Clifton Voice July 2024

Page 1



need security patrols'

SECURITY patrols could be introduced on the Downs to prevent the parkland from becoming “overwhelmed by lawlessness”. A private company would be hired to issue fines to anybody caught breaking rules such as parking on the grass or having a barbecue.

The Clifton Down and Durdham Down are subject to byelaws, which in theory ban people from a range of activities. However, these are rarely enforced, with some residents complaining about damage to the grass from fires or vehicles.

The Downs committee, made up of councillors from Bristol City Council and members of the Society of Merchant Venturers has been urged to clamp down on people flouting the byelaws. Robert Westlake, chair of the Downs Advisory Panel, said: “Many byelaws are ignored daily, including driving and parking on the grass, damage to verges from vehicle dwellers and careless contractors, pitching tents, cycling on footpaths, depositing excrement on the highway Turn to Pages 2 & 3

School celebrates diverse culture

St John's Primary School in Redland and Clifton held a special day to celebrate the many countries and regions in its school community. The event was initiated by eight pupils.


General election: the candidates

The general election is on July 4. Find out about the candidates standing in Bristol Central, which is a key Green target.


Rugby club looks to future

Clifton Rugby Club is celebrating a successful season and looking forward to 2024/25.



THE lord mayor of Bristol has questioned whether a large group of people staying in caravans on the Downs last month should have been evicted. They later left for two other parks in Bristol, before leaving the city altogether.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Andrew Varney, the new lord mayor, said the eviction at the Downs, which took place on June 5, was an “extraordinary waste of money”. There are now calls for a review into how the handling of the encampments could have been improved.

The group of Travellers first set up on the Downs at the start of the month. After being evicted, they moved to Horfield Common and Eastville Park, before being evicted from there too. However, Cllr Varney questioned the evictions at the Downs committee meeting.

He said: “They weren’t planning on staying around for long anyway, so it does seem like an extraordinary waste of money. It seems as though there’s no point pushing the problem from one place to another place. We do need a city-wide policy going forward.”

At the time of the encampments, Bristol City Council said that “high levels of antisocial behaviour and criminality” led to police taking action to move the group on. Residents reportedly said rocks had been thrown at toddlers on Horfield Common, while there were also reports of vandalism.

Evicting Travellers branded 'an extraordinary waste of money'

Alex Seabrook reports from the Bristol Downs committee

One reason the eviction took place so quickly on the Downs was due to a “possession order”, which was granted last year.

According to Green Cllr Paula O’Rourke, this runs out at the end of summer, so any future encampments from this autumn onwards could be harder to evict.

She said: “The encampments happened last year in a sequence, where there was always somebody that was on the Downs. That allowed long enough for there to be a possession order granted. That possession order lasts until the end of August this year, which means an eviction was able to happen quite quickly.

“Now once that possession order runs out, we will be back to the old situation. We could get an injunction for a period of time, and I don’t know if that’s something we should investigate. We do need to properly have a review of what happened last week.

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“The encampment of travellers only wanted to stay until Saturday or Sunday. Did we do the right thing in getting them evicted, so that they then went to two other parks in the city and caused that hassle, and then left on Saturday? When I was there, there were 15 enforcement officers and a high court eviction person. That didn’t come cheap.”

But the damage caused to the Downs, as well as the other two parks, was extensive. The option of not taking action was criticised by the new head of the Society of Merchant Venturers, a business group that is partly responsible for maintaining the Downs, along with the council.

Michael Bothamley, master of the Merchant Venturers, said: “I’m disturbed by the suggestion that we shouldn’t take immediate action when people are on the Downs because of the impact elsewhere.

“The fact of the matter is that the Travellers don’t have to stay very long to cause an enormous amount of damage, the spreading of waste, rubbish, human faeces and the rest.”

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Bristol City Council 0117 922 2000

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£20 a year tax to live near Downs?

A NEW tax has been proposed for people living near the Downs to help pay for maintenance costs.

The idea was discussed at a meeting of the Downs committee on June 12. Members were told an area of an undetermined size would be drawn around the Downs, and a levy would be charged on anybody living within that zone. The charge could be £20 a year, and early discussions among Bristol City Council staff are taking place about its introduction.

Lib Dem Caroline Gooch, (Westbury on Trym and Henleaze), said £20 a year would bring in a “big amount of money”.

She said: “The people who benefit most from the Downs are the people who live nearby. Why don’t we just put a small precept on the houses that are within a certain distance of the Downs? Even if it’s only £20 a year, that would be a big amount of money from all of those houses. I don’t

Security patrols

From Page 1

and in shrubbery, fires, unauthorised games, barbecues, and even flying drones.”

He called on the Downs committee to reinstate out-ofhours security patrols, to enforce these rules. He also said there should be a “one-month blitz” with a zero-tolerance approach taken to anybody caught flouting the park rules to “stop the Downs being overwhelmed by lawlessness”.

He added: “The impression of course is that those responsible for good governance are either uninterested or impotent in tackling this situation.”

But the problem is the council’s parks department has had its budget repeatedly cut over recent years, meaning there aren’t enough staff to enforce the byelaws, at the Downs or elsewhere.

It’s unclear how much it would cost to enforce the

see why we shouldn’t do it, if it’s done in other cities.”

Other plans to bring in extra income include replacing the toilet block near the Sea Walls with a cafe, building a mini golf course by the water tower, and installing cricket nets and padel courts. Personal trainers who put on classes at the Downs could also soon be charged a levy to do so.

byelaws, nor who would do so. Work is taking place to estimate how much a private security company would need to be paid, and the police have struggled to tackle similar issues with motorbikes in parks elsewhere.

Green Cllr David Wilcox said: "The police are simply not resourced to deal with this. “If we say there is a fire ban and a barbecue ban on the Downs, and don’t enforce that in the other parks in Bristol, it might be true that fires and barbecues will happen in other parks, and that’s a huge issue. We’re not in a position to enforce any of that across the whole of the city.”

David Freed, a member of the Merchant Venturers, added: “That’s the council’s problem, that’s not our problem. We’re here to look after the Downs, and the Downs is one of the most beautiful open urban spaces anywhere in the south of England. It’s being trashed at the moment. Every day that goes by, we’re gaining a reputation nationally for not looking after it.”

What do you think about The Downs? Email us at

The Downs receives income from hosting events such as Forwards Festival and Funderworld. But hosting these activities also creates extra maintenance work, due to issues such as damage to the grass.

The committee was told that the Downs operates at a financial loss, and last year £570,000 was spent on things like staff, maintenance and cleaning. But

only £376,000 was made in income, meaning a deficit of £194,000 was covered by council tax payers across Bristol.

Luke Mackenzie, the Downs business development manager, told the committee that the potential mini golf operator would need to operate and open the second toilet block for public usage.

“But that would take on the burden of repairing the building and its upkeep. This would be proposed on a lease for a yetto-be-agreed period, that would bring in an additional annual income to the Downs committee, and also cut costs that are currently borne by the council,” he said.

As well as mini golf, cricket and padel are also planned. Multi-use games areas could also be installed, and personal trainers would be encouraged to use these areas instead of holding classes on the grass. The Downs committee could charge them a small fee for each class.

Chantry Court is a vibrant retirement community where happiness and support go hand-in-hand, offering both independence

The Downs – beautiful, but costly to maintain


Pub's getting a £400k makeover

A MAJOR revamp of a pub at Hotwells that has been closed since February is now well under way.

When complete it will create up to fifteen new jobs and see a “tired pub transformed into a top-quality neighbourhood local”.

The Rose of Denmark on Dowry Place is expected to open at the end of the month following a £405,000 investment between Star Inns (owned by Heineken) and Bristol businessman Sam Gregory, who operates a number of pubs in the city.

A feature of the pub will be a pop-up kitchen offering a three-monthly change of food style such as Korean, Mexican or burgers. Morning coffee and baked goods will also be introduced.

Plans for entertainment include regular live music, quiz nights and televised sports. The exterior of the pub is being redecorated with new signage

and lighting. There will also be an outside seating area for both dining and drinking.

Sam Gregory, who is probably best known for running the Bank Hotel in John Street, City Centre, which gained national headlines for its lengthy list of bookings for roast lunches on Sundays, said: “It’s very

important when we identify a pub, that we see potential in an area that is not being served. We don’t have a business model that’s based on replication. We research the area and what the community wants. There’s no point in establishing a trendy wine bar if there is no interest. Avoiding the one-size-fits all

approach means we’re better able to ride out turbulent times as we ensure the community support us.

“The pub market is tough but in my experience, as long as you’re authentic and have a solid offering people will respond. we’ll have a look.

“Hotwells has been crying out for adecent pub for a long time.

“The biggest challenge we face is recruitment. Hospitality isn’t seen as a profession in theUK and so doesn’t attract people, yet the role of pub manager is complex requiring lots ofskills. In France, Ireland, and Australia you need to do courses and get qualifications for career progression.

“Bristol has 800 kitchen staff vacancies. Residential rents are astronomical, so you have to pay a decent wage and ensure staff have a decent work/life balance. Our staff don’twork more than 48 hours, have one weekend off in four and get two days off together.”

Landlady Fiona calls last orders at The Lion

THE licensee of a popular pub in Cliftonwood has closed its doors for the final time - but locals hope to save it.

Fiona Vincent and her family have run The Lion in Church Lane for 16 years but now say have now found it a “struggle”

She said: “We have struggled trying to make ends meet since the Covid pandemic and the cost of living crisis. I have run The Lion on a lease agreement and I am tied as to which suppliers I buy my drinks from. It’s a higher price than if The Lion was not a tied house”

Meanwhile, regulars at the pub and members of the local community are

running a campaign aimed at buying the pub’s freehold and taking over the pub.

David Gilroy, who lives in Cliftonwood and has been a regular at the pub said: “The community is trying to fund-raise to to acquire the freehold from Stonegate, the operators of the pub. It’s likely that we are going to have to raise between £500,000 and £600, 000 to buy the freehold and turn The Lion into a community pub.

“We feel that the pub would be better run as a community asset and opened up for more use than just food and drink.

“Also, the tied contract with the pub company who own it is pretty punchy in

Seeking local heroes

BRISTOL International Balloon Fiesta organisers is seeking ‘local superstars’ to be offered free flights.

It is inviting communities to nominate unsung heroes and suggest take-off points for a series of hot air balloon flights planned for the run-up to next month’s event.

The community flights will take off between August 5 and 8, with the fiesta at Ashton Court taking place from August 9-11 –including Night Glows on the Friday and Saturday.

Organisers plan to future-proof the fiesta, which has its 50th anniversary in 2028.The deadline for applications is Friday July 5. For more information and to make a nomination visit www.

terms of the rent and the cost of beer in the ‘tie’ and that impacts the prices that consumers pay.”

Mr Gilroy added: "We have now received notice from Bristol City Council that The Lion has been designated as an Asset of Community Value.” This means that if a community group wants to buy the asset, they can trigger a six month moratorium to give them a chance to prepare a bid for it. During this period, the owner cannot sell their property on the open market.

The Lion is owned by the UK’s largest pub operator, Stonegate, which has been approached for comment.

Underfall yard market

AN outdoor market takes place at Underfall Yard this month. It will include up to 20 stalls from Bristol’s local traders at the historic habourside setting.

The market, on July 20 and 21, is the first new initiative for the yard since it was badly damaged by fire in May 2023.

Underfall Yard Trust director Sarah Murray said: “For more than 150 years Underfall Yard has been the centre of trades, skills and crafts for Bristol Harbour.

"So we are excited to extend our space to the makers of Bristol and welcome them to the heart of Bristol’s Harbour. The market is scheduled to take place from 10am to 6pm on both days."

How The Rose of Denmark is set to look after its facelift


School celebrates its diverse culture

ST John's Primary School in Clifton & Redland have celebrated the wonderful range of cultures, countries and regions represented in their school. The idea was for fam-ilies to bring in food and drink that was special to them and that they wanted to share with the rest of the school. The aim was "To Bring our Communities Together"

Deputy head teacher Ali Vining, who organised the event, said she was overwhelmed, grateful and hugely impressed by the high quality and thoughtful presentation of the food.

"It was quite a magical moment seeing our families come together and sharing food that they had provided."

An incredible 33 countries, cultures or regions were represented, from Sri Lanka to Scotland, China to Cuba, a small island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, South Korea, Romania, Ukraine, Italy and Jamaica and

many more!

The idea for the event about from eight anti-bullying ambassadors from St John's who attended training with the Diana Award, an anti-bullying charity, founded by the late Princess Diana.

One of the ambassadors said " If we all understand more about how different our lives


are, where we come from and what is special to us, surely that would help reduce bullying and unkindness."

The Culture Cafe worked by purchasing food vouchers that could be exchanged for small taster dishes at the different stalls. The aim was not to raise funds but to cele-brate and bring a sense of belonging – but the

school raised an amazing £1,000 at the event.

The ambassadors chose to share the money between three charities: The Diana Award, a charity close to the school's heart called Fingerprints in Ugan-da which is about improving lives of children in Jinga, Uganda, and a local Bristol homelessness charity.

Our 2022 fizz wins a bronze medal

IT’S been quite chilly recently which isn’t really ideal but isn’t a huge problem either. The vines look a bit pale and sad when the temperature drops below 15oC but they soon perk up as soon as the temperature rises. Looking at them now, they are covered with big flowers that have the potential to become a lot of grapes. The flowers are on standby, all prepped and ready to open as soon as we get a warm day. Once they take the plunge and open, it’s crucial we get several days of good weather to ensure every little flower becomes a little grape. A nice warm, dry week with little to no wind would be ideal!

After an initial quiet period while the hedgerow birds were busy caring for their young, we’ve had a flurry of noise and sound again this week. The new fledglings have been emerging from their nests and taking their first tentative flights amongst the relative safety of the vineyard trellis. Really lovely to see and hear.

On the wine front, we have news of a competition win! We entered our 2022

sparkling white into the Independent English Wine Awards and it has won a bronze medal. A great achievement for a wine that’s relatively young. We released three new fizz recently which are all from the 2022 vintage. Over time, all these wines will subtly change in their flavour profile the longer they are in the bottle. @DYvineyards (X/Twitter) dunleavy vineyards (Facebook & Instagram)


New committee era begins at city council

THE committee system at Bristol City Council is up and running following the elections in May. Councillors met to elect members to key roles at the authority and vote for this year’s Lord Mayor.

Councillors voted to establish eight new Policy Committees and agree which members would hold the roles of Chairs and Vice Chairs for each committee.

The eight Policy Committee Chairs are:

• Cllr Lorraine Francis, Chair of the Adult Social Care Committee

• Cllr Christine Townsend, Chair of the Children and Young People Committee

• Cllr Andrew Brown, Chair of the Economy and Skills Committee

• Cllr Martin Fodor, Chair of the Environment and Sustainability Committee

• Cllr Barry Parsons, Chair of the Homes and Housing Delivery Committee

• Cllr Stephen Williams, Chair of the Public Health and Communities Committee

• Cllr Tony Dyer (Leader of the Council) and Chair of the Strategy and Resources Committee

• Cllr Ed Plowden, Chair of the Transport and Connectivity Committee

Each cross-party Policy Committee is responsible for project and policy decisions,

while the Policy Chairs role is to lead the work of each Committee and represent the committee at a local and regional level.

Alongside the eight Policy Committees, councillors also appointed chairs to the SubCommittees, Regulatory Committees, and Other Committees:

• Cllr Abdul Malik, Chair of the Finance SubCommittee

• Cllr Tim Wye, Chair of the Heath Scrutiny Sub-Committee

• Cllr Rob Bryher, Chair of the Development Control Committee A

• Cllr Don Alexander, Chair of the Development Control Committee B

• Cllr Sarah Classick, Chair of the Public Safety and Protection Committee

• Cllr John Goulandris, Chair of the Public Rights of Way and Greens Committee

• Cllr Timothy Rippington, Chair of the Audit Committee

• Cllr Kye Dudd, Chair of the Human Resources Committee

• Cllr Fabian Breckels, Chair of the Licensing Committee

Cllr Tony Dyer was sworn in as the Leader of Bristol City Council. While addressing councillors in the chamber during his maiden speech, Tony said: “Each of you, as

decision makers within this council, now have the power to affect the lives of tens of thousands of Bristol residents, often, and I hope positively, but, given the financial, environmental and social pressures facing our city, there will be times when you will have to make tough decisions.

“All of us, as a collective body of powerful decision makers need to accept the great responsibility of ensuring those decisions are made in both a timely and informed manner and to the best of our ability. Our citizens deserve nothing less.”

Full Council also appointed Cllr Heather Mack as Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Andrew Varney to the position of Lord Mayor with Cllr Paul Goggin taking up the role of Deputy Lord Mayor.

Following the result of a referendum in May 2022, the council has now adopted a new system of governance. The new Committee System has replaced the Mayoral and Cabinet model, and is led by 70 councillors, representing Bristol’s 34 wards. New decisions will be made by either Full Council, a committee, or council officers depending on the money needed to be spent/ saved and the number of wards effected. You can find out more on the council website.


Nicholas Coombes is the Liberal Democrat candidate for Bristol Central. He is campaigning for a fair deal; to restore the broken social contract between our state and its citizens.

Liberal Democrats will invest in carers, recognising and rewarding the work that they do looking after loved ones, and supporting the NHS.

Having fought to remain in the European Union, we want to put Britain on a path to re-joining the single market; to improve relations with our neighbours, boost trade and cut tariffs.

We are fighting to clean up our environment and stop water companies dumping sewage. We would continue to decarbonise energy supply, started when the Liberal Democrats were in government but trashed since by the Conservatives.

Liberal Democrats would also introduce a proportional voting system, to end the frustration of tactical voting and deliver representative government.

Professionally, Nicholas is a chartered Town Planner, specialising in energy and transport infrastructure. He is currently working on the development of an offshore windfarm. He wants to use his expertise to fight climate change, and get Bristol moving.

Nicholas has recently won a seat on Bristol City Council. This is his second period as a Councillor, having previously served 8 years in the role. He has been appointed to the Transport Committee and is Vice Chair of Audit.

He lives in Clifton with his partner, and outside of work and politics he enjoys hiking and cycling in the countryside. He also sings with his local choir and plays classical piano.

Thangam Debbonaire (Labour)

I am proud to have represented you in Parliament for the last 9 years.

My politics have been shaped by my life experiences. My dad left his home in India and came to this country to take up a place at the Royal Academy of Music. He made this country his home. Growing up in a creative household, I became a professional musician before moving to Bristol over 30 years ago to work for domestic abuse charities.

As the local MP since 2015 I have taken over 40,000 issues on behalf of our community - working to ensure Bristol remains a welcoming place for refugees, fighting for residents affected by the cladding scandal, campaigning for more dentists for our community including successfully in St Paul’s and protecting local bus routes.

In Parliament, I have always stood up for Bristol’s values. I’ve fought for bold action to tackle the climate emergency, voted against the Tory party’s cruel Rwanda scheme and fought for closer ties with the EU. I also tabled and voted for a motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

You can read more about my successes as your MP on my website -

If you re-elect me I promise to:

1. Take radical action to tackle the climate emergency.

2. Give our children the best start in life with free breakfast clubs and mental health support.

3. Support families in Bristol by tackling the Tory cost of living crisis

4. Tackle knife crime with a targeted programme to identify the young people at risk.

Bristol finally has the chance to make real change with me as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. You deserve to be represented at the heart of government by someone who can help transform Bristol and beyond for the better.


Carla Denyer is a renewable energy engineer who got into politics because she could see our country’s problems and wanted to roll up her sleeves and help fix them.

In 2021, she became Leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, having led Bristol to make the first climate emergency declaration in Europe. She’s used her platform to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, more action on the climate emergency and protection of our NHS.

In 2019, Carla made a significant impact as the Green Party’s MP candidate in Bristol West. She not only came second but nearly doubled the Greens’ previous vote share, receiving the highest number of votes that the Green Party has ever received in a General Election outside of Brighton Pavilion.

As a councillor and campaigner, social justice is at the heart of Carla’s work. Whether on renters’ rights or access to public transport and key services, Carla consistently stood up for the people who need it the most.

I'm Samuel Williams, and I'm running to be your next Member of Parliament for Bristol Central. My grandmother came to the UK from Jamaica as part of the Windrush generation and worked in the NHS to help rebuild our nation following the Second World War. Growing up as a mixed-race, dyslexic boy from a single-parent home, I know the challenges many of us face. An experienced businessman and charity leader, I stood to be the Mayor of the West of England in 2021; and I'm here to be a voice for the unheard and underrepresented—a voice for a hopeful future and a thriving Bristol Central.

Bristol Central is full of potential, vibrant communities, and rich history. But under Labour's prolonged city, regional, and parliamentary leadership in Bristol Central, we've seen excessive spending and mismanagement. Projects like the failed Bristol Energy Company have wasted resources that could have been better used. I believe Labour has neglected our city's transport, education, and affordable housing needs.

As your representative, I will prioritise:

• Safeguarding our climate and green spaces: I am committed to environmental sustainability, preserving our green areas, and delivering an inclusive green economic transition.

• Improving local health care: Enhancing healthcare services and access for all residents, including innovations like Pharmacy First.

• Advocating for new housing: Ensuring the development of affordable and quality housing, and supporting first-time buyers.

• Empowering education: Investing in education for better opportunities for our youth, including supporting Special Education Needs provision.

• Backing our high street and boosting our economy: Supporting local businesses, investing in our high streets, and stimulating growth

This election, let’s choose a brighter future for Bristol Central. Vote for change. Vote for me, Samuel Williams. Together, we can make Bristol Central thrive.

Carla Denyer (Green)
Samuel Williams (Conservative)
Nicholas Coombes (Lib Dem)

How wealth affects health

PEOPLE living in the richest parts of Bristol live for a decade longer on average than those in the poorest parts. Men in Lawrence Hill have the lowest life expectancy of 72 years, while men in Westbury-on-Trym and Henleaze have the highest at 83.

Women tend to live longer than men. The area with the lowest life expectancy for women is in Hartcliffe and Withywood, at 79 years, while the highest is in Clifton, at 88.

Both men and women in Bristol live shorter lives than the English average, according to the latest data in the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment. This is put together by Bristol City Council and the local NHS integrated care board, detailing the city’s health needs.

The JSNA says: “People in Bristol are living longer. However, the last three years have seen a slight decrease in life expectancy due to effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Compared to 2019, male life expectancy in Bristol is 1.2 years shorter, and female life expectancy is 0.2 years shorter.

“It is possible to extend life expectancy if people adopt healthy lifestyles, if improvements are made to the wider determinants of health such as employment, and if vulnerable people are supported through their life, for instance by averting and mitigating the impact of adverse childhood experiences.”

Men in Bristol can expect to live for 77.8 years, just below the English average of 79.3 years. Women can expect to live for 82.7 years, slightly lower than the English average of 83.1 years. Data on life expectancy among different ethnic groups is not possible to estimate, due to a limited amount of personal details recorded on a death certificate.

Areas where people live longer lives include Stoke Bishop, Cotham, and

Bishopston and Ashley Down. Areas where people live shorter lives include Southmead, Filwood, and St George West. There is a clear link between poverty levels and shorter life expectancies, shown in the data.

Across England, life expectancy had been steadily rising since the 19th century, until 2011, according to the King’s Fund, a health think tank. Increases then slowed, due to a range of causes including deadlier strains of flu viruses circulating over the last decade, as well as austerity.

A major part of the difference between why women live longer than men, and why people in richer areas live longer than poorer areas, is due to differences in smoking rates. Other factors include diet, access to healthcare, income, education, housing and employment.

By Alex Seabrook, Local Democracy Reporting Service

The power of kindness

PUPILS in Years 3 and 4 at Redmaids’ High Junior School took part in a week of activities dedicated to kindness and compassion.

During lessons such as art, music, drama and dance, the girls were creative and reflective in thinking about how acts of kindness can have a big impact. Paying attention to their own actions and those of others, they recorded their kind deeds each day and then wrote them in a kindness diary.

In art, the girls looked at the image of The Khamsa and the Five Pillars of Islam. They looked at Islamic patterns, geometry and symbols and learned that the third pillar of Islam is Zakat; charity and giving to those in need. The girls created their own Khamsa paintings with symbols and decorative patterns.

The girls enjoyed learning about how music is used in worship to show kindness in different world religions. They learned hymns linked to The Good Samaritan, a Jewish prayer song and composed their own kindness chants inspired by Buddhism.

The girls took part in a dance workshop led by Avtar’s Indian Culture & Dance, who taught the girls about the importance of community and serving others in Hinduism and Sikhism through traditional dance.

Finally, they were visited by a therapy dog called Roydon from the national charity Pets As Therapy (PAT). The girls met him in small groups and enjoyed his calming presence while they read him stories.

WORK is under way to fill in a disused cellar under Queens Avenue in Clifton.

An inspection found that the old coal cellar, which runs under the width of Queens Avenue, was in a bad condition and a section of road above was fenced off as a precaution.

Working in partnership with the University of Bristol, which owns adjacent Beacon House, Bristol City Council is leading on the project to fill in the cellar using foam concrete. Construction work began on June 17, and was expected to take five weeks to complete.


Road repairs begin

While the work is taking place, the pavement that runs alongside Beacon House on Queens Avenue is closed to pedestrians who will be directed across to the other side of the road. Parking spaces alongside Beacon House will also be suspended throughout the works, however, the bus stop on Queens Avenue and access to the nightclub PamPam will not be affected.

John Smith, executive director for growth & regeneration at Bristol City Council, said: "The good news is that we will be able to open up the whole road once the foam concrete has set, freeing up important space for the nearby bus stop and road users. I’d like to thank the University of Bristol for working with us to find a long-term solution to this issue and to everyone for bearing with

us while we complete these vital works.”

David Tonkin, associate director of campus operations at the University of Bristol, added: “Beacon House occupies a prominent position in the city for our staff, students and for the local community. We’re very happy to have found a solution to this issue, working closely with the council.”

The costs of the works will be shared equally between the council and university.

Griffiths, the council's appointed contractor, will carry out the stabilisation works.

Clifton player receives national league recognition

PLAYERS and supporters of Clifton Rugby Club are already full of expectations of what the coming 2024-25 season will bring.

The 1st team will continue to operate in the National 2 West league, the second XV [Wanderers] will play a good standard of rugby in the Counties league and the third XV [Misfits] in a local league.

The club is looking to recruit players of all abilities across semi professional and amateur standards to enjoy well-structured paying chances and a great social scene!

Benefits include high quality coaching, top level strength and conditioning, player development pathways, regular competitive matches and access to the premiership standard on site LIFT gym.

Anyone interested in joining as a player, taking out membership as a spectator or sponsorship options should contact

New players should turn up at the club on Mondays preseason / Tuesday in season and Thursday evenings during July and August from 6-30pm

At the end of each rugby season, a team is selected from across each national league. Long serving scrum half Mitch Spencer has been selected for the past season. This is a tribute to his skill and determination. Only injury prevented number eight Brad Talbot joining him.

At the end-of-season dinner lock forward Kei Bergh was presented with the Player’s Player award for the past season with flanker Kofi Cripps receiving the Coaches Player award. Performances by Cripps resulted in a contract with Bristol Bears. 2nd XV award winners were Findlay Hazel and James Taylor with Leo Howard and Jason Grinstead picking up the 3rd XV nominations. Taylor received an award for playing across the three teams reflecting the pathway the club offers for players to develop.

Clifton 1stXV open the season on September 6 with an away fixture at Exeter University

With promotions and relegations sorted the 1st XV away trips will range from Camborne and Redruth in Cornwall to Macclesfield in Cheshire. Clubs that were former traditional opponents will be returning to play Clifton, including Taunton, Cinderford and Devonport Services. Local derbies will feature Old Redcliffians and the Hornets from Weston super Mare.

Preseason fixtures will be announced on the club website and include home matches with Welsh clubs Narbeth and Ebbw Vale. The Ebbw fans will be particularly welcome for their now annual visit and singing well into the evening.

Mitch Spencer, top; Kofi Cripps, left; Kai Bergh, above Photos: Ian Clark

Action call to tackle obesity

A NEW action plan to halt rising obesity levels in Bristol could take a “system-wide approach” and oppose companies “selling really s*** food”. Public health experts believe systemic changes are needed in the wider Bristol region to help people reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Changes could be coming to school dinners and meals served in hospitals, after concerns about the quality and healthiness of this food. One council boss said companies were “perpetuating really poor diets”, and called for similar measures to antismoking policies.

Action will be coordinated across councils and NHS organisations that form the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care System. The plan was discussed during a meeting of the health and wellbeing board on May 23 at Bristol City Council.

Emily Moseley, a public health registrar, said: “One in five children are living with overweight or obesity when they start school, and this increases to one in three by the time they leave school. This has a big impact on the NHS, as obesity is linked to a range of noncommunicable diseases.

“It’s possible that obesity could overtake tobacco and smoking as the biggest cause of preventable death. This impact isn’t felt equally across society, with lower income households facing multiple challenges in managing finances, making it harder to access nutritious food and opportunities to be physically active.”

She added there was a clear link between poverty and obesity. According to the council’s quality of life survey, the area with the highest level of people who are overweight and obese is Stockwood, followed by Brislington East, Henbury and Brentry.


News from your Green Party Clifton Down councillors George Calascione and Serena Ralston

HELLO! We’re writing to you just over a month after being elected and it’s been a busy and exciting time for the new Green-led council. We’ve been undergoing training, helping you with local issues, and enjoying meeting lots of people in the area.

Helping you with local issues

Residents have raised concerns about an Airbnb apartment which they say is causing noise, waste and other nuisance. We have visited, chatted to neighbours and are liaising with the Neighbourhood Enforcement team at the council to see what can be done.

Bristol has one of the highest densities of Airbnbs in the country and we know that this can push up rents and take housing from local people. As a member of the new Economy and Skills Committee Serena will push for policy development in this area. However, UK law does not currently enable the council to make regulations with any teeth. In the meantime, we are very keen to hear from residents about their experiences with other Airbnb and serviced short-term stay properties.

Unfortunately, problems with the communal bins on Alma Vale Road persist, including flytipping. A long-term solution is clearly needed. We have visited a concerned resident on the road to hear their views and have reported the issues to Bristol Waste and the council’s Neighbourhood Enforcement Team. We will wait to see what the response is before working with them on a long-term solution.

We have also raised with the council’s Planning Enforcement

Team that there are unauthorised works on a listed building on Buckingham Vale. As we write, we are waiting to hear back from them.

We are still pushing for action on the derelict ‘Be in Bristol’ building on Whiteladies Road. Serena has written to the agents yet again last month but still has not received an answer as to why the building remains in this state and what will happen in future.

Spotlight on Clifton Down Community Association

We’ll be focusing on a different community group in our column each month. This time it’s the turn of the Clifton Down Community Association (CDCA).

The CDCA has traditionally covered the area between Apsley Road and Pembroke Road and Whiteladies Road. It has extended from Apsley Road up to Upper Belgrave Road, so anyone in this extended area is welcome to join their mailing list too.

Following the successful adoption of Clifton Down Station, the CDCA has embarked on an exciting project to turn the unused car park behind Clifton Down Shopping Centre into a thriving ‘Growing Space’ project. The space will give between 11and 44 people the opportunity to grow food close to their homes. The association recently applied for planning permission for the project on land donated by shopping centre owners Sovereign Network Group for up to three years.

Over the last couple of years CDCA has organised a series of wildlife walks with local expert Steve England who has a unique talent and enthusiasm in bringing landscapes to life. Partly funded by the Community Rail Partnership, the walks take place at locations along the Severn Beach railway line. The walks are open to anyone who lives in the Clifton Down area and even beyond if numbers permit. The next one will be at a nature reserve near Sea Mills on Saturday 14th September. Meet the group at Clifton Down station at 11am to travel there by train.

The CDCA is also planning a street party this summer, a ‘welcome students’ event in the autumn, and continuing its regular litter picks.

If you’d like to join CDCA or receive their news, contact them via email cliftondownca@gmail.


They also have a Facebook Group. • Please get in touch with us if you’d like your community group to be featured in our column.

Full Council and the committee system

Full Council took place on Tuesday 21st May. Green Councillor Tony Dyer was voted by Full Council as Leader of the Council. Full Council oversees and amends the new committee system.

Now that there is no longer an executive mayor, decision-making has been devolved to eight policy committees, five of which are chaired by a Green and two of which are chaired by LibDems. Labour was offered two chairs, which would be proportional, but they declined them.

The committees are: Adult Social Care; Children and Young People; Economy and Skills; Environment and Sustainability; Homes and Housing Delivery; Public Health and Communities; Strategy and Resources; and Transport and Connectivity. Serena sits on the Economy and Skills committee while George sits on the Adult Social Care committee. There are also regulatory committees and both Serena and George sit on Development Control A (planning) committee. Serena also sits on the licensing committee.

There is a very useful page on the council website that explains the new system: Committee system guide (

Clifton Down ward will now be in Area Committee 3, comprising Clifton, Clifton Down, Hotwells and Harbourside, and Cotham. Alongside other issues, Area Committees determine how Community Infrastructure Levy money will be spent.

Full Council, policy committee meetings and regulatory committee meetings are all open to the public and held at City Hall. Dates, deadlines for submissions and agendas for meetings can all be viewed on the Bristol City Council website.

Please do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

Serena Ralston cllr.serena.ralston@

George Calascione


News from your Green Party Clifton councillors

YOUR Clifton councillors are settling back into their roles and adjusting to the new regime at City Hall where there is no mayor, and the Greens are the largest party. This is a good opportunity for us to tell you about the roles that your local ward councillors play in city-wide decision-making process.

Out with the Mayor and in with the policy committees

Now that there is no longer an executive mayor, decision-making has been devolved to eight policy committees, five of which are chaired by Greens and two by LibDems. Labour were offered two chairs, which would be proportional, but they declined to have them.

The committees are as follows: Adult Social Care; Children and Young People; Economy and Skills; Environment and Sustainability; Homes and Housing Delivery; Public Health and Communities; Strategy and Resources; Transport and Connectivity. Jerome sits on the Housing policy committee and Paula sits on Economy and Skills.

There are also other regulatory committees and Paula sits onDevelopment Control (planning) while Jerome sits on the FinanceSubcommittee and both of us sit on the Human Resource committee as we believe there is some work to be done to make BCC a more efficient and effective organisation.

Paula also sits on the Downs Committee which leads into our next topic ...

Travellers on the Downs

Every summer, we get incursions onto the grassland and there is a process in place to quickly evict the travellers. Most times, the travellers only want to stay for a few days, so comply with the court order. However, this year, we have had an unusually large group of travellers who were unusually aggressive and uncooperative (BCC use this opportunity to send welfare officers to check on pregnant women or those with young children, provide bins, etc. – however, none of this was accepted this year). We saw the dangers present when large vehicles – some with chippers

as you can see, but it is expected that some areas will be open to the public early next year.

attached - are moving at speed across the grassland, and also saw the amount of detritus left which the BCC staff then have to clear up. We know that residents are frustrated to see garden clearance material being dumped on the Downs – especially those who have been following the long and expensive story of the removal of the spoil on Christchurch Green! Having spoken to officers when the eviction was being carried out, we know that there is a potential to secure an injunction and we will be investigating that option. We do respect the culture of the travellers and recognise that they are a protected minority, but we are keen to find a way that they can live their lives without risking the safety of others and diminishing the general amenity of the Downs for all.

The Downs Advisory Panel (DAP) – which was established while Paula was Lord Mayor and chair of the Downs Committee – reports to each meeting and it is clear that residents are also


Missing link on coast path

A MISSING link to the coastal path along the River Severn has been held up at a motorway crossing. The footpath runs from Aust to Clevedon, and will eventually form a national trail along the entire coast of England.

But the path currently stops at the Severn Bridge, which the M48 runs over, and progress has been blocked by safety works. Staff at South Gloucestershire Council warned that the project to connect the path with northern sections was “going to take some time”.

The King Charles III England Coast Path is being delivered by Natural England, and aims to provide people with more access to nature. But locally there have been setbacks and delays, councillors on the public rights of way and commons committee were told.

getting more and more concerned by the significant increase in the number of van dwellers living on the highways that run through the Downs. The present parking restrictions are not effective, so the DAP is recommending making changes that would stop overnight parking and to engage security teams to monitor anti-social behaviour. The Downs Committee has promised to review their recommendations and report back at the next meeting.

This brings us back to the new policy committees. The solution to this problem of van dwellers lies in more affordable housing – both for rent and for purchase, so having Jerome on the Homes and Housing Delivery Committee is important. As Paula is on the Downs Committee, she will be pressing the new Transport Committee to do a proper parking review.

Paula O'Rourke: cllr.serena.

Jerome Thomas: cllr.jerome.

Lindsay Saunders, a public rights of way officer, said: “At the north section where it joins to the Severn Bridge, we’ve got quite a few issues up there because it’s going over land where there hasn’t been a footpath. There might have been one back in the dark ages, but there certainly hasn’t been one since the map was drawn up. The Severn Bridge area is looked after by a company called Amey, who are very very twitchy about anything over there. The section has got to be pushed through, it’s got to go over the old motorway fence, we’ve got to remove a bund, it’s got to go along the top of a cliff, it’s got to be fenced. So it’s a long work in progress and it’s going to take some time.

“The biggest hurdle at the moment is going to be getting agreement from Amey to make a hole in their fence and move the earth bund with a JCB. They’re quite twitchy because it’s all close to the cliff, and they think Natural England are completely mad having it so close to the cliff.”

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Cllr Jerome Thomas and Cllr Paula O'Rourke are delighted to have been able to support Emma Harvey and her work to bring Jacobs Wells Baths back to use for the community. There is a lot to do,


Staying balanced and aligned

STARTING the day with a bike ride to work can feel invigorating, but nothing puts the brakes on that morning buzz like a slipped chain.

Recently, on several chilly mornings, I found myself wrestling with a stubborn bike chain. Picture this: my hands, slick with oil and numb from the cold, struggling to fix the chain so I could push on. It turns out, the root of the problem was a dry chain that desperately needed lubrication – a simple maintenance step I’d overlooked in the hustle of daily life. Just like my bike needs regular oiling to function smoothly, our bodies require consistent care to stay in top form.

Often, we don’t notice the ‘maintenance’ we need until something goes wrong. We might skip sleep, indulge in less-thannutritious food, or skimp on relaxation and exercise because our schedules are packed from dawn to dusk. But just as a dry bike chain can

eventually slip, our bodies can only handle neglect for so long before they signal for help.

To prevent breakdowns, think of selfcare as your daily dose of oil. Ensure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and taking moments to rest your mind.

Regular exercise keeps your system running smoothly, much like how a welloiled chain glides over the gears. And don’t forget about professional tune-ups. Integrating routine chiropractic adjustments and massage therapy can be likened to the regular maintenance that keeps your bike – and your body –balanced and in perfect alignment. By addressing potential issues before they turn into problems, you can keep your body’s ‘chain’ from slipping off at the worst times.

So, let’s make a pact to keep our chains well-oiled, both literally and metaphorically. Your body (and your bike) will thank you for it, ensuring many smooth rides ahead .

n NATURE WATCH with Dawn Lawrence

Ten years of urban wildlife observations

IT is ten years since I began writing about our urban wildlife on these pages and to celebrate (and because I almost missed this month’s deadline…) I am recycling a column from my first year.

In a well-balanced ecosystem every pest has its predator and some of our favourite garden visitors think of those pests as lunch! Blue tits and great tits prefer to feed their young on caterpillars at first, then later they will move on to aphids. We once found a thrush’s anvil in our garden; a large angular stone against which the song thrush had been busy breaking the shells of snails plucked from our flower beds. In return for those snails, he sings us his tuneful and inventive song. Slugs are much less palatable to birds, though once, in a dry spell, we watched a blackbird wiping a big slug against a brick to remove the slime before gulping it down with a look of distaste in his beady yellow eye. However, the violet ground beetle loves the taste of wet slug on a cold morning. These beautiful beetles have black wing cases tinged with violet with a shining edge when they catch the light.

Certain species acquire an undeserved notoriety amongst gardeners. Some dislike the

rose chafer beetle because of its reputation for eating rose petals and, in the words of one disapproving gardener, “because they do buzz so!” For me their buzzing is a pleasant musical accompaniment to warm summer days, but it is true, they will nibble roses as part of their diet. However, they also are brilliant at making compost – this is junior beetle’s job. Find a big fat grub in your compost heap? Think, “oh yuk!”

or maybe even, “hmm... perhaps sauté with garlic and ginger?” Stop! This ugly grub is no idle squatter, it is busily turning your garden waste into valuable compost. And then it will turn itself into a sparkling metallic green beetle and go and fly into a garden wall and land upside down on the pavement, where it will catch your eye as it lies there wriggling its golden-rose underbelly (they’re not great fliers!). So please, don’t crush it: pick it up and place it on a flower. It’s done sterling work making compost for most of its life, surely we can spare it a few bites of rose petal in return during its few weeks of adult life.

Now, I can’t claim that installing a couple of tit boxes in your garden will sort out your aphid problems and nor will the ground beetles ever eradicate all the slugs but it is worth choosing a specific molluscide to apply to your slugs, and an aphidicide for your roses rather than a wide spectrum pesticide which will kill off your ground beetles and ladybirds as well as your slugs and aphids. And it is worth installing a bird box for the tits, if only for the sheer pleasure of watching them!

© Dawn Lawrence
A rose chafer on hogweed. Photograph by Rupert Higgins Photo: Rupert Higgins

Child or adult suffering with earache? Kellaway Pharmacy can help

EARACHE and ear pain can affect one or both ears. While they may not be a sign of anything serious, the pain and discomfort can be unbearable, causing anxiety and restlessness.

The good news is you can now come into KELLAWAY PHARMACY for free NHSfunded care for moderate to severe earache symptoms not eased by pain relief. This care includes examination, management advice, and appropriate treatment.

The good news is that we can offer this NHS care across most age groups, starting from 1-year-old children. A young child with earache may be unable to communicate what is wrong. Signs to look out for include:

· rubbing or pulling their ear · not reacting to some sounds · a temperature of 38C or above

being irritable or restless

off their food

losing their balance

Most earaches in children are caused by an ear infection, which clears up within three

to five days without treatment. Painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can be used for adults and children in pain or with a high temperature.

Antibiotics aren't usually needed unless symptoms persist or are particularly severe, but we will offer an examination that will help determine the best course of action. Access to this free NHS examination and care offers rest of mind and speedy treatment, with antibiotics only used when appropriate.

We use an otoscope to examine your ears for signs of infection, take a medical history, and consider other symptoms. If we find any signs of a more serious condition, such as a perforated eardrum, a foreign object in the ear, or a sudden, severe hearing loss, we will refer you to your GP or other sources of help for immediate attention.

We can provide ear drops or antibiotics as part of your NHS treatment if you need them.

Remember, it's crucial to avoid improper ear-cleaning practices, such as using cotton buds or other objects in your ear. These can do

more harm than good. Take care of your ears; they're precious.

A build-up of earwax in your ear can cause problems like Earache, hearing loss, tinnitus (hearing sounds from inside your body), itchiness in or around the ear, vertigo (a spinning sensation) and ear infections. These will usually improve once the excess earwax has been removed.

We offer affordable Professional Ear Wax Removal using micro-suction, a painless procedure regarded as the safest and most effective method.

Call us KELLAWAY PHARMACY on 0117 9246579 to learn more about our NHS-funded Ear Care and Professional Ear Wax Removal.


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WHEN we look at human affairs with hindsight, it usually makes us all very clever, and it is sometimes possible to identify a key ‘what if’ moment. The following events relate to a momentous one, and one wonders what a different sort of place the world would be today if the events I am about to recount had panned out differently.

The Dinwiddies were a Glasgow merchant family whose son Robert went to university. Robert became a colonial administrator and in 1724 was appointed Royal Collector of Customs for Bermuda. Meanwhile in New Providence (now the Bahamas), their Governor was Bristol’s famous Woodes Rogers, (his commemorative blue plaque can still be seen on the west side of Queen Square). Illness forced his return to England, providing an opportunity for Robert Dinwiddie, who had a reputation for probity, shrewdness and understanding of the colonists’ problems, including their desperate need for coinage. Horace Walpole offered him a new post: Surveyor-General of

Customs for the whole of the Southern District of the American Colonies and the Bahamas. This meant that after sixteen years in Bermuda, he took over from Woodes Rogers in 1742 before becoming Virginia’s LieutenantGovernor. Although he had a generally harmonious relationship with the colonists and the governing council, upholding of the Royal prerogative caused problems. Each time he certified a land patent a quit rent imposed on the land grant. His insistence on the payment of this tax to the amount of a Spanish Pistole, (a coin worth about £1), indicated a serious lack of judgment. This action was an event that added to the colonists many grievances that precipitated the war for independence.

At that time many were expressing anxieties about the strong possibility of an impending ‘bloody war’ with the French. One problem was that he could see that these tracts lay across the French’s own line of expansion which ran from Canada to their Louisiana settlements. An

Sold for £3,400

advocate of British expansion into the west, he employed a young lieutenant to survey the state of the Ohio River forts and enemy’s strengths. So impressed by the courage, acumen and comprehensiveness of his report that he promoted him to lieutenant colonel, whose name was George Washington. The rest as they say, ‘is history’. The pressures of office and the war badly taxed Dinwiddie's health and at his own request he was relieved of office in 1758, and together with his wife and two daughters returned to Bath for his health before dying July 27th 1770 in Bristol. His memorial plaque was in St Andrews Parish church in Clifton, until destroyed by second world war bombing. My thanks to the late Marguerite Fedden for her copy of his memorial.

Thus representing a true ‘hinge moment’ in human history. Suppose Robert Dinwiddie hadn’t given that young lieutenant that promotion and opportunity for leadership, would the world be a different place? © Julian Lea-Jones

for £4,500


In this Church are deposited the Remains of ROBERT DINWIDDIE, Esq. formerly Governor of Virginia.

Who Deceased July 27th 1770 in the 78th years of his Age.

The Annals of that Country will testify

With what Judgement, Activity, and Zeal he exerted himself In the Public Cause

When the whole North American Continent was involved in a French & Indian War

His Rectitude of Conduct in his Government

And integrity in other Public Employments

Add a lustre to his Character which was revered while he lived

And will be held in estimation whilst his Name survives

His more private Virtues and the amiable social qualities he possessed

Were the happiness of his numerous Friends and Relations,

Many of whom shared his Bounty

All lament his Loss

As his happy Dispositions for domestic Life

Were best known to his affectionate Wife & Daughters

They have, Erected this Monument

To the Memory of his Conjugal and Paternal Love

Which They will ever cherish and revere

With that Piety and Tenderness He so greatly merited.

Farwell Blest Shade, no more will Grief oppress Propitious Angels guide Thee to thy Rest. 01934 830 111

Rolex - GMT-Master ref:1675 stainless steel cased Officially Certified Chronograph Sold for £8,250

Salerooms, The Auction Centre, Kenn Road, Kenn, Clevedon, Bristol, BS21 6TT CLEVEDON VALUATION DAYS Clevedon Salerooms, every Monday, 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm BRISTOL VALUATION DAY* Tuesday 13th August, Stoke Lodge, Shirehampton Rd, BS9 1BN, 10am–3pm

*Join Chris Yeo and Izzie Balmer, as seen on BBC's Antiques Roadshow and Antiques Road Trip, along with our valuation team.

Edwardian diamond bracelet
Andrew Beer, (1862-1954) - Oil on canvas –'Easter Old Bird Fly' Sold


Mornings in Jenin

WE start in 1941, in the village of Ein Hod in Palestine, at the beginning of the olive harvest. We meet Yehya & Basima Abulheja and their two sons Hasan & Darweesh. Hasan has a best friend Ari a German Jewish refugee. They teach each other words in Arabic, German and English and learn to respect each other’s culture and traditions. Hasan meets Dalia, the daughter of a Bedouin, attracted by her beauty and her fierce independent spirit. They marry and have three children, Yousef, Ismael & Amal. When Yousef is 4, he accidentally drops six month old Ismael, whose face is left with a permanent scar, by a nail on the crib. The family’s peaceful life is shattered in 1948, by the declaration of the state of Israel. Israeli soldiers attack Ein Hod, killing Dalia’s father, paralysing Darweesh and capturing Ismael. The Israeli soldier who steals Ismael from his mother is called Moshe. He


“COLOMBE thought for a long time that love was primary and friendship secondary. There was a hierarchy to our emotions. For Colombe, friendship is easy, natural, effortless, durable, whereas love fails every time… Colombe still hasn’t found lasting love, but she is surrounded by lasting friendship, Héloïse being the oldest, one of the great witnesses to her life.”

In her memoir comprising three movements, almost novellas, Colombe Schneck frames the story of a faithful, lifelong friendship with

steals Ismael for his wife, Jolanta, a German Jew, who is desperate for a child, after being made barren, as a result of being repeatedly raped by the SS. Her mother, father, brothers and sisters were all killed in the death camps. Ismael is renamed as David after Jolanta’s father. Amal and her mother are moved to a refugee camp in Jenin. Hasan goes missing and Yousef is imprisoned and tortured by the Israelis. Upon his release, Yousef leaves his family to join the Palestine Liberation Organisation. In 1973, Amal travels to Philadelphia to start a new life as a student at Temple University, where she is known as Amy. Yousef meanwhile is teaching children in the Sabra & Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon. Amal journeys to Beirut where she meets and falls in love with a doctor called Majid. They marry but their domestic bliss is shattered by the Israeli invasion of Lebanon with tragic consequences for their family.

that of a love affair in her teens and one in her fifties. The early affair leads to the devastating discovery that all she has been taught of liberation is untrue: she thought she was equal to men; she thought her body belonged to her; she thought she could choose what she wanted for it. At seventeen, that belief is shattered by becoming pregnant. The relationship she describes in her fifties feels like the one she had always longed for: a deeply romantic, tangible love where before she had only imagined the experience of love. She is lost when it ends. Until she isn’t. Until she finds a version of the freedom she thought she had all


ONCE again, Bristol City Council libraries are holding their annual Summer Reading Challenge to encourage children across the city to read a range of books throughout the holidays, along with a whole host of other creative activities to enjoy.

Claire, Children’s Librarian, said: “We're so excited to reveal that the theme for this year’s #SummerReadingChallenge is Marvellous Makers! Developed in partnership with Create, a leading charity bringing the creative arts to those who need it most, this year’s Challenge aims to fire up children’s imaginations and

This is a haunting and heart wrenching novel, telling the story of one families struggle to survive, over a period of 60 years covering 5 countries and 4 generations. It is a story of faith, forgiveness and love and loss but above all it is a testament to the strength and resilience of the Palestinian people, and their determination to have a state of their own. Y ou can find this novel, along with many others at Bishopston Library. Please come and visit us at 100 Gloucester Road, and obtain a library card, giving you free internet access and the opportunity to borrow from a catalogue of over two million books. You will be assured of a warm welcome.

Review by Bob Deacon of Bishopston Library

those years before.

The Paris Trilogy is both subtle and frank. Schneck’s naivety is offered alongside great insight into the bonds of friendship, into feminism and taking up space – in conversation or in a swimming pool, into homes and the lives lived and unlived in one place.

These ideas are addressed too in Lauren Elkin’s debut novel. In Scaffolding a woman who has recently suffered a miscarriage befriends her new neighbour, Clémentine, who spends her nights painting feminist messages around Paris. The two form a close bond, their conversation by turns academic and enjoyably trivial. In

unleash storytelling and creativity through the power of reading.”

The annual Challenge is delivered in partnership with public libraries, and it’s free to take part. From July to September, children taking part in ‘Marvellous Makers’ can discover new stories and explore their creativity – from junk modelling to music, dance to drawing and painting.

Clifton Library opening hours

Monday 10am-2pm

Tuesday 1pm-5pm

Thursday 1pm-5pm

Friday 10am-2pm

Saturday 1pm-5pm

the same apartment, fifty years earlier, the reader meets another pair who loved and betrayed one another and worried at the same subjects, from psychoanalysis to kitchen tiles.

It is a rich and fascinating experience to read these books together, knowing that Elkin has been writing this novel (between other, excellent non-fiction books) since 2007 and knows Schneck’s work intimately as one of her translator’s. The layers of unspoken conversation between characters and authors reverberate, as do the Parisian streets outside.

Elizabeth Moss, owner of Heron Books, Clifton Arcade

How to take part in the challenge: Children can join at any local library from Saturday 6th July. Simply pick up a free folder, collect stickers and then read at least six library books. At the end, the reward is a brilliant Summer Reading Challenge medal!

Children and families can also take part online. To do so, go to summerreadingchallenge. where children create their own profile with the assistance of an adult.

Children are encouraged to read library books, digital eBooks and listen to eAudio books, with fun digital activities, digital badges and a downloadable certificate when they finish. Find us on Twitter @Bristollibrary, Instagram Bristollibraries and Facebook Bristol Libraries.

The Paris Trilogy by Colombe Schneck and Scaffolding by Lauren Elkin


Various July dates


Our Beginner Workshops are run by friendly, professional instructors, are full of chat and laughter, and you’ll get an effective total-body workout. Meeting on Clifton Down, 3rd July,13th July,17th July,20th July Visit www. or call Ros on 07886885213.

Regular events

Various days


Tuesdays 6.30pm & 7.45

Wednesdays 7.30pm

Suitable for beginners & improvers Yoga in Clifton Saturdays 10.30am

Suitable for improvers Text Charlotte on 07533732035


GARDEN, behind Blaise Museum, BS10 7QS. Open Monday, Wednesday and Saturday 10-2, plant table always available. Interesting walled kitchen garden, free to enter, new volunteers welcomed. Café open 10-2 on 15 June and 13 July

n WEST OF ENGLAND BRIDGE CLUB based at RAFA Club, 38 Eastfield, Henleaze. Five sessions every week, catering for different standards. Thursday afternoon is Improvers. Monday and Friday afternoon is for more capable players; this is an EBU recognised session. You may come alone to any afternoon session; a partner will be found. The evening sessions are on Wednesdays and Fridays, and are open to pairs. www. or contact Secretary, Chris Frew, on 0117 962 5281.


n PLAY BOWLS at Canford Park in a friendly, social atmosphere. Qualified coaches and equipment provided. Contact: Les on 07305695579

n DICKENS SOCIETY. 7pm, at Leonard Hall, Henleaze URC, Waterford Rd, Bristol BS9 4BT. Talks, costumed readings, book club and social events. New members welcome. See www.dickens- or phone Roma on 0117 9279875 for further details.

n WESTBURY AND CLIFTON AREA DISCUSSION GROUP meet at Westbury on Trym Baptist Church every Monday 9.45am to challenge ourselves with topical debate on what’s happening in the world. If you would like to help to solve some of today's challenging issues with good company, tea and biscuits - contact James Ball 01454 415165 or Ian Viney 0117 9501628.

n WESTBURY ON TRYM WOMEN'S INSTITUTE meets on the third Monday of the month in the Westbury Village Hall, Eastfield Road, BS9 4AG, from 2-4 pm. Interesting speakers, crafts, lunch club, skittles and outings. Our lively, friendly and inclusive group welcomes visitors at any meeting. Call Sascha on 07961619806 or Traci on 07766073917


n WESTBURY PARK WOMEN’S INSTITUTE meets on the first Tuesday of every month in the Girl Guide Hut on Westmorland Road from 7.00 - 9.30pm. We are an active and friendly group with a varied programme plus extra sessions for craft, coffee, book clubs, walks etc. Visitors are always welcome and for more information do call Sue on 07813795936 or email

n COMPANION VOICES BRISTOL is recruiting new members We are a 'threshold choir' actively looking for new people to join us. We meet in Easton on the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 7 to 9 pm to learn soothing and uplifting songs by ear and build skills in sensitivity/compassion/ loving presence to sing at the bedsides of people nearing the end of life. To join or support us in this work, contact Valerie on bristol@companionvoices. org. Visit CompanionVoicesBristol and www.


meet on the third Tuesday of the month, 10am-12pm, usually in the function room at the Boston Tea Party on Whiteladies Road. Free to attend, all welcome (members and non-members). We cater for beginners through to experienced makers. Email BristolKCG@gmail. com for more info.



We are a thriving, non- audition choir performing mainly classical repertoire. Rehearsals take place at Henleaze Bowling Club, Grange Court Road on Wednesdays 7.309.00pm New members welcome. Go to www.henleazechoralsociety. for more information and contact details.


We all have craft items we started and are now lurking in a drawer unloved – dig them out and come and share with us a morning of knitting, crochet, tapestry, rag rugs or whatever you would love to resurrect or mend. Clifton Library every Wednesday 10.30am12.30pm


GARDEN, behind Blaise Museum, open Wednesday and Saturday 10-2. Originally a walled kitchen garden. Free to enter. We’re looking for volunteers. Our Café (+ homemade cakes) open 10-2, 18 March and 8 April.


Friendly and free coffee afternoon on the last Wednesday of the month, 2-3.30pm at The Beehive Pub, Wellington Hill West, BS9 4QY. Meet new people, have fun, and find out what’s happening in your area. Call 0117 435 0063.

n CLIFTON CRAFTERS We all have craft items we started and are now lurking in a drawer unloved –dig them out and come and share a morning of knitting, crochet, tapestry, rag rugs or whatever you would love to resurrect or mend! Every Wednesday in October at Clifton Library 10 30-12 30pm. n GOLDEN HILL WI Meets the first

Kicking off fundraiser

ST Peter’s Hospice is launching a new event — the Bristol Women's five-a-side fundraiser.

The charity has teamed up with Bristol Rovers Women's FC and Bristol Rovers Community Trust for the competition at Lockleaze Sports Centre on July 17.

Officials at the tournament will include staff from the Rovers Women's squad and development college, with a few Gas Girls players also in attendance!

Entry costs £160 for a team of five players and three rolling subs, refreshments included. Proceeds will be split equally between the hospice and the Rovers Community Trust. Get involved:

Wednesday of every month. 1-3pm. Golden Hill Sports Ground, Wimbledon Rd, BS6 7YA

A vibrant, lively new afternoon WI in BS6. We have an exciting and varied programme to offer to members. Visitors and new members will be given a warm welcome. For more information contact Pam Scull at goldenhillwi@


We are a friendly bunch who meet on the last Wednesday of the month at Alma Church, Alma Road, Clifton BS8 2HG, from7.30pm. Anyone interested in coming to a meeting as a visitor is most welcome (£5). It’s not all Jam and Jerusalem, and we’re particularly keen to welcome members, young and not so young, who would like to meet like-minded women, mingle with a glass of wine and enjoy some varied and interesting talks. Visit our blog cliftonwi. for forthcoming events. For information about us contact


n LOCAL CHOIR ACTIVELY RECRUITING NEW MEMBERS. We meet at Stoke Bishop CE Primary School, BS9 1BW on Thursday, 7.45 - 9.15pm. We are a well-established mixed choir performing both sacred and secular music. See website contact secretary at secretary@

n BRISTOL BACH CHOIR are now recruiting new members. We are a friendly auditioned choir of between 30 and 40 singers. All voice parts are welcome. We rehearse on a Thursday evening at Bristol Grammar School from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. If interested please contact Julie at membership@

n HEALING FOR WELLBEING Feeling stressed? Come and try

How is your these days? social life

Chantry Court retirement community, for independence and care.

Call 01373 888 053 or visit

our drop in sessions run by trained volunteers. Healing/Reiki is a gentle, relaxing, complementary therapy that helps restore balance and vitality. Used in healthcare to reduce stress. Donation basis. Venue: Redland Meeting House, 126 Hampton Road, BS6 6JE. s 3.30 pm to 4.45 pm. For information and dates, contact Selina at Bristol Healing Group: T:0117 9466434 or


Come and join us as we fill St Peter’s Church Hall in Henleaze with a diverse selection of music. We are a friendly choir and meet on Thursday afternoons in term time from 1.45 to 3.45. There are no auditions, and the ability to read music is not necessary. Contact Jeanette on 9685409 or Jane on 07752 332278.


For those interested in developing their spiritual awareness and mediumistic ability. 7.15 for 7.30pm start at Westbury Park Spiritualist Church, Cairns Road BS6 7TH. Just turn up, contact Marian Bishop 0117 9771629 or visit www.


n HENLEAZE BOWLING CLUB. Come along at 5.45pm on Fridays to see if bowling could be the sport for you. Coaching available. Experienced bowlers welcome. Situated in Grange Court Road, by Newman Hall. This is a friendly Club with good bowling facilities and social events throughout the year. Phone, Tom Logan, on 0117 962 1669 or email hbcsec@ for further details.

n BRISTOL SPANISH CIRCLE. We meet every month from September to June, usually on the last Friday of the month, at St Peter’s Church Hall in Henleaze. For more info, see https://www.spanishcirclebristol. com/.

n F OLK NIGHT every third Wednesday of the month at the Victoria inn, Chock lane, Westbury on Trym. 7.30-10.30pm. All musicians and singers welcome or just pop in and listen. Call 0117 959 0834


n SEA MILLS REPAIR CAFE offers sewing, woodwork, general, electrical and cycle repairs at the Methodist Church, Sea Mills Square, from 10am-12pm, every second Saturday of the month (except August). This is a voluntary service run by experienced repairers. Donations welcome. FFI see our Facebook page @ seamillsrepaircafe or email:


Museum set to host silent disco

THIS summer, everyone’s invited to put on their glad rags for a Silent Disco at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.

Taking place in the great halls of the stunningly lit up museum on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 July, the Silent Disco nights will feature three DJs playing hits from the 80s, 90s and 00s.

Party goers will get a wireless headset and then can choose the channel they play, so, if a song comes on that they don’t want to dance to, they can simply change the channel.

Philip Walker, head of culture and creative industries at Bristol City Council, said: “These silent disco nights will be so much fun with the added bonus that they are taking place in such a beautiful building. If you love dancing to some musical greats come along - whether on your own or with friends - you are welcome to create your own soundtrack for the night with a choice of DJs to tune into. From Queen and Madonna to Prince and Wham, there will be plenty to get you onto the dance floor.”

There is a choice of an early or late session on each of the disco nights taking place on 12 and 13 July – from 7.30pm to 10pm or from 10.30pm to 1am.

As there will be a fully stocked bar on site all night, this is an 18+ event and ID may be requested on entry.

Harbour swims are back

OPEN water swimming has returned to Bristol’s Floating Harbour.

The swim sessions, which follow a successful trial last year, are overseen on behalf of the city council by All Aboard Watersports and take place every Saturday and Sunday between 8am and 10am.

The cost is £7.50 per person, which covers the planning and running of the sessions including the provision of water safety measures.

The designated course starts at Baltic Wharf just off Cumberland Road, near All Aboard’s Centre. The water quality is tested weekly to make sure it meets bathing water standards.

Further details are available on All Aboard Watersports' website.

Outside these times and route, swimming in the harbour remains prohibited.

General tickets cost £21 and VIP tickets cost £26.50, which includes advanced priority entry and a disco essential pack including a light up foam baton.

To find out more and book your tickets, go to

Bristol Museums, which includes Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, M Shed, The Georgian House Museum, The Red Lodge Museum and Blaise Museum, run a full programme of events. Find out what’s on at uk/whats-on.

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