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fishpondsvoice July, 2020 — ISSUE 64

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AFTER three months like no others in memory, Fishponds is emerging from coronavirus lockdown. The virus has taken a toll, not only in terms of lives, jobs and opportunities lost but in other ways, impossible to measure but felt by everyone: time spent separated from friends and loved ones and the loss of the ordinary routines and pleasures of life we took for granted. But there has also been a huge outpouring of love and support, for those who have had to isolate to avoid the virus and for those on the front line fighting it. The lockdown has changed the way people interact, how

Artist Lisa Malyon has painted a mural of Fishponds Park to go on a wall at the Beechwood Club community centre. PAGE 24

Colston name: time for change? Children at St Joseph’s Pre-school in Fishponds have been able to return, thanks to a £1,000 award and donations to make the setting safe under new coronavirus rules. Full story: Page 7 schools operate and even how we use our streets and visit our shops. Fishponds Voice has also been affected. The closure of many of our advertisers and rule changes for our deliverers left us unable to bring our paper to you for three months. Having continued to bring you the news on our website,

now we are back in print, as more businesses in the area prepare to emerge from lockdown. While there are too many to recognise them all on our pages, we salute everyone – from NHS staff and shop workers to recycling crews and phone buddies – who has helped keep life going through lockdown.

Streets such as Colston Hill in Stapleton could be renamed as Bristol responds to the toppling of slave trader Edward Colston's statue. PAGE 9

Dismay at surge in arson attacks A yard was set alight in Eastville Park and a pavilion damaged by fire at Vassalls Park in a spate of arson attacks. PAGE 15

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fishpondsvoice Publisher & Sales Caroline Galvin 07453 954261

Journalist Jayne Taylor 0788 0731148

Editor Linda Tanner 0777 0700579

Journalist Ken MCormick 07715 770377

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ADVERTISING sales@fishpondsvoice.co.uk Tel 07453 954261 EDITORIAL news@fishpondsvoice.co.uk Letters to the publication can be sent to the above e-mail address or by post to Letters, Fishponds Voice, 15 Mayfield Park, Fishponds, Bristol BS16 3nn. The editor reserves the right to edit your letter. DEADLINES August edition deadline is July 22. L O C A L I N F O R M AT I O N Bristol City Council http://www.bristol.gov.uk 0117 922 2000 Police www.avonandsomersetpolice.uk general enquiries: 101 Emergency: 999 Fire www.avonfire.gov.uk General enquiries: 0117 926 2061 Emergency: 999 NHS 111 Safer Stronger team sscg@southglos.gov.uk 01454 868009

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Streetcare/litter/vandalism etc streetcare@southglos.gov.uk Environment/trading standards 01454 868001 Well Aware Health and social care information www.wellaware.org.uk Tel: (freephone) 0808 808 5252

PUBLISHER’S NOTE Fishponds Voice is independent. We cannot take responsibility for content or accuracy of adverts, and it is advertisers’ responsibility to conform to all relevant legislation. We cannot vouch for any services offered. Opinions are not necessarily those of the editor. Fishponds Voice is distributed each month to local residents. If for some reason you do not get a copy, please get in touch or collect one from local pick-up points. Feedback is welcomed, call Gary Brindle on 0117 907 8585 or news@fishpondsvoice.co.uk.

COMPLAINTS Despite our best efforts, we sometimes get things wrong. We always try to resolve issues informally at first but we also have a formal complaints procedure. If you have a complaint about anything in the Fishponds Voice, contact the publisher using the details below. We aspire to follow the Code of Conduct of the NUJ (National Union of Journalists), which holds journalists to a high standard of behaviour. Further details of the complaints process can be found on the Voice website here, or can be obtained by contacting the Publisher.

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Anti social behaviour team asbreporting@southglos.gov.uk 01454 868582

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July, 2020

n NEWS

Families mourn 27 coronavirus deaths CORONAVIRUS has claimed the lives of 27 people in Fishponds, Eastville, Stapleton and nearby neighbourhoods, according to the latest official figures. An in-depth breakdown from the Office for National Statistics shows deaths from every area in the country which involved Covid-19 in March, April and May. The ONS has published an interactive online map dividing the country into small geographic areas, each with a population of around 7,500 people, and recording how many people in each area died with coronavirus. The highest number confirmed Covid-19 deaths in a single area was 10 in Stapleton, which on the ONS map includes parts of Grove Road and Everest Road, as well as roads off Blackberry Hill. Six people died with Covid-19 in the area the ONS calls Fishponds North, which includes Fishponds Road east of the Lodge Causeway junction, Oldbury Court and all roads off Manor Road. In the Eastville area on the map, which includes the area around Fishponds Road west of the Lodge Causeway junction plus roads leading off Gordon Road and Rose Green Road, five deaths were attributed to Covid-19. Six people died with the virus in the area the ONS calls Speedwell, which includes roads off Lodge Causeway, Whitefield Road and Brook Road. There were no recorded deaths from Covid-19 in the ONS’s Fishponds South area, which includes most of Hillfields and some roads south of Staple Hill Road. Further afield, there were 12 deaths in Lower Easton and Redfield, while across the boundary in South Gloucestershire there were 11 deaths in Downend, 11 in Staple Hill and six in the area the ONS calls Frenchay and Great Stoke. April was the deadliest month of the pandemic in most areas, with five of the six deaths of Fishponds North residents, seven of the 10 in Stapleton, two of the five in Eastville and four of the six in Speedwell happening during that month. ONS figures released at the end of June found that 244 Bristol residents had died with Covid-19 in the year to June 19. In South Gloucestershire the total was 168. The official number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Bristol increased by more than 500 after the Office for National Statistics included results from tests done outside hospitals and government labs for the first time. The total rose from 729 to 1,276 on July 2.

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n NEWS A “KIND-hearted, compassionate” healthcare assistant and an “inspirational” nurse are among the NHS workers who have lost their lives to coronavirus. Maureen Ellington and Sandra Hicks were long-serving workers for North Bristol NHS Trust, and both had worked at the former Frenchay Hospital. Maureen, a healthcare assistant at Southmead Hospital, died in the early hours of Easter Sunday after testing positive for Covid-19. North Bristol NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said that Maureen, who was in her early 60s, was “well-loved by every colleague and patient she came into contact with”. She had worked for the NHS for more than 25 years, and had worked with many different teams at both Southmead and Frenchay hospitals. Maureen’s family said: “She was simply amazing. She loved her husband, five children, six grandchildren, wider family, friends and colleagues. “She was kind-hearted,

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Tributes to much-loved NHS workers who lost lives to Covid-19 bubbly, caring and always joyous. She would light up any room she entered.” Maureen’s manager, Suzanne Moss, said: “Maureen was a kind-hearted, compassionate and caring person and she brought all these attributes into her ward practice, which made her a highly valued member of the team. “Maureen put the patients and colleagues before herself and always had a smile on her face. She will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts.” Trust chief executive Andrea Young said Maureen had “touched the lives of many of our staff over the years,” and would always seen as a part of the family in their hearts”. Sandra, who died on May 23 after testing positive for Covid-19, was described as “the heart of a large and loving

family” by her relatives, while the trust said she had “dedicated her life to caring for people” over a 35-year career. She trained as a nurse at Frenchay School of Nursing and spent 15 years working at Frenchay Hospital before moving Maureen Ellington Sandra Hicks to NHS Direct in 2000, working in a local care was a true inspiration to her home, then joining the North colleagues and learners that she Bristol apprenticeship team in supported within the trust.” 2015, becoming the lead practice Medicine matron Tracey development teacher in the Lucas, who worked with trust’s Apprenticeship Centre. Sandra at Frenchay Hospital, Her family said: “Her parents, said: “Many people are deeply sisters, nieces, nephews and saddened to hear of her illness great nephews were always a but eternally grateful and very important part of her life, thankful that they were allowed her home with Deb often being the opportunity to have been the centre for large fun-filled able to work with and learn from family gatherings.” her wisdom as an inspirational Sandra’s line manager, nurse and colleague.” Jonathan Hall, said: “Sandra

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July, 2020

n NEWS

Surge of goodwill helps vulnerable HUNDREDS of volunteers have been going shopping, collecting prescriptions and providing food to help vulnerable people through the coronavirus crisis. From spontaneously-formed Facebook and WhatsApp groups to existing community organisations, a huge number of people have been giving up time to ensure those who have had to stay at home to shield from the virus are not forgotten. Volunteers and businesses have also been working with the city council and charities to make sure no-one goes hungry. Among the groups which formed on Facebook as lockdown started to transform lives was the BS16 Covid-19 Community Care group, which helps coordinate offers of help and people in need across Fishponds and the surrounding area. Volunteer coordinator Sophia Gibbs-Foyle said the group was “set up to connect members of

the community” and matches its 258 volunteers with a bank of people shielding or self-isolating. As well as online and email referrals at BS16covid19@gmail. com, the group has a phone helpline on 0808 168 5726 and also helps people referred by councils and charities. Sophia said: “Initially we saw many requests for help with food shopping and another practical tasks. In more recent weeks there has been a surge in requests for ‘phone buddies’ which is a stark reminder of how many people have been affected by loneliness during this pandemic. “I’ve been astounded by the sheer enthusiasm and generosity of our community at such a challenging time, and look forward to carrying the legacy of this on after Covid-19 subsides from our daily lives.” Eastville is one of the neighbourhoods where the BS5 Mutual aid group has been

helping vulnerable residents, sharing information and requests for help via the BS5 Community Care (Covid-19 Mutual Aid) Facebook group. Eastville ward city councillor Sultan Khan said calling on vulnerable residents to check their well-being and organise help has been added to his list of regular duties, enlisting the help of a neighbour to help with errands like shopping and collecting prescriptions, which those who are shielding have been unable to do themselves. He said: “It has been an unprecedented few months, which hadn’t been seen in our lifetime. Many people have been helping their neighbours.” Community organisations and charities have been adapting to continue to help their communities during the crisis. Like other community buildings, Hillfields Community Hub had to close its doors to the

groups which usually meet there. But Hillfields Family and Community Trust, which runs the building, has been working behind the scenes to ensure people get the help they need. Trust co-manager Jan Ross said they had been working with Hillfields Baptist Church and the council to organise volunteers to shop for people, take dogs for a walk and pick up prescriptions. A £5,000 grant from charity Quartet Community Foundation has helped to pay for supplies. The trust has worked with pastor Richard Rycroft and a team of volunteers at the Baptist church who provide around 30 lunches a day and deliver food parcels to people suffering from financial hardship. Jan said that when the hub’s junior club had to move online, A-level students Sky Hand and Abby Marshfield, whose courses had ended with the lockdown, delivered activity boxes from

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July, 2020

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through crisis Bristol charity Children’s Scrapstore and produced weekly online videos or activity sheets to go with them, to help reduce boredom for six to 11-year-olds. Jan said: “Sky has provided a lot of the technical support for HF&CT such as setting up our YouTube channel and the online poll for the architects competition and preparing ipads ready for young people to use during school closures.” The People's University of Fishponds has been collecting food and supplies for local foodbanks and schools to distribute to families in need. Bristol City Council has been working with charity Feeding Bristol to coordinate and support the community and voluntary groups providing food, from substitute free school. Feeding Bristol chair Andy Street said the pandemic had been a test but the city had “very quickly met the demand”, with

more than 100 food projects supplied with help from charity FareShare South West, which helps to redistribute surplus food from the supply chain that would otherwise go to waste. He said: “Demand will increase as thousands face economic difficulties. We need to support people from all walks of life; this is a testing time for many people and not just those who are typically vulnerable to food poverty.” Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said: “The way people have stepped up to support their friends, communities and even neighbours they have never met is incredibly humbling. The response has been exceptional, but we can't rest on our laurels.” Anyone who needs help can call the We Are Bristol support hotline on 0800 694 0184 from 8.30am-5pm, Monday to Friday and 10am-2pm Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays.

Council staff are helping to distribute food to people in need Frome Vale ward city councillor Lesley Alexander paid tribute to the work of Elaine Irwin in helping members of the Begbrook Retirement Club stay in touch by phone. The 50-strong club had to stop meeting for the lockdown and many of its members, who

are aged in their 70s, 80s and 90s, have been self-isolating. Lesley said: “Of course, people get very lonely when they are self-isolating and Elaine has been keeping members in contact, making sure they are all right and keeping them up to date.”

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July, 2020

n NEWS

Schools rise to challenge SCHOOLS in the Fishponds area have had to adapt quickly to the changing demands of the coronavirus crisis. More children are now returning to school to finish the year, but the biggest challenges may still be ahead, as head teachers have been told by the Government to prepare for everyone to safely return in September. The majority of secondary school students have remained at home since March. Bristol Metropolitan Academy and Bristol Brunel Academy, with other schools in the Cabot Learning Federation, have continued to offer in-school provision for families of critical workers and the most vulnerable students and distance learning for the rest, while maintaining a focus on wellbeing and support. More recently, Year 10 students have had some time in school and the trust has worked to ensure contact with all families. At Fishponds Church of England Academy, reception children have returned to school over the past few weeks, joining the children of key workers and those classed as vulnerable, who have

The joy of learning is evident for these children at Fishponds C of E Academy

been able to attend throughout lockdown. Principal Debbie Coker said: “It has been brilliant to see the school site more busy again and lovely to see some of our youngest children enjoying being back again. We were worried about how they would cope with being in smaller groups with different teachers in this new

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July, 2020

of learning in lockdown socially-distanced world, but it hasn’t phased them at all. Our children are amazing!” The primary school in Fishponds Road has been using the Seesaw online learning platform to set daily learning tasks for children and give them feedback from their teachers. Some families did not have a computer to log on to the system and have been given ‘work packs’ on paper instead. Children have also been given fitness and sport activities, and arts and crafts projects to do. Mrs Coker said she “couldn’t be prouder of our staff team and families” for helping the school to manage lockdown so well. The school is working with the Diocese of Bristol Academies Trust to plan a ‘recovery curriculum’ to help children settle back into school in September. At the Chester Park Federation, reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children are back at school. Head teacher Mike McNama said in the first phase of lockdown, 35 pupils who were either children of key workers

or vulnerable had been in school, with provision for them open through the whole of the Easter and May half-term holidays. Work packs were created for home learning and either sent home with pupils when lockdown began or delivered to those who had not been in school when it started. Online learning was also set up, with weekly phone calls to parents or carers and children to check on their wellbeing and progress. Mr McNama said: “The parents and carers have been incredibly supportive in delivering home education to their children. The Chester Park staff have been brilliant at adapting to the necessary changes and implementing procedures from the school risk assessment to keep everyone safe. “We are hopeful to begin to return to some form of normality in September and we look forward to welcoming all the children back once it is safe to do so. The Chester Park Comic Con, now a tradition, at the end of September may look a little different this year but will go ahead in some format.”

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Grant boosts pre-school ST Joseph’s Pre-school in Fishponds has been able to reopen safely thanks to a £1,000 grant and several donations. New rules to tackle coronavirus meant that the pre-school had to remove all of its soft toys and furnishings, dressing up clothes and most sensory resources, such as sand. To accommodate smaller separate groups or ‘bubbles’ of children, staff had to reorganise the building and buy new wipe-clean cushions, equipment and games, and cleaning supplies. They applied for and won a £1,000 award from specialist insurer Ecclesiastical's £1 million Movement for Good fund. Other pleas for help saw the pre-school given outdoor play equipment by Muddy Faces, a vacuum cleaner by Karcher and £400 in anonymous donations. Pre-school manager Cathy Williamson said: “Many people probably don’t even think about the impact the virus has had on early years settings in the voluntary sector. Not only have we lost out on our income from fees but we have also had to cancel so many fundraising events that our hard-working committee had spent a long time planning and organising. “Fortunately, the power of Facebook and the support from so many past and current parents and their friends has been amazing!”

Socially distant scooting for children at Chester Park

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July, 2020

n NEWS

More than 52,000 furloughed Care worker's sacrifice MORE than 52,000 workers in Bristol were furloughed and many of the area’s most vital industries left with an uncertain future by the coronavirus pandemic. The hit to the economy could also affect public spending in the city over the coming years, with Bristol’s Mayor warning that the council had lost £80 million in revenue from the crisis. HM Revenue and Customs figures show a total of 52,400 employees in Bristol were furloughed under the scheme to protect businesses unable to operate normally during the lockdown. The government also allocated Bristol £88m for small business grants, with more than 60% of the money paid out, to an estimated 4,127 businesses, within four weeks of the lockdown. James Durie, chief executive of Bristol Chamber & Initiative at Business West, said: “In April we conducted a survey of a thousand businesses and only 16 percent of them said they would be able to survive if lockdown lasted six months or more. “The question of how we slowly take the lid off and ease lockdown measures is a difficult one to answer, but there needs to be a balance between protecting lives and livelihoods, whilst avoiding another spike.” The lockdown saw a 10-fold increase in claims for Universal Credit, with 26,480 made in the four weeks between March 13 and April 9, up from 2,598 in the previous four weeks. And as companies start to make long-term decisions, major employer Airbus announced 295 job losses at its Filton plant. Mayor Marvin Rees has called on the Government to give local authorities a similar bailout to the one given to NHS trusts, who had historic debts written off.

A CARE worker has described how she divided her home and isolated from her husband and 15-year-old son to continue looking after elderly residents. Claire Stapleford, a shift leader at Cleeve Lodge care home in Downend, said that, despite new safety measures and the discomfort of wearing personal protective equipment, life felt relatively normal until she heard of the toll Covid-19 was taking in care homes throughout the country. “I had the option of moving into the home, as some other staff had, but there were no spare bedrooms.I spoke with my husband and we decided that it was safest to try to isolate at home as much as possible, to keep him and our son safe. He would stay in the lounge and sleep on the sofa and I would stay in the bedroom. Fortunately I had my own bathroom.” Claire was shocked and scared when several residents

tested positive for Covid-19. She said: “I was terrified of contracting it, even more terrified of passing it on to my family and, of course, terrified of the consequences for our residents and my colleagues. “Life at home was tough. Communication with my family consisted of video calls from separate rooms and chats from each end of the stairs. “On my birthday I sat alone in my kitchen, eating an Indian takeaway. At a time when I needed extra cuddles, I couldn't have any. I didn't hug or kiss my son or husband for three weeks.” Claire said that staff at Cleeve Lodge managed to contain the virus and the residents who contracted it recovered well. She said: “We know we can't get complacent and we fear a second wave as restrictions are eased, but it has been nice to get a bit of normality back. “I feel really proud of the whole team effort”

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n NEWS

Protests could lead to renaming of streets BRISTOL streets that bear the names of people involved with the slave trade could be renamed. A commission of historians and other academics set up by the city council will help decide whether controversial figures such as Edward Colston should continue to be commemorated on public buildings and road names. The announcement has been made by Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees, following the toppling of the statue of Colston in the city centre during a Black Lives Matter protest in June. More protests are planned, with one set to be held in Eastville Park on July 12. It will be the third protest at the park, which was the starting point for a Black Lives Matter march to College Green through Easton on June 4 and the venue for a protest by several race equality groups from around the city five days later. They came

either side of the march in the centre on June 7, when the statue was pulled down. The July 12 protest is being organised by All Black Lives Bristol and starts at 1pm. It will be a static protest rather than a march and people who attend are being advised to bring PPE and water. In the Fishponds area there are places named after Colston, most notably Colston’s School in Stapleton, which was set up by Colston himself. The school, which is independent, has said its name “does not always sit comfortably” with its “very inclusive and diverse” community. In a statement, headmaster Jeremy McCullough said the prospect of changing the school’s name was “something that we are looking at again”. The power to rename streets – such as Colston Hill, next to the school in Stapleton, and Colston Dale, off Blackberry Hill

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Colston's name was taped over on the sign for Colston Hill in Stapleton days after the merchant's statue was toppled. Picture: Duncan Gardner – rests with the council. Other public places bearing Colston’s name in the Fishponds area include Colston Weir, on the river Frome between Snuff Mills and Eastville, and Colston’s Field, at Bell Hill. The commission will include experts from Bristol University and UWE, and will gather views in the wake of the dumping of Colston’s statue in the Floating Harbour, which sparked celebration from some – and

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anger from others. Colston, who died in 1721, left his fortune to fund philanthropic projects. But he had amassed his wealth through his involvement in the Royal Africa Company, which transported an estimated 84,000 African men, women and children to the Caribbean as slaves. Around 19,000 did not survive the journey. Plans to add a plaque detailing Colston’s role in the slave trade were put on hold after the council and Society of Merchant Venturers, which helped fund the statue in 1895, could not agree on the wording. Mr Rees said although he wished the statue had “come down years ago,” removing it had not been a priority. A petition to remove Colston's name from "all roads, schools and landmarks" had been signed by more than 3,800 people as the Voice went to print. It can be found online at bit. ly/3dQ7HTo.

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■ WILL & PROBATE ADVICE

Wills and Powers of Attorney – COVID safe service Simpson Solicitors are OPEN – whether you prefer a (COVID safe) in person meeting at their offices in Kingswood (opposite Costa) or by telephone or Zoom video. It has never been more important to have Wills and Powers of Attorney in place in case you become seriously ill. Vincent Mulcock and the local team at Simpson Solicitors have been designated as key workers to serve the public in our area covering Downend, Fishponds and Kingswood. They offer a FREE Legal Review to guide you through the issues to cover. If you already have a Will in place, it can give peace of mind that you and your family are properly protected. It can also help identify any gaps in your protection. Call 0117 960 8594 to book your review. If you then instruct them to prepare updated documents they still offer clear fixed prices. Mention The Voice

when booking your meeting as our readers are also given 20% off their already great value charges. At no extra cost their service can now include them coming to your door to provide a “door step signing” service. They will keep to 2m social distancing. This is to make sure your new documents are properly signed and witnessed and legally valid – even if you are shielding at home. If you are over 70, shielding and cannot go out, Simpson Solicitors are also offering our readers a FREE Ordinary Power of Attorney service to appoint those you trust who are helping you to run your finances during this time of emergency. Just call their friendly team on 0117 960 8594 to find out how they can help. REMINDER OF MAIN SERVICES: WILL: A written legal document that sets out your wishes, so they are followed when you die. Simpsons will prepare your Will in a way that guides you through what to cover and also

records your decisions and protects them from successful challenge. Ordinary Power of Attorney: Emergency cover to allow someone you trust to go to the bank for you and manage your finances - for example if you cannot get out because you are shielding from COVID-19. Lasting Power of Attorney: Protects your wishes if you are alive but too unwell to carry them out yourself. This also covers you for problems such as dementia – if put in place when you still have mental capacity. They can cover your finances (such as banking, paying bills and signing on your behalf) They can also allow someone you trust speak up for you over medical treatment and where you receive care. Issues can include decisions you’d want such as “do not resuscitate”. Probate: The legal process that is followed when someone dies, It gives legal authority to follow their Will (or the government’s intestacy rules that apply if their is no Will).

Vincent Mulcock

of Simpson Solicitors, Kings Chase Shopping Centre, Kingswood

0117 960 8594

www.simpsonsolicitors.com vbm@simpsonslawuk.com Simpson Solicitors can give you advice on all of these issues – in plain English. This always starts with a FREE advice meeting. It is a no obligation meeting. Their aim is to give you peace of mind that you have the advice you need to do things properly.

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fishpondsvoice

July, 2020

13

n NEWS

Hassan pedals 1,500 miles to help homeless AN Eastville man who set himself a gruelling cycling challenge to raise money for a charity has smashed his target – on the road and in fundraising. Hassan Ahmed was volunteering with outreach charity As-Suffa, handing out hot meals to homeless people in Bristol on Monday evenings, before the coronavirus lockdown. When the volunteer work had to be suspended, Hassan looked for a new way to help the charity. He also took up cycling to help keep himself fit, and decided to combine his new exercise regime and fundraising. Hassan challenged himself to raise £1,000 by cycling 1,000 miles – all during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when he was fasting for around 17 hours a day. He said: “I am a keen runner, and my trainers were not in the best of conditions to go running in, so I started cycling in March.” The challenge started in late April and Hassan passed his £1,000 target within nine days. He also realised he was on course to complete the 1,000 miles days before Ramadan ended, so upped his mileage target to 1,500, which he completed on the final day. He has now raised more than £3,800 and

Hassan Ahmed during his cycling challenge is hoping to top £5,000. As-Suffa outreach started in Birmingham over eight years ago, when four friends decided to do something for homeless people and served them samosas and tea. Now serving around freshly-made 400 meals a week in the city as well as running a food bank, mental health support and other services, the charity has branched out into

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seven other cities, including Bristol. Before the lockdown Hassan and other As-Suffa volunteers were serving 35 hot meals a week, freshly made at Desi Dera on Stapleton Road, every Monday from 8pm, starting at the Bear Pit and working around the city centre. They want to expand their services to match those in Birmingham. Hassan said: “This was a wonderful opportunity to raise money to help continue the work we do. “I was determined to work a lot harder, pushing my body to extreme limits – all without food or drink.” With Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, fast approaching, Hassan cycled more than 100 miles each day on the final Thursday and Friday of his challenge, before ending the final Saturday with a 50-mile ride. He said: “I have surprised myself and the sense of achievement is only just beginning to sink in.” You can donate to Hassan’s fundraising challenge for As-Suffa at justgiving.com/ fundraising/ha-rr1000k. You can find out more about As-Suffa at www.as-suffa.org, email the Bristol group at Bristol@as-suffa.org or follow @As_suffa_ bristol on Instagram.

Give your child a GOOD start in life! Open term time Monday to Friday between 8.00am and 16.00pm Funding places available for all eligible 2, 3, & 4 year olds Set in a quiet location of Fishponds with a beautiful secure garden for outdoor learning, make friends secure relationships in a warm, stimulating and nurturing environment.

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Got News? Call Linda On 0777 0700579


fishpondsvoice

14

July, 2020

n FROM OUR MP

Children should not go to bed hungry “THIS is not about politics; this is about humanity.” That's what Manchester United star Marcus Rashford wrote in his letter to MPs, asking them to back his campaign to convince the Government to reverse its decision not to fund free school meals over the summer holiday. The experiences he described, of how his mother struggled to make ends meet and how he would turn up at his friends’ houses in the hope of being fed, resonated across the country. There are far too many other young kids like Marcus out there. His campaign – and the breadth and depth of support it gathered – obviously shook Number 10 out of their complacent stupor on this issue, and soon the Prime Minister announced that the Government had indeed, u-turned on their decision not to feed children eligible for free school meals over the holidays. This was welcome news, but there is still much more

that needs to be done to tackle the underlying causes of food poverty. Last year, I was one of the MPs who served on the Children’s Future Food Inquiry, and we heard devastating accounts from children, not just about raw and real hunger, but about living on leftovers, scraps or cheap food, with little to no nutritional value. It is shameful – and entirely unnecessary – that this is happening in one of the richest countries in the world. For far too many children, their free school meal is the only decent meal they get. In Bristol, we will once again be running our Healthy Holidays scheme this year – but we will be doing it without any Government support. Bristol has the highest number of children claiming free school meals in the South West, but this year and last the Government has turned down our applications for funding to address holiday hunger. In 2019, working with Feeding Bristol and

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the local business community, Bristol City Council raised enough money to support around half of the children eligible for free school meals through the summer holidays. But inevitably, some children missed out and went hungry. We know that COVID-19 has made many more families financially vulnerable and those who were already vulnerable even more so. But this is not, as Boris Johnson would have it, just about this summer and coping with the fallout from the pandemic. Families have been attending food banks in record numbers since the economically illiterate, morally bankrupt policy of austerity was adopted a decade ago. The Government has consistently refused to acknowledge the sheer scale of the problem, to engage with those working on the front line or to address the underlying causes of food poverty. Boris Johnson and his Cabinet need to confront the reality of the situation their

Kerry McCarthy MP for Bristol East

writes for Fishponds Voice Party has created, where, in one of the richest countries in the world, kids go to bed hungry every night because their families cannot afford food. It should not take a famous footballer speaking about his experience as a child to show just how wrong this is.

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fishpondsvoice

July, 2020

15

n NEWS

Dismay as parks arson attacks soar PARKS in Fishponds and Eastville were targeted by arsonists as deliberate fires surged during lockdown. People had to be evacuated from their homes when a yard used by volunteering group ParkWork Projects in Eastville Park was set on fire on June 1. The blaze destroyed a pile of wood at the group’s yard, as well as a conifer hedge at the side. It also damaged nearby trees and scorched a storage container used by the group, which helps people find work by volunteering in parks to gain skills. Three crews of firefighters spent around two hours extinguishing the blaze and making sure the area was safe, after being called by people living nearby. A police spokesperson said an investigation was ongoing and called on anyone with information about the fire to call 101, quoting crime reference number 5220 119 393.

The aftermath of the arson attack in Eastville Park. Photo courtesy of ParkWork coordinator Joseph Mckenna ParkWork is a non-profit organisation which carries out projects to improve parks and open spaces, while giving training, experience and skills to volunteers, to give them a better chance of finding a job. Coordinator Joseph Mckenna said some dry wood in the yard had been set on fire, spreading to the hedge nearby, but that the mess would be tidied up and the hedge replanted. He said: “Firstly, many thanks to whoever called the

emergency services who acted very swiftly and got the fire under control before it could do huge damage to the adjacent timber clad dwellings and the rest of our yard. “Secondly, many thanks to the emergency services themselves for outstanding job! "Last of all, many thanks to Andrew Gee (Friends of Eastville Park) who was down here to help deal with it in the middle of the night." The incident followed an

earlier arson attack which badly damaged a pavilion in Vassalls Park. Avon Fire and Rescue Service was called to the building, near the play area on the Oldbury Court estate, on the night of March 29 and firefighters brought a turntable ladder in to the park so they could attack the blazing roof from above. The service said there had been an increase in deliberate fires in Bristol during lockdown, with 51 recorded in May alone. Complaints about bonfires doubled, with the service receiving 133 in April and 96 in May, compared with 62 and 45 respectively for the same months in 2019. Assistant Chief Fire Officer Simon Shilton said: “It is so disappointing to see that, at a time when we all need to be coming together to support one another, we still have people committing crimes and ruining our local communities.”

Fairfield High School ACHIEVING EXCELLENCE The sheer quantity of opportunities FHS provided to progress & improve our passions and interests is unbelievable - Alex (student)

For more information, including updates about our forthcoming OPEN EVENTS, please visit www.fairfield.bristol.sch.uk or ring 0117 952 7100

To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261

Email: sales@fishpondsvoice.co.uk

www.fairfield.bristol.sch.uk Got News? Call Jayne On 0788 0731148


Getting Bristol moving safely Travelling around Bristol is about to get easier. Major transport upgrades are underway to help you move safely as we emerge from lockdown. Bristol City Council is accelerating several projects offering safer and better public transport, cleaner air and improved walking and cycling routes. These improvements will help our travel movements, but we’d still recommend avoiding peak times, prioritising buses for key workers and to walk or cycle where possible.

Pedestrianising the Old City area of Bristol

Pavement widening for local shopping areas

We’re fulfilling a long-standing ambition to make this historic part of the city more pedestrian-friendly by restricting vehicles during core business hours.

We are implementing the following upgrades:

The streets included are home to our independent markets, bars, cafes and restaurants. We want to create more outdoor social space, boosting footfall to the area and supporting small traders. Giving more space to pedestrians and cyclists will also help with social distancing. Around 2,000 views were recorded at the start of the year about the Old City plans, revealing 94% of visitors travel to the area by foot, cycle or bus and 93% agreed there would be benefits from pedestrianisation. We recognise that the scale of the work will require adjustment and behaviour change, with less car journeys and the removal of through-traffic in the city centre. The long-term benefits for travel around Bristol outweighs the inconvenience of this transition, as we continue to look at options to establish a well-connected city. There are other travel improvements being made, please visit: www.bristol.gov.uk/streets-travel or travelwest.info

Introducing a bus priority route over Bristol Bridge and at the entrance to Baldwin Street We are putting into motion plans to restrict through–traffic to private vehicles over Bristol Bridge and Baldwin Street. This scheme includes introducing bus gates on all approaches to Bristol Bridge, and at the entrance to Baldwin Street from the city centre. The bus gates would then provide priority to pedestrians, public transport, taxis and cycles. Once the measures are in place, we will evaluate the benefits and resolve any reported issues. We will also be speaking to communities, businesses and councillors to discuss the most effective measures. Our team will be engaging with the public over the coming weeks and months to ensure the scheme is designed and delivered in a way that recognises access requirements and the concerns of individual traders and households.

• Bedminster Parade (suspension of parking) • Stapleton Road (suspension of parking and widening pavements) • St Marks Road (suspension of parking and widening pavements) • Clifton Village (suspension of parking) • Henleaze (suspension of parking and widening pavements) • Westbury-on-Trym (suspension of parking and widening pavements) • North Street (outside Tesco) (suspension of parking and widening pavements) • Mina Road (suspension of parking and widening pavements) • Cumberland Road (segregated cycle track) • Merchants Road Bridge (priority southbound and removal of traffic lane).

Interactive transport map A new mapping tool has been launched to record comments and ideas about transport and travel in Bristol. It can be used to identify difficult locations to maintain social distancing and ways to create better spaces for cycling and walking. The map can be used to give feedback. Have your say at: bristol.gov.uk/covidtransport


Help us to make your public spaces safe • Wear face coverings in busy shops, and on public transport • Keep your distance from others at all times

• Pay close attention to queuing guidance and one-way systems

www.gov.uk/coronavirus There has never been a more important time to look out for friends, family, neighbours and colleagues. Bristol residents are being urged to ask a simple but important question – Are you OK?

If you’re worried about someone, or need support yourself, visit the Are you OK? website and get the right help. bristolsafeguarding.org/areyouok

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If you have property available to rent and want to find out more, visit bristol.gov.uk/private-landlords or contact private.renting@bristol.gov.uk


fishpondsvoice

18

July, 2020

n PETER'S VISION

Looking to a brighter future

T

HE fact that I’m writing a blog again after a three month break is another welcome step towards normality. I trust that you and yours are all well. If you’ve suffered the tragedy of losing a loved one then I’m very sorry, and having lost our Dad Phil Turner just before the Covid outbreak took hold, I have sympathy with your loss.

MAXX

Moving forward as we all have to, at Turners Opticians we’re well into our new ways of working. Our patient focused eye care has continued throughout the crisis. We’ve been taken on a journey we’re blessed to have survived and hope never to have to repeat again! The recent shutdown has given many of us time to reflect on what truly matters and what we can do to make a positive change for our families and friends going forward. We’re delighted to be able to welcome patients back to our practices by appointment. From an optical perspective we’re seeing more and more of you each week as we all work towards resuming normal service. For everyone’s safety and comfort we’re strictly following the guidelines for cleaning and sanitisation. We’re asking you to wear a face covering and telephone ahead to arrange a time to visit, so we can all practice physical distancing.

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eyecareteam@turnersopticians.co.uk www.turnersopticians.co.uk

To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261

Turners Eye Care Ltd T/A Turners Opticians Incorporated in England & Wales Reg No. 8201460 Subject to availability, T&C’s apply.

As we look to the future, we’ve taken the opportunity to refresh and re-energise our frame collections. You now have a wider than ever choice of glasses - a total emporium to choose from! In case you’ve missed the launch, our new MAXX glasses have been incredibly popular. This is a new collection we put together ourselves and launched just a few long months ago. While our MAXX collection gives you affordable style for glasses or sunglasses, the everyday luxury of our Tom Davies glasses continues to be a hit. As an

Email: sales@fishpondsvoice.co.uk

experienced wearer of these frames myself, they’re my go to option for style and comfort. You can experience these too, just telephone to book a frame styling consultation and our friendly team will be pleased to assist you. When you come and see us you can expect the usual high standards of personal service and professional expertise you’re used to, from you local independent opticians. You & your loved ones are most welcome to telephone and arrange a time to come and see us for your eye care and new glasses. To book an extended eye exam or frame style consultation for yourself or those you love, please call our Henleaze practice on 0117 962 2474 or our Fishponds practice on 0117 965 4434.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Peter

Peter Turner is a Senior Optometrist at Turners Opticians in Bristol, and also works part time as a Senior Optometrist at the Bristol Eye Hospital.

Got News? Call Linda On 0777 0700579


fishpondsvoice

July, 2020

19

n NEWS

Police find cannabis farm Worldwide interest in POLICE uncovered this cannabis farm with more than 220 plants in Fishponds. Officers say the haul (above) is worth about £220,000 – around £1,000 per plant – and was found at an address in Filwood Road, after a tip-off. A 28-year-old man has been charged with being concerned in the supply of class B drugs and abstraction of electricity after being arrested in connection with the seizure on June 26. He is due to appear at Bristol Crown Court on July 31. Acting Inspector Jennifer Appleford, from Operation Remedy, said: “We’re extremely pleased with this significant find which came as a direct result from information provided by the public. “Those responsible for producing these plants were not doing it as a hobby or for their own personal use, they’re organised criminals who we believe were exploiting vulnerable people to unscrupulously line their pockets. This seizure is a significant blow to these criminals and has prevented a large amount of drugs from ending up on our streets and having a detrimental impact on our communities.” In an unrelated incident, a 41-year-old man was arrested when police stopped and searched a vehicle on Fishponds Road and found cannabis on June 25. He has been released under investigation.

Quarry Court

Hillfields housing

A PROJECT to build new homes for the community in Hillfields has appointed architects to work on the design. Hillfields Family & Community Trust is set to develop a piece of former waste land to the side of the Hub, off Thicket Avenue, to provide around ten new homes. After coronavirus restrictions meant that a community meeting to pick architects had to be cancelled, the consultations moved online, with architects bidding to work on the project by making a video showcasing their previous work and ideas. Jan Ross, from the trust, said word about the competition spread via social media. She said: “We had votes from all over the world – Florida, Australia and Northern Ireland, to name but a few! Due to the widespread interest, possibly from people who do not know the project, we decided to only count votes that had been cast from BS16, BS15 and BS5, so as to keep the choice local.” Jan said the trust was looking forward to working with the chosen team, Agile Design, “to design something Hillfields can be proud of”. A steering group has been recruited to help move the project forward and has been meeting online via Zoom. Although face-to-face meetings are not possible, lockdown has not slowed down the project, Jan said. A planning application to use the land for housing is due to be submitted next month. A leaflet drop is planned to ask residents about priorities for the scheme, particularly people whose homes back on to the proposed site. Updates will be published at the www.hillfields.community website.

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Email: sales@fishpondsvoice.co.uk

Got News? Call Linda On 0777 0700579


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Coping covers specialise in treating damp at source We have 30 years experience in manufacturing and construction, mainly in the renovation of Victorian properties. Over this period I have realised that damp occuring in these properties is mainly a result of poor conditions of chimneys, parapet walls and felt and tiles on roofs. That is when I came up with the idea of using covers over coping stones on parapet walls and chimney capping. Coping covers have a complete success rate, with customers reporting that their damp issues have disappeared. Our aim is to stop damp at source. Our Covers come in a variety of colours, adds strength to your walls and are 100% water tight, best of all they make your property look fantastic and increase your property value. All of our work is guaranteed. Our expertise is solving damp and roofing issues in Victorian buildings. We stop damp guaranteed. With many happy customers in the Bristol area, we are proud to have a 100% success rate in solving damp and roofing problems.

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fishpondsvoice

July, 2020

21

n ADVERTISING FEATURE

Alfu International welcomes you ... A NEW supermarket in Fishponds Road is proving to be a big hit with shoppers. Alfu International opened in March, taking over the site of the former Poundstretcher store and offering a wide selection of Asian, Oriental, East European and Middle Eastern speciality foods, in addition to the traditional groceries you would expect to find at a supermarket.

Owner Murat Unal says the store has the biggest selection of halal fresh meat in the South West at its showpiece butchers counter, in the centre of the rear section of the shop. The store also offers many organic goods in its fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and grocery departments, and a Turkish deli. And the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions this month means that, for the first time since opening, Alfu International will be able to welcome customers to the seating area of its cafe, where they can enjoy Turkish baklava and cakes with coffee, tea and fresh fruit juice. The store also has a Costa Coffee machine

“Upon the earth distress of nations; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth.” Luke 21 v 25 & 26 “There shall be famines and pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places.” Matthew 24 v 7

for customers who want their coffee on the go. Murat has 20 years of experience in the grocery and wholesale food industries, and opened his first supermarket in Easton in 2007. The Fishponds store, which has 5,000 square feet of floor space and has created jobs for 15 people, is the sixth he has opened and the first to carry the Alfu International

brand. Murat says that, despite the risk of opening during lockdown, the store is already proving popular, particularly for its specialist spices section, which he believes to be Bristol’s largest. He said: “People really love it.” Alfu International is open from 8am to 9pm, Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 9pm on Sundays.

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For free literature concerning this important event, apply to The Secretary The Household of Faith 31 Mayfield Park North, Fishponds, Bristol

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Email: sales@fishpondsvoice.co.uk

Got News? Call Linda On 0777 0700579


fishpondsvoice

22

n GARDENING

I

T’S been a long time since I last wrote anything here – and it feels like half a lifetime. It’s been a strange period, not just because of the obvious but also for the unusually dry and hot spring. The temperature rising into the 30s in May was a blessing for many: longer evenings and a feeling of summer come early. On the other hand, for anyone trying to keep a garden in any sort of good state, it was a little trying. For example just before the sun came out for almost an entire month, I bought a few ferns to live in a very

Lupin

shady bed that we have next to our patio. Keeping them alive for four weeks without a drop of rain was only possible with vigilant watering. During this time, and knowing that eventually the weather would break, I invested in a 1,000-litre water tank for the garden. Although the storms never came, the rain did – and enough that within 48 hours, this tank was full, with hopefully enough to provide us with all we need for the garden. For me, storing rainwater is very important, as during dry weather we have many potted plants that require daily watering; keeping this water means that we rarely use the mains. The weather also had a marked effect on our garden, not because of what it did to the plants but how we viewed them. It’s very tempting, when you have everything looking great, to try to hang on to that for as long as possible, leaving a few early performers to try and give you a little bit more. The reality is that when they’re done, they’re done. A good example of this is a Euphorbia wulfenii outside our back door. It’s a stunning

July, 2020

The city gardener spring plant: 5ft tall, about the same in diameter and a mass of bold fresh spires of flowers for about a month. As it takes up a fair space, I’m always cautious of cutting it back for fear of leaving a hole, once it starts to look tired. We bit the bullet and what a difference it’s made: there are things lurking under its branches that I’d forgotten about. The same went for a quite large red campion that really wasn’t in the right spot. Removing this has given light and space to all the other plants. For a number of reasons this year we failed to grow enough summer flowering annuals. It’s only now that this is becoming apparent, as if you have some, the spaces you create are easily filled. Cosmos are a classic, but even a few calendula, started off earlier in the year, will keep a patch of bare ground looking gorgeous for the summer.

By Tim Barton

Gardening is an evolving process: mostly it’s a case of putting the right plants in the right place and letting them get on with it. But now and again you need to stand back, take stock and make some bold changes. If everything else seems to be at a standstill, at least you can keep your garden feeling fresh.

n ADVERTISING FEATURE

Snuffy Jack’s is pub of the year FISHPONDS micropub Snuffy Jack’s Ale House is celebrating after winning the Campaign for Real Ale’s Bristol & District Pub of the Year award for 2020. The pub in Fishponds Road has won the coveted award just three years after opening. Leanne Jones of Snuffy Jack’s said: “We were thrilled to receive the news. The winners are usually announced at Camra’s annual beer festival in March, which was sadly postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. “Our doors closed temporarily on March 20 – four months later we started up our ‘Thirsty Thursdays’ takeout beer service; it's been fantastic to catch up with our customers again and welcome some new faces, too! “We missed out on our third birthday celebrations whilst life has been ‘on hold’. Everyone needs

To advertise, contact Caroline on 07453 954261

Email: sales@fishpondsvoice.co.uk

good news at the moment – this was ours.” “One of the reasons why Snuffy's is so unique is that no day is ever the same. In addition to the constantly-changing beer menu, I work hard to create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. We have a monthly rotation of artists, regular tap takeover events, monthly quiz, plant swaps, book-club meets...beer really does bring people together! “Snuffy's won't be flinging open the doors on the 4th of July, things won't be normal for a while yet. We're on top of all the guidance and will be open again as soon as we feel there's been enough positive change and it's safe for our customers and staff to do so. “Until then there's Thirsty Thursdays for your Snuffy's fix!”

Got News? Call Linda On 0777 0700579


fishpondsvoice

July, 2020

23

n FRIENDS OF EASTVILLE PARK

Welcome to our new visitors IN the early days of spring, the Friends of Eastville Park group was awash with enthusiasm for a busy year full of activities and events that would take us all the way through to our showcase Santa’s Grotto in December. Our family of volunteers had grown well over the last couple of years, blessed that we are with an amazing bunch of folk full of enthusiasm and bursting with energy. As many will know, to achieve the best outcome with a volunteer group requires a good mix and a wide range of skills. In Eastville Park, we are so fortunate to be able to get everyone together and make stuff happen and have a lot of fun while we’re at it! A special thank you to everyone who has and is contributing to this wonderful park of ours. As news of the approaching Covid storm spread, we’d just held our first Saturday morning Pop-Up Café of the year, which attracted a huge crowd keen to meet up with friends and make new ones over a cuppa, a bacon sandwich and a slice of homemade cake. Little did we know how things would soon change so dramatically. Within days, it was quite clear the impact of measures being proposed to limit the spread of the virus was likely to be far reaching for the country as a whole and inevitably for our local community too. Our fundraising activities are crucial. We have been fortunate in the past to receive generous donations from park festivals but we are always looking at new and novel ways to raise funds. At the beginning of April, it was clear that the restrictions being put in place meant our programme for the summer was in tatters. We had organised seven days of exciting talks and workshops in the Nissen Hut as part of the Bristol Learning Festival with subjects as diverse as be-keeping and origami, pinhole photography and the history of Bristol Rovers. Our monthly pop-up cafes, film evenings, live music events, gardening group and, of course, the bowling club matches all fell away, as did the many and varied volunteer work parties we’d become so used to. Our renovation work on the hut is behind schedule now but we hope to pick up where we left off as soon as we can. Social media, love it or hate it, has been our salvation! Our Facebook group, which is so well supported, with over 4,000

Friends of

EASTVILLE PARK

members, has become the go-to for so many people wanting to keep up with the comings and goings in the park. The group is also a place where folk who are not able for whatever reason to visit the park can feel that they ‘belong’ and make contributions to discussions and engage with the park community. Over the last twelve weeks or so, in common with most other parks, foot-fall has increased dramatically and we’re so happy to see more and more visiting us online too. The photographs that have appeared are quite stunning! In lockdown’s early days, we came up with the idea of asking members to film themselves reading children’s stories from familiar park locations. The response was amazing and we are still releasing them on the group page and on our YouTube channel too. We’ll continue to think of ways to engage with park visitors and try to light up your day. Meanwhile, over on our ‘sister page’, A History of Eastville Park, we have a remarkable collection of stories, recollections and old photographs. We are also incredibly fortunate to have Pam Bush and Mo Lewis working tirelessly on a definitive history of the park, which is nearing completion and promises to be something quite special. We’d love to hear from anyone who might have old photographs or memories of the park that we can feature,. At times, the wonderful content on our group page and the lovely contributions from so many eclipsed the concerns about regulations, distancing and the general lockdown behaviour of some park users. Whilst these concerns remain, overall visitors appear to be doing what they can

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in most cases to act responsibly and we can only hope that sooner or later things will become more bearable for us all. A special word for the many folk who have taken it upon themselves to pick up whatever litter they come across while they’re out walking in the park. We really appreciate your efforts – without you things would have been so much worse! With the gradual

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lifting of restrictions, we have experienced a huge rise in litter left around the park, and we’re busy thinking of ways to nudge folk to take their rubbish home with them. We wish all our visitors and friends good health and hope those who haven’t been able to visit the park for a while won’t have to wait too much longer. For you and everyone else, there’s good news that the new toilets have arrived and are being installed at the car park near the playground! They will be commissioned and in use as soon as restrictions on public conveniences are lifted. The Parkie

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24

July, 2020

n NEWS

Centre gets new mural A FISHPONDS community centre has a new mural, thanks to an artist who attended yoga classes there. The Beechwood Club in Beechwood Road has been given a spruceup while regular events have been suspended for the lockdown, with the floor resurfaced and the building repainted inside and out. The club’s faded Noah’s Ark mural was starting to face away and has now been replaced by a local view, painted by Eastville artist Lisa Malyon. Before lockdown, Lisa attended a Thursday morning yoga class at the club. She said: “The view of the mural was often in my eye sight, especially when attempting the tree pose, so thought I'd take up the challenge! “As I am on furlough, I thought lockdown was the perfect time to paint up the mural, especially as the hall is not in use. “I decided to incorporate a local view. Fishponds Park with the home of Hannah More (the Fishponds-born writer and philanthropist) was the natural choice for me.” Lisa, who specialises in architectural drawings and paintings, took just under a week to complete the mural. She said: “I usually paint on small canvases but always like the challenge of working larger.”

Arts trails at the double FISHPONDS will be home to two trails in July to help a foodbank and promote artists. The first is the Fishponds Sale Trail, which will be taking place on Saturday July 25 on streets around the area and in the grounds of All Saints Church, in Grove Road. People are being encouraged to set up a stall outside their house and sell second hand items, produce and plants, with donations to the Fishponds foodbank and All Saints Church. One of the trail organisers, Kate Brooks, said that so far 25 people were setting up stalls for the event, which will

take place from 11am-3pm. Kate said: “It’s a cross between a street party, an arts trail and a car boot, so something for everybody!” Anyone who is interested in setting up a stall should email Katebn@virginmedia. com or get in touch via the @FishFestBristol Facebook page by July 23. The following weekend artists will be setting out their stalls in the area for the BSpoke16 artists, makers and designers fair. Details will be published on Facebook and Instagram at @BSpoke16. Artists interested can also email bspoke16@gmail.com

Artist Lisa Malyon in front of the new mural at the Beechwood Club.

Fishponds singer records NHS fundraiser A FUNDRAISING single to help NHS staff has been recorded by Fishponds-based solo artist Suchy. The track, called NHS Heroes, was recorded in Lyde Green, where manager Aymie Katharina lives. The pair built their own studio to record the single after Suchy’s existing studio time was cancelled due to the lockdown. Aymie said: “Suchy just felt very powerless in the pandemic and wanted to find something she could do to make a difference. “A lot of people volunteered for NHS, so she looked for something where she could use her skills to help.” Suchy has released and original and an acoustic version of NHS Heroes, both of which can be found by searching for Suchy NHS Heroes on YouTube. The track is also on Spotify but the best way to support the cause is to visit the track’s web page, which can be found at bit.ly/2YZFHas and has a download and donation link.

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July, 2020

fishpondsvoice

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n NEWS

Heart patient Andy’s on top of the world

A FISHPONDS man who had a heart attack five years ago has cycled the equivalent of a climb up Mount Everest to help the city’s hospital charities. Andy Short’s 148 ascents of Prescott Speed Hill Climb in Cheltenham – totalling 29,029ft, the height of the world’s tallest mountain – were to raise money for Above & Beyond, the charity which supports the Bristol Heart Institute and other city centre hospitals. Retired aerospace worker Andy did the uphill slog at the private track, which is usually used to race vintage sports cars, over five days from June 14 to 19. The 65-year-old was joined for some of the ascents by BHI consultant cardiologist Tom Johnson and his daughter. Andy said: “It was nice to meet Tom outside of hospital with our shared interest of cycling and he was so appreciative of my effort – but it was the least I could do to repay my debt of life to the NHS.” Andy was treated at the BHI after his GP suggested his previous chest pains should be checked out. He said: “I cycled to the drop-in clinic, finishing with a brisk climb up Marlborough Hill. 20 minutes later and after three

Andy Short at the Prescott Speed Hill Climb echocardiograms, I was told I’d had a heart attack. “I had an angioplasty and a stent fitted. It was all done as it was routine, with no panic.

“I think it is true to say that, without the experience at the BHI, my future would have been very different and probably rather shorter.” Tom said: “Having a heart attack is a major life event that can have profound impact. Our aim is always to return patients to a full and active life. “Andy is ‘cycling’-proof of what we hope to achieve and it was a true honour to join him on ascents 86 to 89 towards the summit of Everest! “I hope his inspirational story offers other patients hope in their recovery from heart problems and confirms the benefit of an active lifestyle beyond such a major life event.” Above & Beyond has helped buy vital equipment for the BHI including ultrasound equipment to assess patients and novel heart support devices for patients with severe heart injury. Andy’s JustGiving page had raised more than £900 for the charity as the Voice went to press. To donate visit justgiving.com/ fundraising/andrew-short20 For more information about Above & Beyond visit aboveandbeyond.org.uk.

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n NEWS

July, 2020

Fishponds Boy brings old Bristol to life A WRITER who grew up in Fishponds has returned to his roots with a novel set in Victorian Bristol. Frank Bray lived in Dominion Road and attended St Joseph’s Primary School and St Brendan’s, when it was a grammar school during the 1960s. Now retired and living in the North East, Frank began to revisit his home city in his novels. His latest, Fishponds Boy, tells the story of an orphan growing up in Victorian Bristol after being born in a “Fishponds hovel”, whose quest to find out about his birth parents is derailed when he is arrested and charged with murder. Frank said: “I chose Bristol as the setting for Fishponds Boy because of my fondness for and pride in the city of my birth and because it offers a wealth of fascinating material and themes related to that period – not all happy or positive but nevertheless plenty for a story. “At the start of the Victorian

Frank Bray period, shortly after the Queen Square Riots, the city was filthy, heavily polluted, with areas of appalling housing, poverty, high levels of crime, cholera, typhoid and smallpox epidemics and a corrupt and a self-serving ruling class. “The following years saw, among other things, the emergence of a mayor determined to tackle squalor and inequality and to restore the city to its former glory, the creation of the Bristol Constabulary, the launch of ss Great Britain, the

Fishponds Boy: a review by Kate Brooks IT has to be noted, this doesn’t have an awful lot to do with Fishponds – but like Dickens’ Parish Boy’s Progress (the early full title of Oliver Twist) Fishponds Boy has an engaging cast of colourful characters on a pacy romp through Victorian backstreets, a tale of misfortunes, mistaken identities and fortuitous coincidences. Orphan Robert is born in a ‘dingy hovel’ in Fishponds village during the Bristol riots.

start of work on the Suspension Bridge and the development of the Great Western Railway.” Inspired partly by contemporary authors such as Charles Dickens, Frank says his story has links and references to real events in Victorian Bristol. He said: “By a complete coincidence, two of the

His mother dies in childbirth, attended by Eastville workhouse midwife Lottie Nimbleholme, and Robert’s story leads us through the busy Victorian street city, encountering Victorian reformists, corrupt clergy, light fingered mudlarks, the real life Joseph Fry and, of course, a doe-eyed love interest. The tale moves lightly between fact and fiction – who knew ’laughing gas’ parties were a popular event in Totterdown even then! Bray certainly knows his stuff and everyday nineteenth century Bristol is vividly captured in his Dickensian-inspired language and

characters (one real, one fictional) are connected with the house in Guinea Street which was the subject of David Olusoga's recent TV series A House Through Time, broadcast about three weeks after the book was published. Edward Colston, who has been much in the news lately, also gets a brief (not very complimentary) mention in the book.” During his teenage years in Bristol, Frank played in a pop band called the Exiles, who once played on the same bill as the Kinks in a concert at Colston Hall, in 1965. He also played a lot of football for teams in Fishponds and has been a Bristol Rovers fan since boyhood. Frank said: “Long-term Gasheads might spot that some of the fictional characters in the book are named after former Rovers players.” To buy Fishponds Boy visit amzn.to/2CXZlMD online.

keen eyed observational detail. Some of the grimmer elements – the sexual exploitation of workhouse girls, the demonising of gay men – is treated somewhat lightly and used for comic effect, which may not sit so well with all modern readers, but this is generally a wry twist on Dickens and an amusing read. *Kate Brooks is an education history lecturer at Bath Spa University, researching Muller’s Orphanage in Bristol in the nineteenth century, and founder of the People’s University of Fishponds. She met Frank having given a talk on her research – and discovered they share a great-grandfather, Muller orphan number 458.

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fishpondsvoice

July, 2020

n NEWS

27

Family’s thank-you to air ambulance A FRENCHAY family has launched a fundraising campaign to help support the lifesaving work of the air ambulance. James King suffered a serious head injury in 2007, when falling down a flight of concrete stairs. A crew from Great Western Air Ambulance reached him quickly and placed him in an induced coma before flying him to hospital. He then needed six operations and a large titanium plate which has replaced half of his skull. James had to learn to walk again after the accident and was left with epilepsy. His wife Marie said: “Great Western air ambulance are definitely the first people who saved James’s life. He wouldn't have made it to hospital by road. “Without this service we're certain he wouldn't be here with us now. They really are the unseen heroes of emergency.” To raise money for the service Marie and James are undertaking two sponsored challenges next month. They will be running and jogging up Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons with their eight-year-old daughter Katie, a pupil at Frenchay C of E Primary School, on July 26 before cycling the 85 miles from Bristol to Weymouth on August 18. The family has already held a fundraising raffle on Facebook and the total pledged on their

JustGiving page has already passed £1,000. The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity relies entirely on fundraising to provide the £3 million needed to keep its helicopter flying and critical care teams working, attending an average of five incidents a day and serving a population of more than two million people. To donate to the family’s appeal, visit justgiving. com/fundraising/marie-king9gwaa online

Appeal after fight POLICE are appealing for dashcam footage after a road rage confrontation between motorists turned violent. Officers say four people were involved in an affray at the Eastgate Roundabout, next to the Tesco Extra store and near Ikea. An Avon and Somerset police spokesperson said: “An altercation took place between the occupants of a blue BMW 1 Series and a silver Ford B-Max following a verbal disagreement.” Police today called on anyone who witnessed the incident – which happened shortly before 3pm on Saturday, June 6 – or has dashcam or mobile phone footage of it, to contact them. Witnesses should call 101 and quote the crime reference number 5220 123 348. Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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fishpondsvoice

July, 2020

29

n PLANNING MATTERS WITH CHRIS GOSLING

Back to normal? LAST time I wrote in the Fishponds Voice I was looking forward to things returning to normal, forgetting that normal has always been a charged word. Since then the world has changed in many subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Its not just that the word “furlough” has entered the vocabulary. Coronavirus has changed the way most of us live our lives. For many rough sleepers, this change has been radically beneficial, although likely to be temporary. Others have become variously jobless, busier, frustrated, hungry, physically active, bored, liberated and/or anxious. One thing that has united all but the key workers is that we have been given more time than usual to think about things as the world slowed down. Especially while queueing. From this reflection has come many theories on a re-ordered

world. For instance, the necessity of working from home could now become more of an expectation. Many people have tried it for the first time and found ways to make it work. The necessity of choosing new modes of travel could lead to permanent changes. How do we ensure that people have the necessary facilities to continue with their new daily exercise regime? What will become of the High Street? Lockdown and its travel restrictions gave rise to the concept of the ‘20-minute neighbourhood’. For a while we were effectively living in something like villages, rather than making full use of the city. Everywhere that we were allowed to visit had to be within the neighbourhood and a 20-minute walk away. In practice, this was probably easier in a city than a real village, due to having

a large enough population to support the necessary services. It was tempting to think that this local lifestyle could be maintained beyond lockdown, but the recent rise in traffic levels suggests some habits are harder to change than others. With the warnings against using public transport, how do we manage to travel independently without contributing to gridlock? Streets across the country have already been adapted to allow for safe passing distances for cyclists and pedestrians. Councils have been encouraged to make allowances for shops needing to extend onto pavements. This often involves sharing space between the public and private realms. This theme I feel will dominate how we re-shape our environment. As for the High Street, I hope this is one area where we revert to old patterns. The present danger is that the decline in footfall and sales has been replaced by online

shopping, which will accelerate the decline in traditional retail. Much thought is being given to how town centres should be repurposed. There is always a chance that major policy changes in this direction will be premature and that town centres may be able to find their own way to evolve, given appropriate support. Any time of change brings threats and opportunities. With the government set on reforming the system, planning seems set to play a growing role as we move towards an uncertain future. Planning permissions that would have lapsed during lockdown have now been extended. It does not have to be about doom and gloom. I maintain that a positive outlook tends to lead to positive outcomes. At the same time, we need to be wary of possible pitfalls. We need to be bold and not rash when looking forwards, while above all staying safe. Chrisgoslingplanning@gmail.com

n NEWS

Have your say on proposed road changes PEOPLE are being urged to have their say about changes to roads and pavements planned as Bristol emerges from the coronavirus lockdown. Proposals include pedestrianising the area around Corn Street, banning private cars from Bristol Bridge, widening pavements in shopping areas, including Stapleton Rd, and upgrading cycle routes. The city council and West of England Combined Authority are looking at measures to ensure social distancing at bus stops, including relocating some stops and stencilling distancing advice on pavements. The council has introduced an

interactive map on its website, where people can comment about areas and make suggestions. It can be found at the bristol. citizenspace.com website. Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said:

“These are exciting proposals that are designed to make Bristol a safer city for everyone to travel in.” The consultation comes as South Gloucestershire Council comes under fire for introducing a single-lane section on Staple Hill High Street to enable more space for social distancing on pavements. The traffic light-controlled section, which went live on June 29, has been denounced as a “ridiculous idea” by readers of the Voice’s sister paper in Downend and blamed for congestion and a drop in trade. Comment on the Staple Hill plan at sustrans.org.uk/space-to-move

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July, 2020

30

n SPORT

Boxers stay in shape during lockdown YOUNG boxers from Downend Boxing club have been taking part in video coaching sessions to help them keep in shape during the lockdown. The club’s members have been forced to train at home since the lockdown made it impossible to hold training sessions at its base in Fishponds. They have been making films of their training and are being given coaching sessions online as everyone involved in the sport waits to hear when contact training and competition can safely restart. Seven of the youngsters – 16-year-old Morgan Baber, Elouise Edwards (15), brothers Ethan (16) and Jude (17) Moore, Alexa Smith (14), Jodie Horton (23) and Bailey Phillips (20) – are England talent pathway boxers. Jodie, who works for Public Health England, is juggling an incredibly busy workload with

her training, although she has an advantage as her partner and his twin brother, Jake and Ben Demmery, are professional boxers. Jude is currently on leave from the Army preparation college in Harrogate due to the lockdown.

Craig Turner from the club said: “The online training continues well, and most of the young people are continuing to engage and are chomping at the bit to get back into the ring. “England B 0oxing has yet not given any indication as to when that may happen, and of course

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Fishponds Voice July 2020  

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

Fishponds Voice July 2020  

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

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