




T ADVER HIS AdventureNew & Reconditioned bikes T .9 9 Servicing & Repairs Vintage Restoration £ 2 7 9 Stratos Gents & (whil& Components Accessories e sto cks last) New & Reconditioned bikes Ladies5hybrids Staple HillVintage Road, Fishponds BS16 5AA Restoration (Next to the Cross Hands Pub)

Components & Accessories Normal Price £319.99 Tel: 0117 939 2746 | email:

Home visits also available

5 Staple Hill Road, Fishponds BS16 5AA (Next to the Cross Hands Pub)

Tel: 0117 939 2746 | email:


Got News? Call Jayne On 0788 0731148


April, 2017


n CULTURAL FIX WITH ANNA BLIGHTMAN THIS evening I will meet again with my book club. Our topic of discussion is a brilliantly written book called “When Breath Becomes Air” and centres around a terminal diagnosis to a relatively young (37) neuro surgeon. It is non-fiction. Not perhaps the most joyful book to read? Actually, despite the tears I shed, I really enjoyed the book. Paul Kalanithi, its author and protagonist, alongside being a top surgeon, held degrees in literature and his writing is beautiful. Not only that though, but the clear message of acceptance with his fate, he enjoyed his life to the last moment, not by doing crazy things like bungee jumping off the highest waterfall, but by enjoying birthdays, dinners and time with his family, his friends, those he held

dear to him. More and more we are reminded to live our lives, enjoy every moment, follow our dreams. The knock-on effect has been that culturally it has become much more important to look after ourselves, both physically and mentally. I have recently been looking into Eastern medicinal theories which focus a lot more on the stomach and its relation to the whole body and mind. What fascinates me is how, by nourishing ourselves with the right foods and herbs we can help look after not only our bodies but our minds as well. We in the western world have got so used to grabbing something to eat, simply to satisfy the hunger. Our lives have become so busy that

we prefer to eat something that is quick and convenient rather than tasty and nutritious. And, more often than not, the latter is the more affordable. I’m not talking about weird and exotic foods, I’m talking about carrot soup instead of a microwaved lasagne. It can be that simple. To celebrate quality ingredients, locally sourced and prepared with love, we are having our third Supper Club at The Kingfisher Cafe on the May 13. Last time it was a sell out so make sure to book your tickets early. We are still perfecting the menu (good things take time) but are excited to announce that we’ll be having a wine tasting reception, a spring flavoured, slow cooked chicken dish with delicious

side dishes and some decadent homemade cake to finish. Again we will use the Fishponds Food Assembly to source many of our ingredients. The art of conversation, enjoying food together in a relaxed, informal environment. All this can only improve our mental health and create time and memories that will outlive any of that snatched sandwich on the way home. Come dine with us! For more information on the Supper Club visit our Facebook page FishpondsSupperClub or get in touch with me - anna@ thedistantfuturealwayssounds Anna Blightman


Staple Hill Stores: Proud to be a traditional ironmonger - and a lot more besides STAPLE Hill Stores is proud to be a traditional ironmongers and old fashioned hardware store. Trading in Staple Hill for nearly 16 years, the store offers a wide range of different items from screwdrivers to paint brushes, single nuts and bolts to wild bird seed or drain cleaner to rabbit food. Apparently some locals know us as ‘Arkwrights’ and yes we do sell fork handles! We are also called ‘Aladdins Cave’ by many people because of the large range of stock we keep. We specialise in light bulbs, keeping in stock not just energy saving ones, but in the range of more than 200 different types are the old fashioned ones which are still very popular. We also sell nuts and bolts, screws and washers individually rather than in packets so not only can you try the item but you don’t have to buy lots of them. We selI many nails by weight so if you want just a handful then it’s not a problem. We have a gardening section which includes weed and bug killers, feeds and canes and lots of different hose fittings but also lawnmower blades and strimmer wire. Forks and spades are just some of the tools stocked from Draper Tools. We stock the full range of Mr Fothergill’s Country Value flower and vegetable seeds which at 89p

per packet are amazing value. From about Easter to the end of the summer we get a large range of bedding and vegetable plants in as well as keeping perennial plants all year round. They all come from local growers. Our hay and straw is also grown by a local farmer and smells delicious. We are unable to stock everything our customers require so every week we get in specially ordered goods. These can range from compost to tools, or unusual light bulbs to paint. We offer local delivery. We bag up many items ourselves which tends to make them cheaper than if you buy them in pre-packs. These include more than 10 types of wild bird seed and many types of caged bird, dog, rabbit and fish foods. Our friendly and helpful staff have a wide range of knowledge from diy to gardening. If you have knives, scissors, shears or lawn mower blades which need sharpening we have them collected on a Thursday and returned the following week. We have a range of handmade bird tables which are made from solid wood and not only look good but will last a long time. Basically, if you want anything from electrical, decorating, kitchen, garden, tools or pet supplies, then just give us a ring and we will help.

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April, 2017


Excellent progress on Page Park cafe

WORK on a new cafe and community building in Page Park is steaming ahead, meaning the much-wanted facility is on track to open this summer. Builders have wasted no time getting to grips with construction of the building and it is expected to open its doors in July. The building has been made possible thanks to a £1.6 million lottery grant and additional funding secured by the Friends of Page Park, which will also pay for other improvements in the park, including planting schemes, new paths and the restoration of the landmark clocktower. Steph Purser, vice chair of Page Park, said: "The construction work is going well, all on time with the cafe due to open in July. "It is a fantastic building. Customers will be able to view the park behind floor to ceiling windows and on warm days enjoy their lattes on the patio

get involved, follow the group on Facebook, visit the website www.friendsofpagepark. or sign up for regular news updates by emailing friendsofpageparkbs16@gmail. com

Park dates for your diary

surrounded by the flowers and plants in the sensory garden. "The clocktower should be completed by the end of April and work is continuing on the restoration of the tennis clubhouse. "It amazing to see all that is going on in our beautiful park." At the the end of February, 32 volunteers planted green beech hedging around the adventure play area and in March 33 new trees were planted to replace some of the damaged and

diseased trees. A junior park run for four to 14-year-olds has recently been approved and will launch in July, taking place every Sunday at 9am. The Friends of Page Park is a group of residents who are involved with running all aspects of the park including events, fundraising, gardening as well as playing a leading role working with the council to plan future developments at the open space. To find out how you can

• Sunday May 14 Salvation Army band and choir concert • Sunday June 4 The Big Lunch, a community party in the park including children’s rides and entertainment • Saturday June 24 Armed Forces Day, a chance show your support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community • Sunday June 11 Salvation Army band and choir concert • Sunday July 2 Westerly Winds concert • Sunday July 9 Salvation Army band and choir concert • Sunday August 13 Salvation Army band and choir concert • Sunday September 10 Salvation Army band and choir concert


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STAPLE HILL WI: Our March meeting was held at the Christchurch hall in Downend. Our speaker was Kim action Jackson, who certainly lived up to her name - telling us about her experiences as a mountaineer and climber. She didn't start until she was 40 and has had many adventures all over the world; an inspiring woman indeed. Next month is Staple Hill WI 21st birthday and a celebration will be held at the monthly meeting Tuesday April 18, with nibbles, tea and cake . The talk is "My life in crime " given by a former police detective. We have a coffee morning on Saturday April 8 from 10am at StapleHill Methodist church. We now have 30 members but can give a warm welcome to ladies who may wish to join, come along for a taster with no obligation. Website: Facebook: Twitter: @staplehillwi JULIA STIDDARD JENKINS


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April, 2017




T was exactly one year ago that I first applied myself to writing this monthly column, and I must say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing it. I reread the piece that I wrote back then and much like a diary it’s really interesting to remember what I was doing and what I was talking about. My inspiration as it is every year, was the waking up of the world around us as the air and soil warm up. The first brightest green leaves are just emerging from the stems of the Hawthorn and some Hazel on the Railway Path that I see as I cycle down it each morning. It really is a blessing to watch everything slowly returning to its summer splendour again, and in a few months we’ll wonder where all of the bare soil has gone as the vista is taken over by the flora with such vigour. I could wax lyrical for many more paragraphs about the excitement I feel in April but I will just find myself endlessly repeating the same platitudes, if you read this again in 12 months, you’ll see what I mean. Last year I talked a lot about a heated propagator that I had made and the plants that I was germinating in it; those plants are now quite healthy and just starting to come back to life for another season. It’s now constantly full with a cycle of seedlings going from there, under the lights, into the greenhouse or cold frame and ultimately into the garden in a month or so. Both the greenhouse and the cold frames are completely full at the moment though, so I’ll be praying for some mild weather that will allow me to pull more of them outside, the hardy seedlings are mostly braving it already. One issue that I had last year with the propagation which I have to say is going much better than before, is


city gardener By Tim Barton

that it dries out quicker that you’d expect. Watering from above with a spray bottle was a time consuming and fairly irregular affair and never seemed to achieve the ideal conditions that most of the seeds were after. This is something I’ve rectified by making sure all of the seed modules are in trays that I can top up with water and keep them damp from below. It has the added benefit of keeping the top undisturbed as watering tiny seeds can cause them to all accumulate in one area as they float around and when I use vermiculite it also stays in place. I’m also attempting to grow some ridiculously hot chillies this year and from what I’ve been told, this is much harder without the added benefit of some proper heat from below. Towards the end of last year I acquired a quantity of plants from a friend who unfortunately had to move from a rented flat where she had established a well stocked garden of her own. It was towards the end of Summer and subsequently not an ideal time to be moving herbaceous plants. They all died back fairly soon after and it was unclear over winter what had survived and what hadn’t. I’m glad to say that everything that I labelled, and I think that was most of them, has survived and are well on their way to shining like the

stars that they were. There was a Yellow Loosestrife (Lysimachia punctata), which I knew to be one to keep an eye on, that is coming back some distance from where I planted the main roots last year. It’ll be a few years before I’m dividing them and making larger planting schemes of specific species, so until then they’ll have to stay in the somewhat haphazard style that seems to resonate across most of my beds. The other herbaceous plants that I have had for some time and are becoming unwieldy beasts are getting split as they’ll be healthier and better looking for it. It’s a busy time in the garden now so if you have plants that need attention it’s a good time to do it along with some of these other April jobs. • S ow wild flower seed and hardy annuals now that soil is warmer and we are clear of frosts, they are less likely here in the South West •K eep an eye on fruit blossom incase there is an unexpected cold snap though • S ow grass seed where it’s need to repair a patchy lawn as it’s warm enough and to give it time to grow before you want to use it •U se a lawn edger or a small spade to cut lawn edges and create a gutter that will make it easier to prevent the lawn from creeping • L ightly cut back lavender to

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prevent it getting too leggy, but be carefull as it won’t grow back from old wood • Check hardwood cuttings from last year as they may need potting on • Insects start to emerge at this time of year so keeping an eye on them now can prevent the need for insecticides later on • Clean up pond plants before they start growing too much and feed the larger ones. Use aquatic slow release fertiliser tablets placed well below the surface of the soil in the pot • Don’t worry if your pond turns from clear to green as it’s quite normal for a certain amount of algae to grow in spring, but look at treatment if this persists for several weeks or more • Scrub decking before the algae starts to grow too much and treat wooden structures to stave off the inevitable decay

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April, 2017


SPRING is in the air, leaves are appearing on the trees … the bowls season must be nearly here. The players in their whites are a familiar sight at Page Park and a number of other places around the area. Several bowls clubs have contacted the Voice asking us to let our readers know about the joys of the sport. One of them said: “Every bowls player regrets that they did not take up the sport sooner - so let us introduce

you to this wonderful game.” Page Park Bowls Club is running a six-week course with tuition by experienced bowlers under the direction of coaches trained by Bowls England, starting on May 6. Sessions will be from 10am-noon. If there’s demand, a Friday evening course will also run, 6-8pm starting on May 5. The club will provide equipment but recruits should bring their own footwear, which must be flat - no heels or ribbed soles. Written material on the

etiquette of playing bowls will also be provided. The course is open to anyone aged 12 or above. Last year, the club trained 36 people. Begbrook Green Bowling Club, near the old Frenchay Hospital site, is also offering people a chance to try the sport, with a free introductory lesson from qualified coaches. It is a mixed club of about 80 members. Club night is Tuesday, starting from April 11 at 6pm. The BAWA Bowls Club

in Filton is inviting men and women to come along to its sessions, while Bristol Greenbank Bowls Club is holding open days on April 21 and 22 from 10am to 1pm. All the clubs play in league games through to October and have an active social membership too. Contacts Page Park Bowls Club coaches Bob Wood - 0117 956 7921, Paul Roach - 0117 956 6881, Ken Ireland - 0117 956 3891. Application forms should be returned to Bob Wood, 3 Oakdale Walk, Downend, BS16 6DY. Begbrook Green Bowling Club - uk Roger on 0117 970 1364 or email Ken on 01454 312 464 or email kenmaymistral@blueyonder. Bristol Greenbank Bowls Club - Graham Godfrey 0117 965 7822 BAC B.A.W.A. Bowls Club Brian Smith on 0117 975 9126.

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April, 2017



Working together to curb anti-social behaviour I AM pleased to be able to give positive updates on two topics which I discussed in last month’s issue. Firstly, a 34-year-old man from Oldbury Court has been charged with one of the robberies in the series which took place on vulnerable members of our community earlier this year. He was also charged with fraud for using one of the bank cards stolen in the robbery. He has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Bristol Crown Court in July. Secondly, a man in his 30s has been arrested and charged with some of the car break-ins which have been taking place at the Oldbury Court Estate (Vassalls Park) and Channons Hill Retail Park. He was caught in the act and appeared at Bristol Magistrates Court at the end of February,

FRIENDS of Coombe Brook Valley need you! The group has already carried out successful tidy up events, but would like to recruit local people for upcoming activity sessions throughout this year. These will be a mixture of litter picking alongside woodland management and may include seasonal activities like scrub clearing before birds nest and grass cutting in September. There will also be some fun and informative sessions. Sunday April 23 – litter pick Sunday June 25 – Foraging/ plant identification walk Sunday September 3 – Litter

where he received a suspended prison sentence. Please continue to lock your cars when you leave them and take all your belongings with you – don’t put them in the boot as we know thieves hang around waiting for you to do just this. Rest assured that we are routinely monitoring the area and even if you don’t see us in uniform on patrol, it doesn’t mean we’re not keeping a close eye on things. As the evenings get lighter and (hopefully) warmer, we usually see a rise in reports of anti-social behaviour (ASB). We know there was local concern over a recent incident in Fishponds Park in which two local teenagers, in the park after school, were threatened with a knife. Luckily the children kept their cool and returned to school so that the school could contact us and we could take action. The 40-year-old man in

pick/grass cutting/scrub bashing October 1 – scrub bashing October 31 – pumpkin carving competition/spooky Halloween walk (evening time tbc) November 18 – scrub bashing December 2 – scrub bashing 10.30am-12.30pm Meet at top of the steps on Moorlands Road The Friends are also keen to hear any stories, or local history, that older community residents may have about Coombe Brook Valley. You can contact them via For more information, FriendsOfCoombeBrook/ or bit. ly/coombebrook

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of the people in question’s complex mental health, addiction and housing issues. We are monitoring the area regularly and you will see increased patrols around the park to deal with the ongoingproblem of ASB.

question was arrested that same day was later charged with affray and possession of a knife. He was recalled to prison and will remain in custody until later this month, when he will appear at Bristol Crown Court for sentencing. We understand people’s frustrations with ASB in the area and are working hard with partner agencies to try and address some

Please continue to report all incidents of ASB in the area so that we can build up a clear picture of where the main problems are and accurately target our patrols. You can contact us via the ‘Your Area’ pages of our website(avonandsomerset.police. uk). Alternatively, you can call 101. You can also follow what the team gets up to on Twitter @ ASPFishponds. Sergeant Anthony Westwell

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April, 2017

n THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH AS we come near to Easter (April 16) it is good to hold before us the whole account of Jesus’ arrest, trial, sentencing, crucifixion and resurrection. This may be found in the last few chapters of each of the four gospels in the bible. The events just prior to his crucifixion are often called ‘The Passion’. For those who are on trial today, and will be tomorrow, what have we to learn from Jesus? In recent months, famous people's names have come to public attention, cast in a bad light. Although there has as yet been no evidence made public, the allegations are publicised, along with the name of the one under scrutiny. Those who edit media reports on individuals carry an enormous responsibility. As you will see, they will be held to account. At his four trials (two before Jewish religious courts, one before Pilate and one before King Herod) Jesus mostly remained totally

Lessons from Jesus on trial silent. Even when he did speak, it was to throw questions back at his accusers, in order to expose the basis of their charges. His main cogent response to the High Priests was : ‘You have said that I am the Christ…From now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven’ (paraphrased). In other words, Jesus simply pointed to a day when all on earth would be facing Him as their Judge. Meanwhile he was ready to leave their false accusations and unjust sentence to take their course : he would leave it up to God to rescue him in God’s own time. There are two situations we might face : one as the accused, the other as among the jury. Whenever we watch a news item holding

another person in public view for alleged wrongs, we become jury of a sort. What can we learn from Jesus’ trial? As the one accused, would we have the knowledge of the Supreme Judge, such as to rely on our conscience before Him, and not panic when wrong conclusions were assumed by a human court? As the ones with responsibility to make judgement on earth, what will convince us? Will it be the party with the loudest voice? Will it be the most emotional, passionate plea with the most shocking imaginative images? Will it be the party with the biggest campaign group chanting and waving banners outside? Jesus was sustained throughout His trial, such that He still had the capacity for compassion towards Pontius Pilate (see John’s gospel

Rev Charles Sugden

Rector, Frenchay and Stapleton parish churches account). Despite being Saviour and Judge, He has never been judgmental for the sake of being judgmental.

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April, 2017


Cheerleader coach Sammi proud to join Team England A CHEERLEADING coach from Downend says she is honoured to be helping show disability is not a barrier after being selected to help train disabled athletes who will compete for England. Sammi Coggans, 26, is part of the coaching team for Team England ParaCheer and ParaCheer Freestyle Pom. The teams, which include four Bristol-based able-bodied athletes, will compete at the ICU World Cheerleading Championships in Florida this month. Sammi was 15 when she started running cheerleading sessions at an after-school club at Downend School. Her coaching grew from there and now Sammi runs the Kingswood and Easton-based Black Panthers Allstars. Sammi said the world championships would provide a brilliant opportunity to show how disabled and non-disabled athletes could work together. She said: "The divisions are brand new to the world stage and involve athletes with physical disabilities and/or sensory disabilities and nondisabled athletes competing together, demonstrating that disability isn't a barrier to performing at the highest level. "Myself and my four athletes travel twice a month to day long training sessions with 50 other team members and staff from around the country. "We have been working hard session to create intricate and inclusive routines ready for the world stage. Our routines are looking strong and we are ready to represent our country. "I'm very excited. I'm only nervous because of the enormity of the event but everyone is really looking forward to it." The ParaCheer division had been in development for three years with support from UK charity ParaCheer International, which works for equality and diversity in cheerleading. The charity has been working with the ICU to advise on the development of the new division, including technical adaptations, scoring systems and rules.

Sammi Coggans, centre, with the four Bristol-based athletes in the national Paracheer team


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