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fishpondsvoice February, 2017 — ISSUE 25

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Stoke Lane reopens but traffic woes are not over TRAFFIC flows are set to improve in the Fishponds area this month now that Stoke Lane is once again open in both directions. The road between Stapleton and UWE Bristol was made one-way last year for work on the £216 million MetroBus rapid transport route. It was initially shut to northbound drivers but because of the jams - which had been predicted by local people - this was eventually reversed. It's now two-way again, although there will be "occasional short length, short term traffic lights for specific pieces of work". MetroBus, which is intended to reduce congestion and cut journey times into central Bristol, is due to start in the autumn. But first there is the little matter of repairs to the viaduct on the ring road at Bromley Heath, which are likely to take up to a year and are forecast to cause delays and jams of up to three miles.

Public meeting on McDonald's fight A public meeting is taking place on February 25 at All Saints hall to discuss the battle against a proposed McDonald's drivethrough in Fishponds Road. PAGE 3

Foster mum Rita awarded MBE Foster mum Rita Roblin has been granted an MBE in the New Year Honours list after 25 years of caring for children. PAGE 23

Old Library is now transformed Mum Angela Belassie and her baby Amelia are the picture of health. But their story could have been very different. Find out why on page 22

Building work to transform the old Fishponds Library is finally complete, enabling community groups and organisations to rent out space. PAGE 25




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in the are set to improve that Stoke TRAFFIC flows this month now directions. Fishponds area open in both UWE Lane is once again Stapleton and The road between year for one-way last Bristol was made million MetroBus rapid work on the £216It was initially shut to route. the transport but because of d by local northbound drivers had been predicte . It's jams - which eventually reversedwill be there people - this was again, although term traffic two-way now length, short "occasional short pieces of work". c reduce lights for specifi is intended to MetroBus, whichjourney times into cut congestion and due to start in the is central Bristol, there is the little matter first ring road autumn. But viaduct on the of repairs to the which are likely to at Bromley Heath,and are forecast to cause take up to a year of up to three miles. delays and jams

Foster mum Rita awarded MBE been Roblin has Foster mum Rita the New Year in granted an MBE 25 years of Honours list after . caring for children PAGE 23

Old Library is ed now transform

to transform the Building work Library is finally old Fishponds community complete, enabling tions to rent groups and organisa out space. PAGE 25

are the baby Amelia Belassie and her could have been very Mum Angela But their story picture of health. why on page 22 out different. Find







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FISHPONDS is quite nice, says Kate Brooks, and we're sure our readers agree. You don't have to read many pages in to this month's edition to find out that most of the the people of our area are more than a tad pleasant. While the daylight attack on the 75-year-old woman in Eastville Park was truly shocking, it is heartwarming that two local people immediately set up fundraising pages “to show that the people of Fishponds care”. People are getting involved in all sorts of community efforts, including campaigning for a swimming pool in east Bristol and against a huge McDonald's drive-through in Fishponds Road, and have worked with councillors to win improvements to emergency accommodation in Stapleton which had been operating without planning permission or a licence.

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.

It was a pleasure to attend the opening of the new Hillfields Family Hub and Library – the addition of services from the Little Hayes and Hillfields Early Years and Family Centre is a very welcome addition to facilities in that part of Fishponds Fishponds Voice is here to share news about our community, so please keep getting in touch with your stories and photos. We hand-deliver more than 7,500 free copies to homes every month and are increasing our circulation but we can't go everywhere. So if you live outside our delivery area, look out for the paper in local shops, cafes and libraries. We have a website now - www.fishpondsvoice. – as well as a Facebook page and Twitter feed. Many people contact us through social media to share their news. We are trying to get out and about to meet more of our readers but in the meantime do please get in touch by email: news@fishpondsvoice. You can even write to us! The address is 6 Elkstone Walk, Bitton, Bristol, BS30 6JT.

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Journalist Linda Tanner 0777 0700579

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LOCAL INFORMATION Bristol City Council 0117 922 2000 01454 868582 Streetcare/litter/vandalism etc

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February, 2017



Campaigners urge residents to join next stage of fight against McDonald's FISHPONDS residents are being invited to renew their opposition to the McDonald’s drive-through restaurant at a meeting later this month. NoMacInF secretary Clare Fowle said the meeting, on Saturday February 25 at 10.30am in All Saints Community Hall, Grove Road, will provide a chance for people to get together ahead of the appeal hearing in April. “We hope people will be able to take time out from shopping and other Saturday chores to come and find out what is happening about the planning appeal,” she said. McDonald’s has appealed against Bristol City Council’s 2015 decision to reject the company's plans for a 165-seater, two-storey restaurant open 24 hours a day on the Bristol Tile Warehouse site on Fishponds Road.

A planning inquiry scheduled for November last year had to be postponed when the McDonald’s barrister was taken ill. The six-day appeal will now be heard from Thursday 20 April 20 in the Council House (City


Hall). “No doubt McDonald’s hope local people will give up on it because the saga has dragged on so long,” said mother-of-two Claire. "In fact people have been

fundraising over the Christmas period and we are more determined than ever to make sure we keep the McDonald’s footprint off the Fishponds Road.” A fundraising night at the Star pub, next to the appeal site, and an online crowd funding scheme have brought in hundreds of pounds. The money goes towards printing and other costs associated with the appeal. “Our energy and commitment have not flagged," said NoMacInF chair Mike Jempson. “Although no new evidence can be presented to the planning inquiry, anyone who wants to address the planning inspector can turn up on the first day and ask to be heard. We believe a more productive and socially acceptable use of the site will be found, and are keen to hear from those with alternative proposals.” Letters: Page 15


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February, 2017


Young 'denied chance to learn to swim in east Bristol' SUPPORT for a new swimming pool in east Bristol has moved a step forward after a petition with more than 700 signatures was handed to the city council. Speedwell resident Lisa Murfin told councillors that Speedwell Pool closed in 2005 with a promise of a imminent replacement - but to date nothing has happened. "Now after 12 years we feel it is time to deliver on this promise," she told them. The petition stated: "East Bristol has been left behind as other parts of the city have had pools rebuilt – there is a great local demand from public and local school for this much needed health and leisure facility. "Designs are in place for the Bristol Brunel Academy site and any subsidy is likely to be small and much less than for other facilities across Bristol. "We call upon the mayor to ensure that the next budget provides capital funding to allow construction to begin and negotiate robustly with

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services providers to minimise any subsidy. It is time to bring back a vital service that has been missing for far too long." Lisa told councillors about a social media group called Friends of Speedwell Pool which has more than 550 members. "Members have been meeting monthly in person to look at different aspects of the pool such as financial viability and how the pool could potentially become a contributor towards the city

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income," she said. "We have also visited no less than six potential sites for a pool and have explored ways to keep the running costs of the pool to a minimum for example the use of solar panels and chlorine reduction system meaning that potentially asthma sufferers can use the pool." Lisa, who delivered the petition at a full council meeting in January, awaits a response.

She said: "So many people I speak to say they have these amazing fond memories of going to Speedwell Pool with their friends. We're denying the next generation that same pleasure and that's terrible." Plans have been submitted to Bristol City Council by Crossman Homes to demolish the derelict Speedwell Pool and build two four-storey blocks providing 29 one and two bedroom flats. Objectors include the Twentieth Century Society which says the Art Deco building has "architectural and historical significance". The society says it was designed by an important local architect Charles Dening who was President of the Bristol Society of Architects from 19261928. In 2012 an attempt to get the building placed on the national list of Grade II listed buildings failed. It has since been placed on Bristol's Local List however this does not offer the same protection by law.

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Callous robber attacks woman, 75 PEOPLE in Fishponds have rallied round to support a pensioner left with horrific injuries after she was robbed in Eastville Park. The 75-year-old woman was pushed to the ground from behind and had her handbag stolen while she was walking in Eastville Park. She was left with fractured cheek and collar bones following the attack, which took place between 11.45am and 12.15pm on Monday January 23. Police said the woman has now been released from hospital and her condition is improving. The photographs of her injuries, shown here, have shocked the community of Fishponds who have launched an appeal to raise money. Two fundraising pages have been set up with the victim requesting that money raised be given to Age UK Bristol. One of the pages, on the JustGiving website, was set up by Fishponds resident Pauline Shaw and headed: "Crowdfunding to show the lady who was callously and horrifically attacked in Eastville Park on Monday lunchtime that the people of Fishponds care". PC Aaron Ashford said: "This is a despicable crime carried out on an elderly woman in a public place. “I am certain this incident will shock and

enrage members of our community. “We now need your help to trace the offender and bring them to justice. “Were you in the Eastville Park area of Bristol on Monday lunchtime? Did you see anyone acting suspiciously or running or cycling away from the area?" “Information, no matter how insignificant you might think it is, might prove crucial to us finding whoever is responsible.” Police would like to speak to a man regarding this incident. He is described as white, of slight build, in his early 20s and around 5ft 9ins. He was wearing a tight fitting dark coloured woollen hat, dark coloured jacket, dark trousers and was in possession of a pushbike. The bike has been described as dark grey and may have a small bike rack on the rear. He was carrying a spare cycle wheel on his back. It is thought he cycled off towards the car park of Tesco Eastgate. They are also appealing for anyone with information regarding the victim's stolen handbag. It is described as a 'Trooper London', dark grey canvas shoulder bag. It might have been discarded in the Eastville Park or Eastgate shopping centre areas. Anyone who can help should call 101 and quote crime reference number 5217016482 or Crimestoppers, where information can be left anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


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February, 2017


Hillfields and Little Hayes Family HILLFIELDS Library and Little Hayes Nursery have joined forces to create a combined family hub and library at the heart of Hillfields. The new facility was officially launched on January 25 at an event that also marked the sixtieth birthday of both institutions. A tree was planted by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Jeff Lovell, and Sally Jaeckle, service manager for early years at the city council, cut a cake and said she hoped the hub would be the first of many in the city. Four pupils from Minerva Primary Academy - Tianna, 8, Finley, 8, Chloe 9, and Jason, 9 - joined the Lord Mayor for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Later in the day a time capsule was planted. Other activities during the day of celebrations were for sharing reminiscences about the area, researching family history, learning English for speakers of other languages and parent and child crafts.

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Bristol Lord Mayor Jeff Lovell reads to children from Minerva Primary Academy in the revamped library

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Hub and Library opens its doors Councillor Lovell said: “It is an honour to take part in the opening of this family hub. In its new form, I hope that it will be able to bring joy to even more people in the community for a long time to come.” Councillor Asher Craig, cabinet member for neighbourhoods said: “I am really glad to see the reopening of this library in its new form. By making the library more flexible we hope to encourage people who would not normally go to their library to come down and try out the facilities.” The library closed on 20 October 2016 to allow for work to be done to transform it for mixed use. To make room for both the library and the nursery, the building has been split into thirds with one third for Little Hayes Nursery and the other two thirds for the library. The nursery is based in a separate room that is used for child and carer focused activities throughout the working week. The library is open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays the nursery has the use of the whole building Shirley Doveton, headteacher of Little Hayes and Hillfields Early Years & Family Centre, said: "We are very excited about working in close partnership with the library, providing a quality learning environment for children and adults of the local community." If residents are interested in getting involved hey can contact 0117 903 8576. Information about the nursery can be found online at http://


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Minister backs campaign JUSTICE Secretary Liz Truss looks set to support a family's campaign to increase the maximum sentence for dangerous driving to a life term. It follows a tragedy four years ago in which Ross and Clare Simons were killed when the tandem they were riding in Hanham was hit by a speeding car. The driver, Nicholas Lovell, who was disqualified and had 69 previous convictions, was jailed for ten and half years. The maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving is 14 years. Ross and Clare’s family want to see it made tougher. They met Ms Truss in Parliament on January 16. Ross's sister Kelly said: “The Justice Secretary was quite horrified . We asked her if something would be done by the close of this year and she thought it would be sooner. "

February, 2017

Keep dancing! Couple remain British champs SONIA Repetto, originally from Italy but now a proud resident of Fishponds, together with Patrick Moreno, also from Bristol, successfully defended their title as British Latin American Dance Champions in the over-35 category. The championship was held in Blackpool last November the day before the Strictly Come Dancing show. Sonia and Patrick are also proudly flying the flag on the international scene, finishing third at the World Dance Championships in Paris, last December. They have been dancing together since 2011, and fit in training around their busy schedules by hitting the dance floor at 7am every morning before going to work. Their


next big competition sees them representing Britain at the European Championship in Blackpool later this spring. Sonia said she is especially grateful to her “unofficial” team doctor Dr Simon Atkins from the Fishponds Family Practice. “I managed to catch a serious bout of bronchitis just before the championship. I was probably overdoing it, but thanks to Simon I was on top form on the night, retaining our title in some style". Sonia also teaches Beginners Ballroom and Latin Classes at the Kingswood Foundation and she and Patrick offer private lessons, wedding dance choreography, and shows. For more information contact

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Friends of Fishponds Park can look back with satisfaction on a successful first Glow in the Park, especially the carol singing, which attracted a huge crowd. It can also be optimistic for 2017, which has got off to a good start with a successful bid for £1,000 from Tesco Bags for Help scheme. The group is continuing to look at designs for upgrading the play equipment in the park.

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At last! Go-ahead for centre revamp PLANS to breathe new life into Meadow Vale Community Centre in Speedwell have been approved, paving the way for much needed facilities in the area. Bristol City Council gave the thumbs up to the plans for major renovation and an extension after considering comments supporting the application. Residents who said a modern community centre is desperately needed in the area were backed by Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy who told the authority this part of her constituency had "needed a project like this for some time." The plans, drawn up by Bristol-based Askew Cavanna Architects, will allow the charity Meadow Vale Community Association to continue its work supporting the community by offering more facilities and activities. Ms McCarthy said: "It would prove a real asset for the local community. Many people in Speedwell feel forgotten, thanks to a lack of visible investment and regeneration, and I believe that approving this application would make a positive contribution to reducing feelings of disconnection and disenchantment." Fiona Russell, chair of Meadow Vale Community Association, said the community has been waiting for improved facilities since transforming a small derelict building into the centre in the 1980s. "It's been a battle we've been fighting ever since. We misguidedly thought that if we repaired this derelict building

that the council would help us build an extension but that never happened. "Our biggest problem is the size of our existing hall - it's not much bigger than a living room. It means we're not sustainable as all the things community centres should be doing, like weight loss and exercise classes, we can't do because our hall is too small. We could do so much more with a bigger building." Now planning permission has been granted, the association will be able to apply for funding. Fiona said: "It's been a long hard slog to get to this stage. The amazing thing was there was not one objection. It just proves how much the people out there really want it. "Now we're trying to get the money to fund it from everybody! The main bid for £550,000 was submitted for lottery funding in December but the total cost will be about £1million. "We can definitely prove the need as the area is one of the most deprived in England and that should go in our favour." The work will be carried out

in two phases. Phase I is the refurbishment of the existing building with a simple extension which will roughly double the area of the building. Phase II is a further extension to form a hall with store and two showers. Toilets and changing rooms will be built in the space next to the main hall. The news has been welcomed by St George Neighbourhood Partnership who said: "This application represents a major milestone for a project that local residents have been demanding for many years. "St George NP has supported this project as well as the recent construction of a new play area and other improvements in the adjacent park." Architect Chris Askew said: "We are really pleased to have secured planning permission for this project to provide much needed community facilities in Speedwell. "The aim is to refurbish the facility with a community café in Phase I, with the support of Bristol Rotary, and then build a new annex in Phase II, with the support of lottery funding.

"The second phase is designed to meet Sport England guidance for community halls, and includes an all-purpose hall 18 x 10m, changing facilities and function room. The building will allow for a wide range of sports and social events for all ages. "It will be constructed to modern standards and be highly sustainable. The design incorporates a 'graffiti wall’ for local artists to replace the existing mural. It will be an asset for the community -something for local people to take pride in." The site was developed in late 1940s as maintenance and housing office for the council estate. In 1985 the building was surplus to need so residents formed Meadow Vale Community Association to turn it into a community hub. The association has managed to secure funding for a number of initiatives including a young children's play area near the nursery on the other side of the green, an activity trail, lighting and fencing for the multiuse games pitch, a planting programme including fruit trees and an Active Play area.

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February, 2017



'A space worth saving for the community' THE unassuming exterior of Meadow Vale Community Centre belies the work which has been going on inside. Although the community centre has provided social events for more than 40 years, lack of investment meant the building has become outdated and less attractive for people to use. But the tide is starting to turn. Development worker Lucy Touray said: "As a result of lack of investment community spirit had dwindled and people became very isolated. The fun, laughter and community spirit was at a low point but not gone. "There are very little services within the area so any little hope of community space has been important to hold on to and the community has continued to fight for the building to stay." Lucy worked with Meadow Vale Community Association, a charity which runs the centre, for several hours a week for most of last year after successfully gaining funding for her post from Sovereign Housing Association.

It proved a busy year which saw the launch of a new play area in the park with new path and improved access, fun dog show, Halloween party and a community arts day. The building's main hall benefited from a lick of paint courtesy of the local police beat team and charity Brighter Bristol came in to the paint the bathrooms. Every week since August, with the support of Creative Youth Network, a youth club has been available to all local young people

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aged between 8-12 years. The club has been a great success with around 15-20 young people attending each week. More recently a further club for young people - called Project Night has been set set up. Lucy said: "The young people have become involved within their community, from enjoying activities, applying for funding with success, attending neighbourhood forum meetings to tackling the issue of speeding in the area, repainting the teenage shelter in the park and


having a say in the improvements of the park which are taking place at present." The building currently supports a European (Czech) toddler group, elder people's cards club, youth club, private parties, meetings and a parents group. Despite its size, there is scope for further use. Lucy said: "I want to thank all the people for getting the community centre where it is today - people like Fiona Russell, the police who painted the hall and In Bristol Studio who worked with the young people to create the colourful board outside. Their work has made the community centre a little more vibrant and people are starting to use it again. This place really means something to the community and it's all thanks to the people who have put the effort in." If a group, organisation or individual would like to find out more about hiring the community centre, call Fiona on 0784 9801709.

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February, 2017


Year-round colour at Page Park FRIENDS of Page Park have issued a warning to people not to panic if they see trees being felled at the Staple Hill beauty spot. Thirteen trees are being removed in February and March for reasons including disease, storm damage and decay. However, a scheme to plant 33 new trees has just got the gohead thanks to a £20,000 grant. The cash has been secured by the Friends of Page Park from the People's Postcode Lottery with additional money from the Forest of Avon Trust. The money will means new varieties of trees can be added to ensure all year round colour. There are notices up in the park detailing what is happing during the tree management programme.

Little Hayes celebrates successful Ofsted visit STAFF and families at a Fishponds nursery school are celebrating a successful Ofsted visit. Her Majesty's Inspector Lorna Brackstone said that the quality of education at Little Hayes and Hillfields Early Years & Family Centre remained good. In the first inspection since the nursery school was rated good in 2012, Little Hayes was found to have kept up standards at its sites in Frenchay Road and Symington Road and to be well prepared to open a new provision in Hillfields.. In a letter to headteacher Shirley Doveton, Ms Brackstone wrote: “Against a background of amalgamations, expansions and growing numbers, you, ably supported by your senior leaders and governors, have ensured that the effectiveness of the nursery provision has never been


compromised. Your extremely strong commitment to nursery education, coupled with your expertise and dedication to the education and welfare of young children, firmly steers provision. “Staff and governors mirror your passion and vision for the nursery in their day-to- day work. Together, you form a strong team that is highly respected by the local community.” Among the areas of work singled out for praise were: * Detailed support for children learning English as an additional language; * Improved opportunities to develop speaking and writing skills; * A rich choice of interesting activities; *A strong culture of safeguarding. “ Parents trust the nursery to care for their children and appreciate the warm and welcoming environment. You and your staff take time to get to know your families well and the close relationships formed enable you to quickly spot any issues of concern,” Ms Brackstone said. Partnership working with neighbouring schools and with external agencies was also highlighted. “Your ability to adapt and adjust key priorities to meet the changing needs of the school is a significant strength of your effective leadership,” the letter said. The school's innovative approach in mixing two, three

and four-year-olds together was judged a success, enabling older children to model positive behaviours and good learning habits to the younger ones. The school's work on eradicating differences in achievement between girls and boys and providing additional help for summer-born children was praised, as were the efforts made to provide additional support for disadvantaged children, including summer school, trips and nourishment. Mrs Doveton said everyone at the school was thrilled to have been judged to be maintaining a good quality of education at a time of expansion. "The report really celebrates our community and our staff and recognises our successful partnership working as we move to the next stage in our development,"she said. As well as early years education, Little Hayes offers a family support service across an area covering Stapleton, Begbrook, Oldbury Court, Fishponds, Hillfields, Downend, Staple Hill North, Eastville, and Lodge Causeway. It also runs a childcare service at Eden House supporting women involved in the criminal justice system. These services are inspected separately. Free entitlement to Education of 15 hours per week is offered to eligible two, three and four year olds and there is opportunity to pay for additional top up hours. ffi:

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February, 2017



Mystery as Legion club shuts

Headteacher Shirley Doveton with some of her staff and children from Little Hayes and Hillfields Early Years and Family Centre celebrating their successful nursery school Ofsted report

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MYSTERY surrounds the sudden closure of Staple Hill's Royal British Legion Club in Kendall Road. The club has been described as a "hub of our community" by Staple Hill councillor Ian Boulton and its loss will be felt by many people across the area, particularly the elderly. It has played an important role in bringing people together by hosting events and enabling clubs to use the premises. Its members also raise thousands of pounds for the Poppy Appeal. It is believed the club had its public liability licence removed which led to the club closing its doors before Christmas, although the Legion's head office would not confirm this. The branch's website has been removed and events planned cancelled.

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February, 2017


n LETTERS Biggest drive-thru in the South West IN response to Keith Barr’s letter (Jan, issue 24), I am objecting to McDonald's and not the other takeaways that have opened up recently on Fishponds Road as it is proposed to be the biggest drivethru McDonald's in the South West. McDonald's report suggests 120 cars an hour will use their facility which will cause more congestion and accidents as cars queue to turn right into the site forcing lorries to drive in the bus and cycle lane. I set up the petition against the development which attracted 1667 signatures, mostly from local residents in Fishponds and I live adjacent to the site. I am also sick of the eyesore, but until the Public Inquiry decision (April 20-28) McDonald's have a hold over it. A McDonald's will not be progress for the site - there have been lots of suggestions for community spaces which will not cause such problems and I know that many Fishponds residents have higher ambitions than

another fast food takeaway as shown at the Fishponds Planning consultation events. While I agree with Keith that there are too many takeaways on Fishponds Road, none are a drivethru open 18 hours a day. You’re welcome to the public meeting on February 25 to hear the facts and why we locals are so opposed. Clare Fowle Fishponds

Housing space race is nothing new PLANNING expert Chris Gosling’s attack on Space Standards reminds me of similar arguments made 50 years ago when private developers got exemption from the Parker-Morris space standards used in Social Housing, because they couldn’t make as much profit building “huge” houses like councils did. The result was 30% smaller houses with no storage and bedrooms where beds had to be pushed against the wall to get the door open!

There was a time when developers unloaded their unprofitable sites to the local council at cost enabling the council, who could get grants from Central Government, to build housing not driven by the profit motive but by local need. Back in those far off days there was full employment and we paid 33% income tax and the Government had a pot of money available. Successive chancellors under Mrs Thatcher reduced the income tax level and the Housing Act 1980 made it almost impossible for Local Authorities to build houses to replace those being sold under the Right-to-Buy. Today we have a larger population but in low paid work, with those that do pay tax only paying 20% and we wonder why there isn’t money available for all our increasingly stretched public services (not just housing!). Abandoning space standards does not mean properties will meet local needs. You do not build local communities by having homes so small that they are not large enough to accommodate

the needs of growing families. Instead you simply promote ghettos where those who can not afford anything larger gravitate and stay put whereas those financially able to move on do so. Whilst concentrated student accommodation would not be my ideal choice for Fishponds, I bet local retailers are looking forward to those new free-spending customers, and it might just stop some of the existing larger family houses being converted into Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO), with their shabby exteriors and neglected gardens, (but I doubt it – too much profit!) I would also take issue with Mr. Gosling’s assertion that subsidence would mean that the last four houses in a “regular” street would have to be demolished. Why? What caused the subsidence? Tree roots or a drain collapse perhaps? If more serious then underpinning or other repairs would be considered long before demolition. Tony Weeks Fishponds

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n NEWS A PROPERTY in Stapleton has been used by Bristol City Council for more than a year to house vulnerable women and children even though it did not have a licence or planning permission. The situation at Beechwood House, opposite Colston's School, came to light when councillors were asked to grant permission to turn it into emergency accommodation, converting and extending it to provide nine self-contained units. Members of the development control committee were told that the authority's housing department had been placing people there since 2015 even though no application had been made to the council either for planning permission for change of use or a licence for use as a Home of Multiple Occupancy (HMO). Eastville councillor Mhairi

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Threlfall said that even by the day of the meeting in January the operator of the property, Gerard Phillips, had still not applied for an HMO licence. She acknowledged that there was a severe shortage of temporary accommodation in Bristol but said she and local residents had grave concerns about the way Beechwood House was being run. Councillor Threlfall and fellow ward councillor Sultan Khan said local people had been misled over the use of the property, which was once a doctor's surgery, and called for strict conditions and house rules. The committee heard that many written objections to the proposal had been received, as well as many letters of support from people who wanted to ensure that homeless pregnant women and those with young children had a safe place to go. Jeremy McCullough, headmaster of Colston's School, said in his submission to the council that the school had no objection to emergency accommodation as much-needed social care provision. “We are particularly concerned that any use does not conflict with the safety and safeguarding of our school

children and we were extremely concerned by the applicant's previous proposals for a 'drug rehabilitation centre'. In the event of this revised planning application being granted we would want to ensure stringent conditions are applied to ensure the use is properly regulated and controlled and to avoid the possibility of any surreptitious change of use taking place,” he said. Heather Falconer, on behalf of the applicant, told the committee said the accommodation was far better for the occupants than bed and breakfast hostels or budget hotels. She said it was a misconception that the property would be used to house anyone other than vulnerable women and expectant mothers. Councillor Stephen Clarke said it was an incredible oversight that the planning application had come so long after the authority started using the property and Councillor Fabian Breckels, who was chairing the meeting, said he found it deplorable. Nevertheless, members voted unanimously in favour of granting permission, subject to conditions.

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February, 2017


Kerry McCarthy MP for Bristol East

writes for Fishponds Voice


Our NHS is at breaking point OVER the last month, our NHS seems to have been at breaking point. The staff are working tremendously hard, but it’s clear that more resources are needed to cope with what the British Red Cross has called a humanitarian crisis. In Parliament I have called on the Government to urgently take steps to address the crisis. They ignored concerned patients, doctors, hospitals, and MPs when we called for more resources for the NHS and social care in the Autumn Statement, months ago. Labour also organised an Opposition Day debate, where the Government was quite rightly criticised for its plans to downgrade the four-hour waiting target for A&E services – a total admission of failure. On a recent visit to the Bristol Royal Infirmary, I saw for myself the pressures on our local A&E services – with one patient having spent nearly fifteen hours on the ward waiting for a bed. The Government recently announced more funding

for social care but I fear it will not come close to enough, even with councils across the country – including here in Bristol – planning to increase council tax to ensure that we can look after the elderly and people with disabilities. Beds are in such short supply because of cuts to social care; if we care for people more at home, they are less likely to need A&E and less likely to need to stay in hospital because there is nowhere else for them to go. It is a national embarrassment that, in 2017, social care and mental health services still lack parity of esteem with other services. I also visited wards dealing with alcohol-related illness, and patients with liver disease, as my visit took place on Alcohol-Related Liver Disease Day. I was shown around by Dr Anne McCune, who explained that more than 450 east Bristolians were admitted to hospital due to liver disease in the last year. We also discussed what

needed to be done to improve rehab services in the city, and increase public awareness of the dangers of drinking too much. Not only can this lead to liver disease, and increasingly we are seeing signs of more women and much younger people developing cirrhosis of the liver, but alcoholrelated incidents put huge pressure on our A&E services, particularly at weekends. Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, was clear when questioned by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee. Funding is set to fall in 2018-19, but the NHS needs much more money than it is currently being given by the Government, and the tens of thousands more nurses, GPs, home care workers, and bed spaces that this would provide. We know resources are stretched but I am sure people in east Bristol will agree that our much-prized NHS must be a priority.



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Montessori nursery opens in Fishponds A MONTESSORI nursery school has opened in Fishponds - the first of its kind in the east of the city. Rozey Days Montessori School, based on Lodge Causeway, in a newly-renovated Victorian house. It has been launched by Downed-based mother of two Rozey Din. Five years ago Rozey was unable to find childcare that she felt met her son’s needs. She said: “Having visited a number of nursery environments I was dismayed with the uniformity, adult-led approach and lack of creativity that was offered, so I decided to be the alternative.” She juggled her studies for her diploma, with practising as a Montessori childminder, offering child-led care. Rozey Days Montessori School offers year-round child care for children aged from two to five. The school has a large indoor and outdoor space with a full range of high quality Montessori materials. In line with the Montessori way, the children will serve their own

meals and prepare snacks. They do everything independently and everything is at child height. "All design features have been made with children's’ every need in mind," said Rozey. The Montessori educational approach was developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori, and essentially puts children in charge of their learning. There is no teacher standing at the front, no fixed desks or weekly tests to pass. Children learn at their own individual pace and in mixed age groupings, much as they would at home. Rozey said: “I could not believe that there are only two Montessori nursery schools in Bristol - and both have huge waiting lists. Interest in our 45-place nursery school has been strong from the moment we announced our plans last year. I think this is testament to the fact that parents in Bristol want an alternative, more holistic, approach to education for their children”. Rozey added: “The recent opening of Bristol’s second Steiner school and its immense popularity shows that families are seeking out education methods which differ from the mainstream. How does Montessori do this? We debunk the myths that children need to be 'taught'. "Children learn at a pace that suits them and the teachers’ roles are more about facilitating their learning. This is done by careful observations, from which a teacher can create individualised learning paths that tailor to every unique child’s individual needs." One of the first parents to opt

for Rozey Days is Hannah King, for her daughter Ruby. She said: “I have chosen Rozey Days Montessori School for my daughter’s early education because I know that she will have the opportunity to learn in a way that fosters her independence and interests under the guidance of caring and skilled teachers. "The Montessori approach is committed to providing

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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children with a beautiful learning environment that is carefully designed with every aspect of a child’s development in mind, and I have no doubt that my daughter will flourish in this setting." Rozey’s vision is to establish Bristol’s first Montessori primary school. She said, “It definitely something that I would love to be a part of in the future.”

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February, 2017


Kate Brooks Sarah Heywood interviews Kate Brooks, founder of Fishfest, the Scarecrow Trail and the People’s University of Fishponds, foster carer, events organiser and general good egg, known to many as ‘Mrs Fishponds’

with this on…People have taken up the baton of bunting.

was Vegfest and Brisfest, and I thought – wouldn’t it be nice (and funny) if Fishponds had one, called Fishfest….and it got bigger by the year, so now the joke’s on me. We wanted a community festival that would be very informal and inclusive, and that would appeal to people who didn’t normally go to community festivals.

You’ve been a Fishponds resident since 1998 - what’s your favourite thing about living here? I’ve always been surprised and pleased with how people pick up things and run with them here. You’ve only got to say vaguely ‘I think we should do something for refugees’, and the next day your house is full of toiletries.

It must have taken a ton of organising…

Kate, for those readers new to the area, what on earth is Fishfest?

It’s always thrown together, organised by a small group of neighbours – kind of ramshackle, but it works. In fact we had a Ramshackle Orchestra. It was a workshop to make musical instruments out of scrap, and the resulting group performed at Fishfest – they played ‘Walking in a Fishponds Wonderland’.

Fishfest is a week-long community festival that started in 2009, and includes art and music and drama and cake and all sorts of minievents like a retro cinema evening and 80s disco.

How did you start it? It’s definitely drawn people

It started as a joke really – there

together, and even won an award - how do you feel about its success? I think there’s a lot of community spirit here. I didn’t organise Fishfest, I set it in motion and there have been a lot of further events locally since, like Make Sunday Special. After the first Fishfest, people kept on saying ‘Fishponds is quite nice!’, and it sort of caught on – you can even buy mugs and bags

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n NEWS also very outward-looking. One of our recent talks – Stranger Stories – was refugees talking about their lives, and each event at Fishfest 2016 had a food bank collection.

Favourite place for a cup of tea? Definitely the Kingfisher Café – it’s so friendly.

Tell us about your youth work – what’s that like at the moment?

is doing something, however small, in your own community.

So what are you up to at the moment? I’m now focusing on the People’s

University of Fishponds (PUF), which runs a series of accessible talks on a variety of topics, like the history of the Fishponds Workhouse, and Your Amazing Brain. What’s been lovely about all these local events, is that although they’re for the community, they’re

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I help run the Grove Road Youth Club. Right now young people are scared about Trump and what his presidency means for the world. I set up a graffiti wall so that they could air their concerns. I said that, for one week only, they could even use swear words if they wanted to, and write everything that was on their minds. After that, they moved to talking about what they could do – I want them to

feel they’ve got some power. I’m always shouting at them, but I do really love them…in a shouty kind of way.

What do you do to relax? I'm really bad at relaxing, I'd be a fidgety nightmare at a spa but I do love walking the dog with the family.

What’s your favourite memory of Fishfest? It was from the first year it got really big, and there was this moment where all the organisers were singing ‘We Are The Champions’ to each other through our walkie-talkies.

Finally…best bit of advice? Don’t assume those in charge know best. Always ask questions.

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February, 2017


'I found out about deadly bug by chance' A FISHPONDS mum says a trip to tint her eyebrows helped save her and her baby’s lives. Angela Belassie was 40 weeks pregnant and unaware her waters had broken when she popped in for a beauty treatment. But beautician Audrey Jones, herself 39 weeks pregnant, informed her that a small trickle - and not just the commonly believed ‘gush’ - could be a sign of waters breaking. Unknown to her, Angela was carrying Group B Strep (GBS) -the UK’s most common cause of life-threatening infection in new-born babies. Angela, 39, and her unborn child developed septicaemia and had to undergo an emergency C-section and receive intravenous antibiotics. Today Angela and her husband Alex have a healthy daughter called Amelia. But they fear it could have been much worse had it not been for Audrey’s intervention. Angela, who runs a PR firm, said: “I will be forever grateful to Audrey and believe she helped

Angela and Audrey, with their daughters, Amelia and Mia save both mine and Amelia’s lives. I had a trickle on and off for a few days, but had no idea my waters had broken. If they are broken for a longer period of time there is a higher risk of infection. I dread to think what could have happened if I had

left it any longer, without the constant monitoring and medical assistance from all the staff at the hospital, who were great.” Angela, who conceived through IVF at Southmead, now wants other women to be aware of GBS. The normally harmless

bacteria, carried by 25 per cent of women, can be passed to infants during labour and childbirth. But they can be passed from mother to baby around birth and cause blood poisoning, pneumonia and meningitis. In one in 19 babies who develop GBS in the first six days (early onset GBS) of their life will die. Some babies who survive are left with long-term disabilities - physical, mental or both. The NHS does not screen for the infection and the UK National Screening Committee (NSC) recommends against it. A simple swab test, which costs around £10, is routinely offered in most developed countries, including France, Spain and Australia. Group B Strep Support say giving antibiotics to the mother during labour could reduce GBS infection in newborn babies by 60 per cent - and deaths from GBS in babies by 70 per cent. For more information on Group B Strep Support and testing visit

When it’s cold outside… …why venture out! If these cold, wet winter days make you want to stay warm and snug at home, then Wiltshire Farm Foods is right up your street – quite literally. Karen is your local Wiltshire Farm Foods delivery driver, and delivers delicious and nutritious meals direct to homes in your area every week day between 8am and 4pm. So, now there is no need to brave the cold and no need to drag heavy bags back from the shops. Now, you can either browse online at, our safe and secure website using your debit or credit card, or you can just simply pick up the

phone and have comforting classic dishes such as stews and hot-pots, roast dinners in rich gravies, or something a little more exotic such as Chicken Tikka Masala or Sweet & Sour Pork delivered direct to your freezer by Karen, the kind and caring face of Wiltshire Farm Foods. With over 300 comforting, nutritious and delicious main dishes and puddings, whatever tempts your taste buds we have something that will excite your palate at a price you truly can afford. To place an order from our extensive range or to receive a copy of our full brochure call 01275 371993 or visit us online at

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February, 2017



Foster mum Rita is awarded MBE FOSTER mum Rita Roblin has been granted an MBE in the New Year Honours list after 25 years of caring for children. Rita and her husband Alan have taken in children of all ages at their home in Stapleton. She said: “I’m completely blown away by this news. Being a foster carer has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Being able to have a positive influence on the life of a vulnerable young person and support them as they grow into young adults really fills me with a sense of joy. There’s no feeling like knowing you are providing a safe and loving home for a child that for whatever reason can’t have that with their parents. “I hope this award can help inspire a new wave of people to step forward and express an interest in being foster carers. I

would like to thank all those who have helped me along the way and shared this journey with me over the years.” Rita is also heavily involved in recruiting foster carers. She is chair of the North Somerset fostering panel and vice chair of the South Gloucestershire panel. South Gloucestershire Council leader, Councillor Matthew Riddle, said: “Our warmest congratulations go to Rita on this well-deserved achievement. It’s fantastic to see the invaluable role of foster carers honoured in this way.” Foster carers are always in demand across Bristol and the wider region, especially as more children are coming into care. If anyone is interested in becoming a foster carer they should contact their local council’s fostering team.

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

Specs or no specs for your Valentine? This Valentine’s Day, the educational body for Opticians in the UK conducted a nationwide survey to find out men and women's attitudes towards wearing glasses. You may find this as a surprise but the overall conclusion was that you shouldn’t ditch your glasses when going on your Valentine’s Day date! According to the results, 64% of people wouldn’t mind whether or not their date was wearing glasses and 26% said they would find a person wearing glasses on a date attractive. The research found that glasses are very unlikely to affect your chances of ruining a date, with only 1% of respondents saying that they felt they wouldn’t want to go on another date with a glasses wearer. I think the next sets of findings are even more interesting - 23℅ of single respondents said they would not wear glasses on a first date. However, only 8% of single people have said they would find it unattractive if their date showed up wearing glasses. The survey also showed some interesting differences in attitude toward glasses between genders; women are far less likely to include a picture of themselves wearing

glasses in a dating profile picture (18% v 8%) and men are more likely to find glasses wearing attractive (20% v 15 %). Be careful though, those trying to pull off the ‘intelligent’ look won’t be helped by wearing glasses, less than 5% of survey respondents said they would assume someone was intelligent because they were wearing glasses on a date! Here at Marian Blake Opticians, we think it's great to see a really positive attitude towards wearing glasses, something that would potentially be viewed as 'geeky' or 'unattractive' in the past. Wearing glasses forms a very important part in getting the best vision possible for lots of people in the UK, and is part of their everyday lives, so we're very pleased to see them viewed in this positive way. Of course, for those who really don’t like wearing specs, I can advise on the most suitable type of contact lenses for you! If you have any questions about eyewear, 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.

Adventure as pupils view the night skies

YOUNGSTERS from Glenfrome Primary School have been making the most of their neighbourhood with a night walk to the woods on Purdown. The Year 5 children set out on a clear and frosty night in January and had to navigate some slippery slopes, deep ditches and a lot of branches. As the skies were clear, pupils were able to view Venus as well as many stars, which links in with their current lessons about the solar system.

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.

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They also tried to be still and listen for any nocturnal animals, however, they were so excited that they couldn't keep still and quiet enough to hear anything! Head teacher Inger O’Callaghan said: "Glenfrome Primary School sits opposite the entrance to South Purdown and our staff plan a range of exciting activities using our extensive school grounds and unique location to ensure the children have a really rich learning experience."

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February, 2017



School completes Old Library revamp BUILDING work to transform the old Fishponds Library is finally complete, enabling community groups and organisations to rent out space. The library belongs to Fishponds Church of England Academy following lengthy negotiations with Bristol City Council. The school will use the building for various activities, including a breakfast club and Esol classes, but wants to hire out the space at other times. Academy business manager Helen Godfrey said that building work took longer than expected but it has been worth the wait. "It's taken a while for the refurbishment because the building was in such a dire state. We knew that to an extent but to do it up properly needed a lot of work. In fact the only original things left inside are the skirting boards. "It's a total transformation. It's a clean, safe and up-to-date space. It's a fantastic asset and an incredible space for learning and for making those links with our

families and the community." The school has already used the building for its Year 6 summer performance and a meeting room on the mezzanine floor is used most days by staff. Plans are also in the pipeline to use it for drama and music lessons. The space, which can fit 150 people, also boasts two kitchens a small one which can be used for preparing hot drinks and a larger one which is used for school breakfast club and cookery lessons. There are toilets, baby change facilities and the building is wheelchair friendly. The library, which was formerly a picture house, closed in December 2011 when facilities moved to Robinson House, a council customer service point in nearby Hockey's Lane. One of the first jobs carried out when the school took ownership of the building at the end of 2014 was to repaint its salmon pink exterior a smart pale blue to match the school's colours. Work on its interior has been

Community groups are now being sought to rent out space

The former library needed total renovation

No one is feeling blue after the exterior make-over

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continuing ever since and was finally completed towards the end of January. The school wants to encourage community groups to rent the space when it's not being used by pupils. It can be hired out during the day and on evenings. The entire space can be hired or it can be partitioned off into three separate spaces. There is a site manager who looks after the building to make sure it is clean and tidy and tea and coffee is fully stocked. Ms Godfrey said: "We're in the process of drawing up a flyer and getting photographs taken so we can 'launch' but we are ready to let the premises out. "It's already being hired for a stay and play morning on Tuesdays and also for a sing and rhyme group on Thursdays which are both used by young families in the neighbourhood. It's also been used for children's parties. "It could be used by all sorts of groups and activities. We've


had music and movement, yoga as well as all-day training sessions. Other schools throughout Bristol have also used it but up until now I've been dubious about renting it out while I still had people working on the building. "The work has now been finished and we're ready to go!" Anyone interested in hiring space should phone the school on 0117 903 0491.

Did you know? The building used to be Fishponds Picture House, a cinema which opened in 1911 and closed in the 1920s when plans to build the nearby modern Vandyck were touted. The council bought it from the owner and opened it as a public library in December 1927.

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February, 2017


More sport, less sugar is a smart idea BY now many Voice readers will have had the chance to review the council’s new budget proposals and updates to the draft Corporate Strategy launched in January. These documents outline how we propose funding top priorities for the city including my seven key commitments and vital services. I’m grateful for all the thoughts and ideas that were given to us during the initial consultation at the end of last year and I understand that some of the savings ideas aren’t popular. Many other places made these hard decisions a long time ago. Bristol is being forced to catch up and if we don’t do it now we will lose any chance of making savings in a planned, controlled way which can take into account of the needs of local people. A new round of detailed consultation is planned from late January looking at how the council will implement some of the latest savings proposals, if they are approved. You can submit questions to be answered at next month’s special budget focused Full Council meeting on Tuesday February 21. In order to be considered, please get your questions to us by 5pm Wednesday February 15 by emailing

The Mayor’s View Each month Bristol mayor Marvin Rees shares his views with Fishponds Voice

Elsewhere, getting a grip of the city’s finances and ability to deliver services is a priority, we are also working hard to support those in Bristol aiming to improve their own health and fitness during 2017. Whether it’s doing more exercise, eating more fruit and vegetables or just living a healthier lifestyle, many of us will have made ‘New Year’ commitments to try and change our lives for the better. And there should be plenty of inspiration to keep this up as the year goes on. Not only has Bristol got a wealth of active

health groups which aim to make sport and health more accessible, but this is also the city’s year as a European City of Sport. In January I met with 150 key individuals from sporting organisations across the city to discuss the vision for the year ahead and how to develop sporting opportunities for Bristol moving forward. More details are available at However, staying fit and healthy is not always just about exercise. What we eat and drink also has a big impact. Last month was the launch of Bristol’s bid to become a Sugar Smart City. Alongside the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, Bristol Sport Foundation and UWE, we want to raise awareness of where sugar is in hidden in food so that everyone can make more informed choices. Current data shows that 57 per cent of adults and over a third of 10 to 11-year-olds are now overweight in the city - and a quarter of five-yearolds in Bristol have tooth decay. Not only this, but the number of cases of serious life threatening diseases related to a poor diet, such as type 2 diabetes, is increasing. Many of these conditions can be traced directly back to people eating too much sugar. Whilst it can be easy to point out some foods to avoid, some are much harder to spot. If you would like to take action for yourself and your family I would encourage you to head to to get information and advice and discover how we can all eat smarter in the year ahead. And finally, you may have seen reports about proposals for a council house development in south Bristol, the largest in 30 years, as part of my promise to build more homes in Bristol. Plans are still at an early stage but look out for updates in the coming weeks.

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February, 2017


Little music makers create a big din FISHPONDS

Mu m

ALL Saints Church offers a great range of activities for toddlers in 2017. If you don’t yet know the church, it is at the end of Thingwall Park which runs parallel to Fishponds Road, past Eastville Park. This month, we tried Little Music Makers at All Saints on Tuesdays at 10am. Little Music Makers is a very cool new group created by (big) Music Makers, Ali and Robin. They specialise in creating musical and movement experiences for one to five year olds. Their idea is to inspire their natural curiosity and to that end, the 45-minute session is jam-packed full of innovative ways of engaging little ones by learning about a topic. Our week focused on ‘the body,’ which featured a dangly skeleton (presented as educational and funny, rather than scary) and helped my little one to learn the word ‘muscle.’ She also learned a bit about science (ahem, as did I), learned the sound ‘mmmm’ and crawled through various shrinking tubes to stimulate her imagination. Alongside the stimulus, there is live music and songs (if it were an Ofsted rated lesson it would be outstanding, without doubt!) Robin plays a guitar and they both sing and introduce various instruments, which the children then play together, loudly, softly, etc. My 17 month old took a little while to understand the pace, but once she did she was so excited to be part of the experience. I think this was because she could make as much noise as she liked and explore so many different things: the tiny cymbals, just her size, were a hit.



'Help us' plea at Coombe Brook FRIENDS of Coombe Brook Valley have organised a series of events throughout the year - but need your help. The group, which looks after the Fishponds nature reserve, is seeking volunteers for a mixture of litter picking and woodland management sessions. These include seasonally appropriate activities like scrub clearing before birds nest and grass cutting in September. Dates also feature some fun and informative sessions too. All sessions are from 10.30am-12.30pm and volunteers should meet at the top of the steps on Moorlands Road. Dates are as follows: • Sunday Feb 26 – Litter pick/ scrub bash • Saturday March 25 – litter pick • Sunday April 23 – litter pick •Sunday June 25 – Foraging

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Curiosity Ali and Robin are parents of two little ones, so both understand how important it is to encourage their creative development. They have previously worked in Bishopston and are now branching out to Fishponds. They say, “Coming from our own backgrounds in learning and development, music writing, performing and singing, we want to bring something new and exciting to other children, so you too can see them grow and develop as they explore each weekly theme with curiosity and adventure.” If you have a pre-school child and you are looking for another group to join, I would highly recommend Little Music Makers. The people genuinely look like they are having a great time, and, as well as being friendly, it’s expertly structured and planned. A difficult combination to master! My daughter was full of energy by the end and I wanted to stay for more myself. Our first session was free, but I think it is well worth the cost (below). They also run parties, after school clubs as well as other Little Music Maker groups, see their website or call 07799297565 for more information. First session is free, thereafter if you drop in to a session it is £5.50 for one child, and £3 for each additional sibling. Under 1 year olds are free. Sessions are running during term times at the following locations: FISHPONDS: Tuesday mornings 10 - 10.45am, All Saints Church Hall, Grove Road, BS16 2BW BRISLINGTON: Thursday mornings at 9.45am and 10.50am – see the website for details. BISHOPSTON: Monday mornings 11.30am - 12.15pm KudaCan, 7 Dongola Ave, BS7 9HG- Free entry to stay and play at KudaCan if you buy something from their cafe, and attend a Little Music Makers session. Claire Stewart-Hall

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walk • Sunday September 3 – Litter 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 The Friends are also keen to hear any stories, or local history, that older community residents may have about the Coombe Brook Valley. They can be contacted by email at coombebrook@gmail. com. For more information, see groups/FriendsOfCoombeBrook/ or the website http:// friendsofcoombebrookvalley.

Upcoming events: Philosophy talk with Dr Alex Malpass (7-9pm Tickets £3) Feb 14th Caribbean Valentines meals – pls ring to book (0117 9651001) Feb 18th: 80s night! Back by popular demand (7.3011pm Tx £5) Feb 26th: Why sing? Music talk with Tomos Watkins (7-9pm Tx £3) Mar 9th: Spirit Night- mediumship demo (7.30 – 10pm Tx £10) Mar 12th: History of Fishponds Workhouse - Bristol Radical History Gp (7-9pm) Tx £3 Feb 5th:

And more! FFI see www.thekingfisherbristol. facebook/thekingfisherbristol.

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Spotlight On...

THAT'S our aim, but who are we? Fishponds Planning comprises a small but dedicated group of around 30 local residents who care passionately about the area in which they live. In short, we’re determined that the local community should be fully involved and represented in the development of their area and should benefit from the developments. We are an affiliated subgroup of the Greater Fishponds Neighbourhood Partnership, which covers the electoral wards of Eastville, Frome Vale and Hillfields, and are made up of residents, councillors, community and voluntary groups and public agencies, and we use their assistance on planning matters whenever possible. Fishponds Planning’s members cover many cross-

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We want to make Fishponds an even better place… sections of Fishponds’ diverse community, but we still need more of you from all communities to join us. Only then can we fully represent everyone’s views and make Fishponds a great place for everyone. So, what have we done? Well, in the short time that we’ve been around, we have undertaken two neighbourhood surveys, supported the Make Sunday Special event in Fishponds Park last year and helped out with the Christmas lights and the Glow in the Park in Fishponds Park organised by the Friends of Fishponds Park at Christmas. From the surveys, we are working out what it is that people want, don’t want, like and dislike about Fishponds, so that we can use that as a template for what to ask for in current and

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future developments. From the planning side of things, we have passed comment on several of the large developments proposed in the Fishponds area including Beacon Tower, the Speedwell Pool development, the Ebenezer Chapel conversion on Fishponds Road and pushing for more social and affordable housing at Blackberry Hill. So, what are we doing? We are currently looking to create site development plans for some sites around Fishponds, to identify how we can build our survey results into new developments. We only tend to look at residential development sites of 10 units or more or commercial developments that are of public interest – we don’t get involved with people’s extensions or loft conversions. We have also held a small workshop on January 24 to prioritise the current sites, as we

can only really focus on one at a time, and we want to put the most effort we can into each one. Want to know more? Please take a look at our website or join our Facebook page (details below), or just come along to our next meeting on Thursday February 23 at 7.30pm at UWE Glenside Campus (which UWE generously let us use free of charge). You don’t need any planning experience, you just need an interest in helping to get the best for Fishponds. So, if you’ve got an idea, are fed up with developments seemingly being foisted on Fishponds and want to make Fishponds a great place to live, please join us and have a voice in your community. Grant Hudson Chair of Fishponds Planning Facebook: Fishponds Planning

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February, 2017



Choosing a puppy IT CAN be difficult to choose a dog that will fit into your lifestyle. You will need to consider exercise requirements, the hours you work, the size the dog will reach, how easy they are to train and consider pets and children that are already in the household. Is it likely the new addition would get along with them? Many good dog breed books will score a breed on each of those categories. When sourcing a dog we strongly recommend initially approaching rehoming centres. They have many dogs that have been surrendered through not fault of their own. They can help you select the best pet for your lifestyle and usually offer support beyond adoption. If you are after a particular breed, there are often breed specific rescues throughout the UK. If you are unable to adopt a dog, you may consider approaching a breeder. The kennel club has a list of ‘assured breeders’

whose premises have been inspected by the kennel club, and whose dogs are tested for diseases associated with the breed. The full details can be found on the kennel club website www.thekennelclub. Wherever you source a puppy from it is important to make sure you see it with their mother and littermates. Are they in a household environment? Also check the puppy for any signs of being ill, e.g. not interacting with littermates, runny eyes or nose or signs of diarrhoea. Here at Kingswood Vet4Pets, we do like a good cuddle from a puppy! So feel free to take advantage of our £55 best start in life package which includes initial vaccines, a bag of food, microchip or kennel cough vaccine, 10% off neutering and their first dose of flea and worm treatment!! Call us on 0117 961 6417.

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February, 2017


Boxing charity is pleased as punch with £15,000 support Charlotte Leslie MP with Empire Fighting Chance and Morrisons representatives at the cheque handover

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A CHARITY which was set up by a Downend man to give young people a 'fighting chance' has been given a huge £15,000 boost. Martin Bisp started Empire Fighting Chance with Jamie Sanigar in 2013 after witnessing a drug deal outside the Empire Boxing Club in St Paul's. Since then the pair have made it their mission to identify youngsters on the verge of serious trouble, take them under their wing and offer stability and structure through coaching, education and personal support. The £15,000 cash injection by the Morrisons Foundation, a charity launched by the supermarket, will help them reach out to many more young people. Over the years the charity has worked closely with the police, schools, pupil referral units and Bristol City Council. It has also worked with the NHS as part of the drive to reduce obesity and run programmes specifically developed to help people with mental health issues. Today, Empire Fighting Chance works with more than 200 young people a week across the city and the Morrisons Foundation’s money will help them develop their facilities and equipment to help even more youngsters. The charity was backed for the award money by Bristol


North West MP Charlotte Leslie, chair of the all-party group on boxing and a long-time backer of the sport and the positive impact it can have on the lives of young people who may otherwise get into trouble. Charlotte, a trustee of the charity, said: "Empire Fighting chance is so inspiring and have shown by actions, not words, that young lives can be turned around by boxing. "As a teenager, boxing was vital to me in teaching me discipline, respect, and selfesteem, and it can do the same for so many young - and not so young - people." Martin Bisp said: "We are extremely pleased to have been awarded this grant from the Morrisons Foundation. This will make a significant and lasting difference to those people in Bristol’s communities that are most in need." David Scott, trustee of the Morrisons Foundation, said: "Empire Fighting Chance offers an effective alternative to traditional intervention and has a track record of helping to improve the lives of hard to reach young people. We are delighted to have awarded a £15,000 grant to support a programme which we're sure will make a lasting difference to young people in the area."

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February, 2017 Planning expert Chris Gosling discusses full and ouline planning permission THIS month I will be taking a look at an aspect of planning that often confuses people - the difference between full and outline planning permission. The difference is critical when applying for permission. It affects the level of information that has to be submitted with the application and, when the outcome is unknown, effectively becomes a decision on whether you pay the architect up front or wait until you and everyone else is certain of the outcome. Outline planning permission is often the less risky option. In its simplest form, the question that you are asking is not: Can I build this? Rather can I have planning permission in principle for…? There are five categories of detail that you can add to this straightforward question with an outline application: Appearance; Means of access; Landscaping; Layout and Scale. These are fairly self-descriptive. Layout covers not just buildings and open spaces, but also routes across the site. Scale includes the size of each building in terms of width, height and length. Once you have your outline planning permission, a later Reserved Matters application will have to respect the parameters you have set yourself. You may therefore ask why would anybody want to volunteer any more information than is necessary? Well, there are two reasons to do so: To provide the planning authority with enough information on which to make a decision and to prevent having to go through the process of applying twice, with the resulting time delay. Within 28 days of the receipt of an outline planning application, the local planning authority can require details of any of the Reserved Matters listed above that they believe are essential to allow them to make their decision. For example, this could mean that the access point has to form part of the plans to ensure that highway safety issues can be assessed. Conversely, if they consider there is no safe point along the site boundary at which to form an entrance, the council should not be requesting further details for an application that they would be refusing on highway grounds anyway. To seek further unnecessary information in these circumstances, they would risk a claim of costs. In practice, it is better for an applicant applying for outline permission to be prepared to provide more than the very minimal information, or at



Planning matters least to be prepared to commission it in a hurry. Applying for full planning permission means that you only have to go through the process once. You are demonstrating what it is that you want to achieve, in a manner that the planners and the public should be able to understand. It will be obvious what is to be built and where the windows will be, whether any trees will be lost etc. From looking at the plans on or next to the site, neighbours should be able to work out what is proposed and where. With that information they can assess the likely impact upon their property. In general, outline permission is the most appropriate way forward for someone who is looking to sell the site on, without doing the works themselves. It not only avoids the commitment of architects fees for a scheme that the applicant has no intention to build, but it also means that the buyer will be able to apply for their own vision of what they want to build on the site. Such a subsequent application, that ‘fills in the blanks’ is known as Reserved Matters application. An outline permission without the Reserved Matters cannot be implemented. With it, they become a full planning permission. On larger developments, such as the Glenside Hospital application, the difference between the two types of applications is critical for other reasons. The Section 106 contributions have to be included at outline stage. What such contributions will be and their impact on the viability of a scheme is an important part of the assessment of what will ultimately be built. For this reason, developers usually shy away from submitting large scale full applications. With so much to get right at the same time, providing full plans can entail so many changes to those plans. It is more streamlined to keep to a layout, with a set number of houses and then find out what contributions will be required. If approved, this also sets the value of the site and leaves the door open for selling it on.

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Raising aspirations MORE than 2,000 students from east Bristol converged on the University of the West of England for the annual Raising Aspirations careers event. Year 9 students from twelve different schools within and outside the Cabot Learning Federation (CLF) took part in the two-day event. Students listened to key note speakers, took part in workshops and sought help, advice and information from the fifty companies and higher education organisations exhibiting there. These included Airbus, the British Army, Bristol City FC, DAC Beachcroft, Burges Salmon University of the West of England, Rolls Royce and Avon and Somerset Police. Tim Holmes, advice and guidance leader at Bristol Metropolitan Academy, said: “Being inspired and having high aspirations is what this event was all about. Providing good quality information and opportunities to talk to employers and hear about the many different pathways open to young people, continues to encourage the careers and employability agenda in schools."

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February, 2017



Don't make it easy for burglars to strike

YOU may be aware that towards the end of last year there were a number of ‘car key’ burglaries in Fishponds and surrounding areas, where thieves were breaking in whilst families were asleep in their homes and stealing the keys to make off with cars, as well as taking other items such as handbags. In December a 19-year-old man was jailed for four years and three months after admitting burglary and taking a vehicle without consent. He asked the court to

take into consideration around 40 offences over the past five years, the majority in Kingswood and St George, with others in Brislington, Downend, Fishponds, Hanham, Hillfields, Mangotsfield, Speedwell and Staple Hill. At the same hearing an 18-yearold man was given a six month prison term, suspended for 18 months, for burglary and being carried in a stolen vehicle, while the third man, also 18, was given a 12-month community order, including 80 days’ unpaid work and a 20 day rehabilitation activity requirement. Everyone has a part to play in keeping burglars out: Always lock doors and windows and set the alarm, if you have one, at night as well as when you go out. Always lock your door with a key – simply pulling up the handle until it clicks isn’t enough, as thieves can easily disengage the lock and break in Never leave your keys in the back of the door, as they can be

hooked out through the letterbox. Hide your keys, handbag or wallet safely out of sight Join Neighbourhood Watch. Not one in your area? Consider setting one up! Speak to your beat team or search ‘neighbourhood watch’ on our website. You can find more crime prevention information on our new microsite: www.aspolicestaysafe. February 2 is Time to Talk Day and aims to bring the nation together and talking, to break the silence around mental health problems. Just talking sounds easy, but the stigma surrounding mental health problems can be one of the worst parts of the illness for the one in four of us that are affected. We want to understand and support in the most appropriate way. Last year, we joined forces with other emergency services to create a Mental Health Triage Team, ensuring that those with mental health problems get the care they need and ultimately don’t end up

in a police cell. Throughout February, we’ll be encouraging people to open and up and talk about mental health issues and supporting wherever we can to break down the barriers which can prevent people seeking the help they need. Remember, the road to recovery can start with a simple ‘hello’. For more on Time to Talk, visit www.time-to-change. Sergeant Anthony Westwell

New Year Sale our standard fees for all New Year instructions. Closing date 31/03/2017 t&c’s apply.

764 Fishponds Road, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3UA Tel: 0117 965 3162 To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261


Got News? Call Linda On 0777 0700579



February, 2017

n WHAT’S ON IN OUR AREA Saturday February 4 n Craft fayre and Coffee Morning. 10am-1pm. Entrance is free. Bristol Repair Café also open. All Saints Community Hall, Grove Road Fishponds. BS16 2DH Tuesday February 7 n Natural History Society at Lincombe Barn, Downend Folk House, Overndale Road, 7.30 pm. Talk on “The Gambia – the birds and other animals” presented by Pauline Robinson. Visitors welcome £3 Friday February 10 n Music for Enjoyment 2 pm – 4 pm at Lincombe Barn, Overndale Road, Downend. An afternoon of recorded music entitled “Around the World,” presented by Pam Gooding. Visitors welcome £2 Friday February 10 n Activate Fishponds drop-in lunchtime concert at Fishponds Methodist Church, Guinea Lane, Fishponds from 1-2 p.m., welcoming the "Frenchay Foxes" for an hour of harmony & fun. Tea and coffee available, Entrance free.  Retiring collection. Contact  0117 965 4521. Tuesday February 14 n Speaker morning with coffee. Alan Freke's talk "An utterly good man" outlines the life of F D Maurice, who grew up in Frenchay. He was one of the great Victorian reformers, without whom we would not have had Prime Ministers Gladstone or Macmillan, nor would there have been a Labour Party. He also founded the first college to give degrees to women. Downend Folk House, Lincombe Barn. 10 for 10.30am. Pay at the door. Saturday February 14 Small group workshop on Speaking up without losing kindness (Gentle Resilience Day), 10.30 am to 4.30 pm Details and booking: http:// Tuesday February 21 n Downend Local History Society, Downend Folk House, Lincombe Barn, Overndale Road. Talk by Mike Britton on the topic Let’s Send a Postcard Visitors welcome at a cost of £3. Friday February 24 n Music for Enjoyment 2 pm – 4 pm at Lincombe Barn, Overndale Road, Downend. An afternoon of recorded music on the theme “War and Peace,” presented by Jeanette McCormack. Visitors welcome £2 Saturday February 25 Breakfast at Speedwell Methodist Church BS15 1ES 10am to noon. A full breakfast, or just coffee or tea and cake. No need to hurry. An opportunity to ask for prayer. All welcome. Wednesday March 1 n Downend Flower Club, Lincombe Barn, Overndale Road, at 7.30 pm. Demonstration by Sally Taylor on "Sallying forth again". Visitors welcome, pay at the door. Thursday March 2 n Annual General Meeting Downend Folk House, Lincombe Barn. 7.30pm Friday March 3 n Tea Dance. Downend Folk House, Lincombe Barn.1.453.45pm. Pay at door.


n Gentle/beginners drop-in yoga 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

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

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


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 Morning Prayer, St John’s Church 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


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 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 Fishponds Townswomen’s Guild, Beechwood Club, Beechwood Road, first Tuesday of the month 2pm. The programme changes monthly but includes coffee afternoons and outings. For details call Barbara Davies on 0117 9653557. n Fishponds Townswomen’s Guild, Briarwood School, Briar Way, Fishponds , second Tuesday of the month 7.15pm. Call 0779 9108 890 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. 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.

Got News? Call Jayne On 0788 0731148


February, 2017 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


n New weekly Salsa class for complete beginners with Cressida. Cross Hands Pub, 1 Staple Hill Road. 7.30-9pm includes social and dancing. No partner needed. Ffi call 07808 581739 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. 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 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,

To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261


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

Continued on next page

Miscellaneous No. 2028639


October 31, 2016

WHEREAS I have been satisfied by Statutory Declaration that the duplicate Certificate of Title for ALL THAT parcel of land part CONTENT AND RETREAT PEN in the Parish of KINGSTON being the lot numbered THREE on the Plan of part of Content and Retreat Pen aforesaid deposited in the Office of Titles on the 3rd October, 1958 of the shape and dimensions and butting as appears by the Plan and being the land registered at Volume 935 Folio 469 of the Register Book of Titles in the name of AZIE MILLER and LELEITH MILLER — AND ALL THAT parcel of land part of CONTENT AND RETREAT PEN in the Parish of KINGSTON being the lot numbered FOUR on the Plan of part of Content and Retreat Pen aforesaid deposited in the Office of Titles on the 3rd October, 1958 of the shape and dimensions and butting as appears by the Plan and being the land registered at Volume 935 Folio 470 of the Register Book of Titles in the name of AZIE MILLER and LELEITH MILLER — has been lost:I HEREBY GIVE NOTICE that I intend at or after the expiration of fourteen days after the last appearance of this advertisement to DISPENSE with the production of the duplicate Certificates of Title and to ENDORSE on the originals Miscellaneous No. 2028638 to note the fact of death of the above named AZIE MILLER and thereafter cancel the said Certificate of Title and to register new Certificates in duplicate in place thereof.


Got News? Call Linda On 0777 0700579



February, 2017

n WHAT’S ON CONTINUED 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


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 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

Est 1984

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. 10am-noon on alternate Fridays. Professional tuition. Sessions will be held on alternate Fridays. Cost is £5 per session and materials are supplied. Limited numbers so please, in the first place, contact Paul Foss on 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


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,


n Morning Worship and children’s group, Speedwell Methodist Church, 378 Speedwell Road. 10.30am Friendly, informal and

La Porta Barbering Company

lively. 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 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.

Focus on Phoenix Art Club We are a group of amateur artists who meet every Wednesday morning in the Fishponds Methodist Church Hall in Guinea Lane, from 10 until 12. Our members use a variety of media, including watercolour, oil, pastel, pencil and acrylic. We are all at different levels of accomplishment and relish the opportunity to learn from our fellow members. Every week we have a tea/coffee We do not offer tuition; however, we have demonstrations from local artists, and workshops once or twice a year. In March last year Chris Stinchcombe from Henleaze, gave us a pastel demonstration, and in October we had a workshop given by Paul Weaver, a Downend based watercolour artist Twice a year we have an exhibition. Last year's were at Iron Acton May Day Fair, in the parish hall, and in the Vassall Centre in October. Most of our work is for sale, and several visitors have commented that we should be charging more for our paintings, given their standard! As well as selling our work, the exhibitions serve to publicise the group, and attract new members. This year's exhibitions will be at Iron Acton May Day fair a) and in the Beechwood Club in Beechwood Road in November. Membership stands at £40 pa, starting in October, but can be negotiated for a part year for those joining later.

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



February, 2017

n BUSINESS OF THE MONTH What service do you provide to the people of Fishponds? The Beauty Retreat is a brand new beauty salon located in the Stapleton area of Bristol. We are currently three beauticians offering a wide range of beauty treatments to both women and men, in a warm, relaxing and welcoming environment. Treatments we provide include; threading, waxing, manicures, pedicures, shellac, manual tanning, eyelash and eyebrow treatments, hopi ear candling, massage and facials. Booking is recommended, but walk-in appointments are available.

What is the background behind your business? I first learnt how to thread from the age of 14, after a trip to Iran where I had my eyebrows shaped for the very first time. Since then I have been extremely interested in all aspects of beauty and makeup, and have spent much time researching new beauty trends and performing beauty treatments on my friends and family. At the same time, I began to grow a strong passion for business through my A-level studies at Colston’s school in Stapleton, and watching my father

Focus on The Beauty Retreat What are the plans for the future of The Beauty Retreat?

succeed in his own restaurant business. I knew I wanted to own my own business, and I knew it would definitely be related to beauty in some way. As a result, I went on to study business and management at University, and complimented my degree with qualifications in beauty therapy and part-time employment in beauty salons in and around Bristol.

What makes your salon different? The Beauty Retreat is a concept, which originally started out as a male only beauty salon that I first developed at university as part of an enterprise module. From

To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261

my research and experience of working in salons, I noticed that the main concerns with other beauty salons in Bristol was the lack of privacy offered to clients, together with a feeling of being rushed when receiving treatments. I wanted to create a place where people can go to get away from the stresses of everyday life, and not feel like they are being rushed or on-show to passers-by. The salon has been specifically designed with this is mind. I think that we have created a welcoming, friendly and relaxed environment that our clients can enjoy and benefit from. We also pride ourselves in being one of the only salons in Bristol that offer a ‘just for men’ treatment menu. We would like to encourage more men to experience the benefits of male grooming, as it is after all a market that is growing twice that of the female one! We would like men to feel comfortable enough to come in to the salon to receive treatments, and not feel embarrassed by doing so.


Although we have only been open since September 1st, we have created a strong rapport with many of the local residents and businesses. Many of our regular clients have become more like friends, and we have been positively received by all in the area. I hope that in the future, we can build on our initial success and become an established part of the community. I would like to see more men take advantage of our treatments and would like The Beauty Retreat to be known as the go-to beauty establishment for both women and men, not only in the Fishponds area, but throughout Bristol.

We look forward to seeing you at The Beauty Retreat.

The Beauty Retreat Yasmin Hosseini (Owner) 1 Averay Road, Stapleton, Bristol, BS16 1BL Telephone: 0117 951 6020 Website: www. Email: info@ Facebook: thebeautyretreatbristol

Got News? Call Jayne On 0788 0731148


February, 2017



Great way to do good with unwanted gifts A CHARITY that supports young adults with learning difficulties is calling on the Fishponds community to help with its latest initiative. PROPS - Providing Opportunities and Support - is based at the Vassall Centre and runs sessions to give people in their mid to late 20s important life skills so they can lead independent and fulfilling lives. The charity is collecting unwanted toiletries so the young people can package them and present them to elderly people living in care homes. Workers and volunteers say they would be grateful if Fishponds Voice readers could donate any toiletries, including Christmas gifts, that they do not need. Helen Brittain, curriculum leader, said: "We're hoping it will be more than just dropping off the toiletries. It's an opportunity for students to meet new people and find out about other people

in our community. It's also good work experience for them to do something which is beneficial for other people." Rather than just provide activities for the young adults, PROPS believes learning should involve the outside world. So if the young people take part in gardening activities, which in itself is therapeutic and physical, they will also go on to either cook and eat the produce



HEN Servicing & Repairs BRING YOU + +IN T New & Reconditioned bikes + ADVER HIS T Vintage Restoration Servicing & Cycle Repairs Components & Accessories LED light set RT

New & Reconditioned bikes Helmet Vintage Restoration (Next to the Cross Hands Pub) Adventure Prime hybrid bike (Ladies or Gents) Components &AllAccessories this for only Tel: 0117 939 (with mudguards, chain guard and pannier rack)2746 5 Staple Hill Road, Fishponds BS16 5AA | email:

they have grown or sell it in the community. "We operate as a business enterprise in a way, with all the proceeds coming back into PROPS," explains Helen. Another example is students' artwork which is sold either at the Vassall Centre or at various pop-up shops hosted by big businesses like Aviva. "We also have a print workshop where other businesses and individuals can order things like banners and T-shirts and our students will help with the designing, printing and going out on deliveries. We also make handmade soap, candles, cards, and paper to sell. "Some of our students

come & join

Free Food February at Slimming World




5 Staple Hill Road, Fishponds BS16 5AA

will go on to employment so it is very useful for them to get some skills. We have also organised work placements which means students will be able to put that on their CVs. Other students, who may not go on to employment, are still earning valuable life-skills as well as work-related skills like teamwork, time-keeping skills and communication. "We don't want our students just to come here and stay at PROPS, it is nice for them to interact with the community and make links." PROPS is looking for more opportunities for students to sell their wares so would love the chance to be invited to any community events. Anyone wishing to donate toiletries can drop them to the Vassall Centre. Care homes interested in forging links with the charity should call Helen on 0117 965 3514. More information is at

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Mondays 7.30pm The Beechwood Club Beechwood Road Amy 07462 727229

FISHPONDS Tuesday 9.30am and 11.30am The Beechwood Club Beechwood Road Amy 07462 727229

SPEEDWELL Tuesday 5.30 and 7.30pm Argyle Morley Church Whitefield Road Martyn 07706 033391


EASTVILLE NEW GROUP Wednesday 7.30pm Glenfrome Primary School Cottisford Road Abbie 07703 834215

FISHPONDS Thursdays 5.30 and 7.30pm St Matthias Park School Alexandra Park Zoe 07427 150670

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February, 2017

n GARDENING TRADITIONALLY the coldest month, February is the beginning of the excitement I always get when I start to see signs of the end of winter, and the first tempting indication of spring emerging from the ground. Since mid January there have been signs of the Autumn sown bulbs, and even the buds of a Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ that I’d almost forgotten about. From that I’m going to take some root cuttings this week before it get’s too large, if I leave much longer it will be too late. Winter is a good time to take root cuttings and get the new plants growing for Spring but we are getting a little late by now. By the end of the month we’ll have the sun setting at around 6pm, that will really lift the spirits of anyone who has a tendency for the Winter blues. I usually have a positive disposition, but this season I have found even myself suffering from the prolonged damp and dark conditions. It’s also a busy month when it comes to starting to sow seeds for this years vegetables, annuals, and some more perennials. To make sure that nothing gets left out, and to manage sowing of so many different plants, I came up with a simple but effective system. Using little pots or just using elastic bands, I group the seeds




city gardener By Tim Barton

into months that they need to be sown, this means that each week, or simply when there’s space in the propagator, I just take the months seeds and sow something new or a successional sowing of one of this years vegetables. The February and March groups are by far the largest and so it takes a bit of planning to assure that I have enough space at any one time. Successional sowing is one of the most important keys to getting a long season out of vegetables, but annuals and perennial plants should really be sown according to the calendar, unless they’re growing under managed conditions. I did say that I’d report back on the grow lights that I acquired from Britain’s favourite (at least most popular) furniture store, and I’m glad to say that they are proving extremely useful. One of the issues that I have is that unless I move new seedlings into the greenhouse, which can get very cold, and is prone to severe slug damage when it’s clement, I have only a room that is insufficiently lit. As it stands I have lettuce, Rudbeckias, Chilli, Antirrhinum and various other seedlings all growing nicely, until they are big enough for the big time, or simply get moved because of space. I make my own seed compost from leaf mould from the allotment, perlite and a little compost. The proportions

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yourself with some of these. * Force rhubarb as it should be starting to grow quite nicely now * Sow early vegetables and ones that have a long season, like leeks, onions and celeriac * Many annuals are sown this month so looks at your seed packets and make sure you don’t miss anything * Cut back shrubs like Dogwood (Cornus) and Willow (Salix) down to their base to get a good new growth and a nice display at the end of the year * This is the last chance that you’ll get to move any shrubs and trees around * Finish clearing up any winter debris such as dead leaves and think about tidying up old plants in preparation for this years growth * Pot on rooted cuttings that were taken last year * Prune winter flowering shrubs now that the colour has faded * Get excited

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are not an exact science, but as seedlings contain all of the energy and nutrients that they need to get going, you don’t want to give them anything too rich. This is why the leaf mould makes a good base and something for the roots to get started in, the perlite is there to add drainage and prevent water logging. I tend to use something in the region of 2:2:1 of leaf mould, perlite and compost but equal proportions would be fine, most plants aren’t too fussy. Some seeds like courgette and and pumpkin are prone to rotting so especially need the drainage. If you’re not making it though, I highly recommend getting a commercial mix for the job, the rate of success will be much higher than just sticking some seeds in a pot of all purpose compost. Now that the Wassail at the orchard is over, we can really start to look forward to another bountiful harvest and a year of joy in the company of the plants that hopefully most of us enjoy. If you haven’t got the space or time to tend your own then remember to stop once it a while and appreciate the trees, and even the humble weeds that surround us. This is the last chance before the garden will require more attention for you to get some of the more menial tasks over and done with, so wrap up warm and employ

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February, 2017

n CULTURAL FIX WITH ANNA BLIGHTMAN LOVE is…oh really, must we? I’m not a non-believer but the idea that it all gets centred around one day a year seems to me a little bit, erm, tacky. Love should be ever present, not resigned to one day where you force yourself into a restaurant to sit surrounded by other couples doing exactly the same thing. Do something totally different, out of the ordinary. Go fly a kite or walk through the woods. Be original… Here in our very own little corner of the world, there is a

unique space that is filled with weird and wonderful creations, quirky and kitsch artefacts, and a very stylish lady. Welcome to The Curious Cabinet. A melange of ideas, spaces, artefacts and experiences, The Curious Cabinet really is an intriguing world, and at the helm is artist Sadie Spikes. Within her home in Fishponds, Sadie has created her own personal studio and gallery space where she can make her artwork and explore and develop new creative directions and enterprises. Her work is visually intriguing, layered and oddly delicate but at the same time robust. Mixing disciplines, materials and mediums, it often evokes a sense of disquiet, attempting perhaps to halt time. Sadie continues to practice her disciplines, push her boundaries and learn from the process. Occasionally she will host an open studio within The Curious Cabinet and invite people to view her work. These are great opportunities to delve into her mind and bring out what you can from it. I am hoping to persuade her to show at The Kingfisher so watch this space!

Artwork created by Sadie Spikes at her studio, The Curious Cabinet With her distinct eye for art, style and design, Sadie has also, as a business, turned her home into the most beautiful guest house I have seen. With two stunning rooms nestled at the top of the house, the a personal time, energy and love that has gone into creating them is apparent. Each room has been carefully curated by Sadie, from the fresh white laundry to the vintage suitcases, to the roll

top baths, every detail has been pondered over and chosen with consideration. It really is a work of art and love. For more information on Sadie’s work and The Curious Cabinet contact Sadie Spikes via her website http://www. Anna Blightman anna@thedistandfuture

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February, 2017



with Tim Button, Doctor of Chiropractic at Cleve Chiropractic and Next step in Mangotsfield

Blog 37 – A lively

start to 2017


T the time of writing the last blog, the Christmas parties were in full swing and I was hanging on by a thread. After the Bristol Rovers staff night out I could have been knocked over my either my two year old daughter Molly or my, recently turned one, son, Harry. So it was with trepidation that the famous Cleve Chiropractic and Next Step Christmas party commenced. This year we stayed

fishpondssvvooiiccee January, 2017


children that helps A CHARITYis launching a New with cancer for donations after s Fishpond Year appeal struck at its arsonists branch. in Straits CLIC Sargent,nearly £40,000 lost Parade, has the following of income and burglary on arson attack r 12. been Novembe which has The shop, r 1989, was Novembe the open since close following loss of forced to to the huge blaze, leading will income. the branch as yet Although bosses say reopen, charity to give a date. they are unable- which asks The appeal £5 - coincides donate people to releasing CCTV with police man they believe can a footage of their enquiries. help with has proved a major last The fire charity which in blow for the 619 families year supported West. nearly the South equates to The money charity money the half of the grants last year. gave out in head of said: Jason Webster, CLIC Sargent, trading at on donationsit’s and so "We rely entirely vital work and our to fund our g for us been devastatin s to see this . amazing volunteer before Christmas right happen


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jumped…just a little. Molly now knows the words ‘Christ’ and ‘that was a big bird’. Not exactly what every parent wants to hear but hey I’m surprised I didn’t say anything else…but she’s right those seagulls in Cornwall are massive, it must be all the extra radiation. At work, January sees all the new year, new you, propaganda and we are no different so James has set up an indoor boot camp for you all in Mangotsfield on a Tuesday morning at 9:30am for an hour after the school run for only £37.50 for 5 classes. He’s also doing personal training 1 to 1 or 2 to 1. You can book a set of 10 1 to 1’s for only £250. For more details please check out the Next Step Centre website.

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afternoon we completed and exchanged; Thursday we moved into my Mum and Dads and the amazing RJ Removals packed up our house (they were so good, I am never packing up my own house ever again!); Friday they moved us and with the steadfast help of Molly and Harry, Jenny and Mum and Dad unpacked as I worked my last day of the year; Saturday (Christmas Eve) we drove to Port Isaac in Cornwall to spend Christmas with my brother and his family. The story doesn’t end there. I may consider myself a man of the world but as I was a born and bred Bristolian I am arguably a ‘city boy’. Now I hear from my brother over and over that Cornwall is different, it is a country of its own apparently and recently there have even been reports of an escaped lion killing deer and scaring locals. So on the drive down we were all on the look out for the magnificent beast when with only 20 minutes to go, what appeared to be a goat with wings, flew into my windscreen smashing it and even knocking off my rear-view mirror. I saw it at the last second swoop in and I may have


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local and went to Bottegino’s in Emersons Green, well that was after and before the pub! The night was going well until Practice Managers Kate and Sarah decided to start on the flaming Sambucas. Now for all my younger readers a ‘Flaming Sambuca’ is a type of Exotic African bird …for my older readers, well that’s just what I think I saw. Just to add a little spice to the endurance month of December, we decided to move house…last minute…just before Christmas. We looked at a shiny David Wilson new build house in Keynsham on the 14th of November and as they were so keen to pay our stamp duty and part exchange our house we thought we’d give it a go. Give it a go?! What was I thinking?! I forgot what stress it is moving house and doing it in 5 weeks pushed the boundaries of my already over stretched brain. The solicitors, BLB in Trowbridge were brilliant to be fair, they had to be, but the amount of paperwork and the subsequent problem fixing when you buy and sell a house at exactly the same time tests your unflappability. To add to that getting a mortgage isn’t simple when you own and run a business but Mortgage Express did a sterling job. So in the last week before Christmas on Monday it was all doom and gloom with moving looking impossible; Tuesday evening the Mortgage money finally came through; Wednesday




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February, 2017

n THOUGHT FOR THE MONTH I HAVE lived in Bristol for 20 years and think it's a great city with great people. However, this is very different from the first impressions I was given! When I moved from Birmingham I was told that the people weren't too friendly, and then my first impression after coming off the M32, with traffic lights everywhere, was that of an old race track. Then of course there were traffic jams everywhere and a funny little flyover on the edge of town! However, it did not take too long to discover what made the City of Bristol great. Our city is an ideal size and is surrounded by super villages, and places to walk with lovely country pubs. It has a great history, is full of great buildings and has the wonderful St Nicholas Market. John Wesley, George Muller, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and The Wurzels have all stamped their mark on Bristol and have influenced us greatly. We have beautiful parks, great charities, and a huge cultural diversity which brings great food, great churches and wonderful places of entertainment. Even our football

We have soft hearts, my lover! teams are improving (I can relate being a Birmingham City fan!) Embracing Bristol, I quickly learnt to say 'Cheers Drive', everyone became 'My Lover', we wear 'daps', a slide is called a slider, and we stick the letter 'l' on the end of words like 'ideal'. What really makes our city great though, is its people. We have a tough exterior but soft hearts. When called upon Bristolians step up, as compassionate and kind-hearted folk. This is what I have discovered over time as I looked a little closer. You see, we often need to go beyond our first impressions... When I arrived in Brizzle, a small team of us knocked on pretty much all the doors in our community, to discover their views on Jesus, the Church and their community. The people were very friendly, most had a faith in Jesus, spoke fondly of their community and even had good memories of their church. For me this was my

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give it a try! It’s a great way to go beyond your first impressions of Church. It's a great way to discover more about God, Church, what the Bible says (and doesn’t say), the person of Jesus, and to discuss all these things with other like-minded people. We will be hosting an Alpha course at The Sanctuary Church, in Staple Hill, from Wednesday 8th February for 7 weeks, and providing a free evening meal as we discuss one of life’s big questions each week. I'd love to meet you. To book a place call the Sanctuary Church on 0117 956 3300.


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‘Facebook’ experience of Bristol, as I discovered more than just a name or a photo, and went deeper into the fabric of the community, uncovering what was behind my first impressions. Unless we take the time to go beyond our first impressions, we can go through life with false ideas (ideals?!) about things. My first impression of Church was that it was cold, not too friendly and very set in its routines. But, truth is, I hadn't really attended a church to break down those first impressions. It was only when I turned 14 and I accepted an invitation to go to a church meeting that I stepped past my first impressions and began to understand what it was about. I then began a journey of getting to know about the person who was spoken of before He was even born, who upset the religious authorities, touched the lives of ordinary folk and proceeded to change the world. I discovered that Jesus Christ lived to draw people back into relationship with God, and I began to go deeper into my own relationship with God. When we’re willing to let go of our first impressions, life becomes a wonderful journey, with many ups and downs but always with great discovery. There is more to discover about God, His Son and the Holy Spirit. Many Churches have Alpha Courses this time of year - you may have seen Bear Grylls’ face on billboards recently, advertising an Alpha Course near you. Let me encourage you to

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February, 2017



Community helps clean up Stapleton Rd THE community in Easton came together to clean-up one of Bristol’s fly-tipping hot spots. Organised by Muslims for Bristol, 15 people took to the streets to collect litter and clean up Stapleton Road. The clean-up, which was supported by Bristol Waste Company, is part of the Bristol Clean Streets Campaign which was launched by the Mayor back in November.

The organisers now hope that this will become a regular event, with volunteers giving up a few hours every month. Mohammed El Sharif, who helped organise the clean-up, said: “The community and local businesses are very keen to keep Stapleton Road clean and change the image and perception of the area. “We had people from all communities take part and the street looked completely different afterwards. “We want this to be a monthly event, it will just be a couple of hours a month, and people are willing to give up their time. “We are supporting the Mayor’s Clean Streets Campaign. It is our pledge, as residents of Bristol, that we need to keep the city clean.” Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees has made a pledge that Bristol will be measurably cleaner by 2020. He said: “The Clean Streets

Campaign is part of my seven key commitments to Bristol, putting more resource towards a cleaner, safer city. I am pleased that community groups and businesses are working together to improve Stapleton Road. “Through the campaign I’m bringing many partners together and asking people to

join us in cleaning up our home. If we all work together, we can really reduce the amount of dirty streets, litter, fly-tipping and all that’s defacing our local communities. "Let’s be proud of where we live and work together to achieve the goal of clean streets by 2020."

n LITTLEST RESCUE ADAM and Eve are currently looking for their furever home together, they are 1 years old, neutered and vaccinated. They are looking for a large outdoor or indoor home with lots to play with! They are extremely friendly buns and Adam just adores affection! If you think you could give these guys a furever home then please email us at or call us on 0117 956 1981. We are also currently looking for a new premises to locate our rescue at if you think you would be able to help us do this within bristol area please contact us, thank you.

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February, 2017


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February, 2017




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Fishponds Voice February 2017  

Local newspaper packed with news, views and advertising for the residents and businesses of the Greater Fishponds area.