Clifton Voice May 2024

Page 1

May, 2024 Issue 9

Developers want to refurbish the former Maggs department store, adding an extra storey, to create more than 125 student flats

Student flats plan for landmark

A BUILDING in Clifton that for years housed one of the city’s best-known department stores could be turned into flats for students.

If given approval by Bristol City Council planners, a fourth floor would be added to Maggs House on Queens Road and the basement would be renovated to provide recreational space

for students living above. Retail units on the ground floor have been empty for some time.

B. Maggs and Co was founded in Bristol in 1850 as a manufacturer of beds and later developed into a large department store on Queens Road. The firm stayed there until it closed in the 1970s.

The front of the store was

badly damaged in December 1978 after an IRA bomb exploded outside the entrance.

Schroders Capital, which owns the building, will lodge a planning application with the council for more than 125 flats.

James Pentlow, the firm’s capital asset manager, said: “We want to reconfigure the building Turn to Page 3

Flying kites to deal with grief

Artist Luke Jerram organised a project on the Downs in which people flew kites to remember people who died from Covid.


Pilgrimage for pancreatic cancer

Emilia Rocky, from Clifton, is walking 100km of the Camino de Santiago to raise money for support and research into pancreatic cancer.


Candidates line up for polls

Find out about all the candidates standing for the Clifton and Clifton Down wards in the May 2 council elections.

PAGES 8 & 9

Celebrating 40 years of helping Bristol move home.

Pint of science

UNIVERSITY of Bristol scientists will trade the lecture hall for the local pub and sharing their expertise at the Pint of Science festival this month.

Now in its 12th year, Pint of Science aims to make scientific research accessible to members of the public.

Bristol will host 12 events across four venues between Monday 13 May and Wednesday 15 May. Each event costs £5 and the evening concludes with a sciencethemed pub quiz where Bristol goes head-to-head against other cities taking part in the festival across the UK.

The venues involves are The Eldon House in Clifton, Wiper and True in Old Market, The Greenbank in Bellevue Road, and the St Phillips Taproom of Left Hand Giant. Pint of Science is a non-profit organisation organised by volunteers.

Developers bypass council

RESIDENTS and developers have started bypassing Bristol City Council and sent planning applications straight to the Government, after ministers stripped the authority of its powers for making decisions too slowly.

The first two proposed schemes were last month submitted directly to the Planning Inspectorate, which will now decide whether or not to grant permission.

In March, the council was placed into special measures for failing to meet legal deadlines to deal with “non-major developments”.

It means applicants have the option of sending their plans to a government-appointed inspector for determination instead of City Hall. Plans were submitted to the inspectorate on Wednesday, April 10, to turn a family home in Hotwell Road, Clifton, into a


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house in multiple occupation for up to six people.

That was followed the next day by proposals for a marquee and landscaping works in the garden of Promenade House, a mansion in Clifton that is now offices, which would be used for outdoor events, workshops and meetings.

Bristol City Council is one of only five local planning authorities to be “designated”.

This means the Government has effectively taken over the role for certain types of development because the backlog has become unacceptable, with hundreds stuck in the system, and steps to recover the situation were considered not good enough.

Applications that can be submitted straight to the Planning Inspectorate can be best described as mid-range –smaller than a large-scale project called a “major application”, effectively no more than nine

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homes or where the floorspace is less than 1,000 square metres, but bigger than plans from a householder or single business for simple extensions or alterations to a building.

Retrospective applications are also not included and must continue to be sent to the council, along with changes to planning consents that have already been approved.

The inspectorate aims to make decisions within eight weeks and there is no right of appeal.

The council imposed a recruitment freeze and a round of voluntary redundancies in the planning department in 2021 and 2022.

Bristol mayor Marvin Rees has blamed government funding cuts for the problems.

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Fourth storey 'won't harm view'

From Page 1

so that it can meet the changing needs of the local community and help contribute to an already thriving city centre.

“The refurbishment of Maggs House will create opportunities for students to live a sustainable lifestyle within touching distance of the university’s main campus and a range of local amenities.

“Purpose built, high-quality student homes will reduce the pressure on the local housing market and create opportunities for students to live close to the campus, which isn’t always the case given the acute shortage of purpose-built student homes in Bristol”.

“We want to ensure that this building has a positive impact on the local economy once again, and we hope the community will share our enthusiasm about bringing this prominent building back into active use.”

The owners say most of the refurbishment will be internal, turning the former shops and

How the fourth storey on the former Maggs building could look

offices into modern living accommodation, but there will be some improvements to the Queens Road facade, including new first floor windows. The rear of the building will also be upgraded. They say that they have

carried out extensive modelling and reduced the size of the proposed fourth storey to reduce any impact on views to and from the Wills Memorial Building, "which is the most prominent building in the local vicinity and an important heritage asset".

Nightclub closes

GRAVITY nightclub on Clifton Triangle has closed after seven years, blaming tough times.

In a statement on Instagram, it said: “The nightlife landscape has faced unparalleled obstacles in recent years, and Gravity nightclub in Bristol has been no exception. The economic strains affecting us all, especially the younger demographics and the student community, have deeply influenced our operations.

“Coupled with the increasing expenses tied to wages, regulatory fees, and the overarching costs inherent to the hospitality world, we’ve encountered a tough situation.

“Despite our best efforts to establish a vibrant clubbing venue where cherished memories are forged ... the landlord has elected to repurpose the premises"

May, 2024 3 cliftonvoice To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715 770448 or email Expand is a Bristol based building company delivering high quality construction and high standard workmanship with a customer focus. Contact us today for a quotation. 0117 959 1777 07813 328 387 | 07972 577 827 | email: Extensions New Builds Home Improvements Sub Contracting Insurance Work Commercial Maintenance Commercial Interior Refurbishments Renovations/Alterations We specialise in: Expand Building, 124 Falcondale Road, Westbury on Trym, Bristol BS9 3JD | Company Registration No. 7933161 Find out more 0117 959 1777 We specialise in EXTENSIONS 07813 328 387 | 07972 577 827 | email: Extensions New Builds Home Improvements Sub Contracting Insurance Work Commercial Maintenance Commercial Interior Refurbishments Renovations/Alterations We specialise in: Expand Building, 124 Falcondale Road, Westbury on Trym, Bristol BS9 3JD | Company Registration No. 7933161 Find out more 0117 959 1777 n NEWS

Emilia's pilgrimage has special purpose

A CLIFTON woman will this month hike a 100km stretch of a medieval pilgrimage route in memory of her stepdad, who died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 58.

Emilia Rocky will follow the route, named the Camino de Santiago, that her stepdad Andrzej Bielecki completed himself in 2013.

She will be accompanied by her mum Suzanne, boyfriend James and stepsister Scarlett. The group are fundraising for the charity Pancreatic Cancer UK.

They will begin in Sarria in Northwest Spain, hiking across Galicia and through historic market towns such as Medlia, Poromarin and Arzua before they reach their final destination of Santiago, where Andrzej’s ashes will be spread on a local beach as he requested.

Emilia said she wanted to raise money to help provide support for those affected by

the disease, as well as fund vital research into early diagnosis and new, more effective treatments.

Andrzej had been struggling with acid reflux for a few years and began to experience a dull pain in his stomach.It was suggested the cause might hernia due to a recent fall, then doctors thought it might be gallstones and he was booked in for a scan.

Emilia, 26, said: “He got a call the week after his MRI. They told him over the phone that he had pancreatic cancer and that it was likely terminal. I was in disbelief. He had further tests which showed that it had spread to the liver, so they couldn’t offer him chemotherapy. I didn’t understand. Andrzej was a really active, adventurous person, I just thought surely they can try something, and not just give up. It was really difficult to accept.”

Andrezj died at home on February 22 last year, just six weeks after diagnosis.

Emilia said: “When I looked up his symptoms afterwards, one of the first things that came up was pancreatic cancer. It wasn't even considered for the first few months. Why wasn't it mentioned? It may not have changed his prognosis, but it could have given us more time to do those things that we wanted to do. Six weeks just wasn’t enough time.”

Emilia said: “We are excited to be doing this in Andrzej’s memory. I think it’ll be a spiritual experience; we will feel so close to him. Although, we are a bit nervous about the walk itself – there hasn’t been lots of preparation!”

Sue Collins, director of fundraising at Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: “Currently 7 in 10 people with pancreatic cancer receive no treatment at all – not even chemotherapy. Just 10% of people receive surgery, the only potentially curative treatment. Decades of underinvestment in

research has meant that the odds of surviving the disease are no better now than they were 50 years ago. The funds raised by Emilia will help us offer support to patients and families, invest in vital research to help us see the breakthroughs we urgently need, and be a voice for everyone affected by the deadliest common cancer.”

For more information visit fundraise To sponsor Emilia, go to

Dance legend dies at 106

A CLIFTON dance teacher who inspired thousands of children and was awarded the British Empire Medal has died at the age of 106.

Angela Redgrave was the principal of the Bristol School of Dancing for more than fifty years. The school is based in premises in Lansdown Road in the centre of Clifton Village, which Miss Redgrave acquired in 1970.

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She began to learn dancing when she was 10 years old and at the age of 16 she joined a dance school in London, where she was taught the Royal Academy syllabus which she followed for the rest of her life.

Miss Redgrave’s love for

dancing was such that the thought of closing the Bristol School of Dancing during the Covid lockdown did not cross her mind. With the help of her daughter she moved lessons online so that her pupils could continue learning without any interruption.

Two years ago Miss Redgrave was awarded the British Empire Medal in the late Queen’s Birthday Honours. The citation said the honour was for her “services to dance”. She said at the time that she felt “very honoured to be presented with such a lovely award”. Miss Redgrave was the oldest of 1,134 people to be honoured in the 2022 Birthday List.

Get ready for a feast

A NEW food festival comes to Clifton Downs in July. Feast On will include wine tasting experiences, cooking demos, live music, a produce market, food sustainability talks and a cooking school.

Many of the city’s finest eateries are taking part in the event, which will support the Square Food Foundation, from July 26-28. Adult tickets cost £8 and children’s tickets are £5.

To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715 770448 or email 4 cliftonvoice May, 2024 Volunteer With Us! Empower girls to know they can do anything

Steiner School rescue bid hits milestone

HOPES are rising that Bristol’s only holistic, human-scale school can be saved.

Supporters of Bristol Steiner School say £210,000 has been donated to their cause, supplemented by £770,000 in loans.

This means that the school, which went into administration in December after experiencing financial difficulties, is optimistic it will be able to continue in the next academic year.

The administrators of Bristol Steiner School and Kindergarten, in Redland Hill, have confirmed they are working with the board of trustees and the parent group at the school on proposals to move the school out of administration and to reverse the planned closure in July.

They have praised the rescue plan put together by families and the wider community, stating: “We are, in principle, impressed with the proposition that could give the school a viable future.”

Lindsay Berresford, chair of the parent, teacher and friends association (PTFA), said they had received a heartening display of community support and dedication that had enabled them to come up with sustainable future plans for the school.

She explained: “For over 50 years the Bristol Steiner School has been a beacon for parents seeking a human scale school where childhood is valued and in which a lifelong love of learning may grow. When the school was put into administration, parents and staff decided to fight back and over 40 people began work on a rescue bid.

“The rescue group has diligently crafted a comprehensive business plan aimed at revitalising the school's financial health. This plan is designed to transition the institution from a loss-making entity to a sustainable, breakeven position, with aspirations

to ultimately thrive and celebrate another 50 years of educational excellence.”

The plans for the private school, whose pupils range in age from three to 12, include the implementation of a new sliding fee scale. Parents are being encouraged to register pupils for September, subject to the rescue plans being successful.

Pupils at the school do not wear uniform, have no examinations or tests and enjoy a curriculum including art, music, dance, movement, woodwork, knitting and sewing, craft, forest school, gardening and Spanish.

The school follows the philosophy of founder Rudolph Steiner, which believes in “childcentred, relational approach to learning” and a commitment to promoting the development of the whole child.

Its motto is “Education is a journey not a race”.

One parent told how the

school had helped her child: "My child spent a year and a half at a small Church of England school. Reception class was OK but problems started in Year 1. Every single pick-up was really stressful for me and for him because he was always very frustrated and almost in tears, small things make him cry, I couldn’t find a connection with him.

“We knew we have to find alternative school for him. We searched and we found BSS. We moved from Southampton to give him the best start in life. It was the best decision ever, he is super happy now, after 2 weeks at BBS he said he doesn’t like break times because he is really enjoying learning. "

Lindsay said: "Their testimonial underscores the profound positive impact of the school, where children thrive in an environment that nurtures creativity, wellbeing, and individual growth."

5 cliftonvoice May, 2024 n NEWS Offices in: Bradley Stoke | Central Bristol | Clevedon | Henleaze | Keynsham | Nailsea Portishead | Staple Hill | Thornbury | Weston-super-Mare | Worle | Yate Get in touch: 0117 428 1999 51 Henleaze Rd, Henleaze, Bristol BS9 4JU Need legal advice? We offer expert legal services for you, your family and your business. Solving your legal problems ...locally To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715 770448 or email

Raising funds in memory of Amber

MEMBERS of fitness gyms in Henleaze and Westbury-on-Trym are raising funds in memory of two-year-old Amber Townson, who died in her sleep last year.

Amber’s mum Tara, a coach and member at Crossfit Henleaze and Crossfit Trym, is setting up a foundation that she hopes will help other grieving families and fund research that will lead to the prevention of sudden death in childhood (SUDC).

About 160 members of the two centres took part in a global fitness challenge in March that brought in £4,500 for the Amber Townson Foundation.

Adam Turpin, who opened the Henleaze gym in 2022 and the Westbury one last year, said: “It was an incredible three weeks. We had record numbers of members take part in the CrossFit Open this year to support Amber’s family and raise much needed funds for bereaved families and life-saving research. We’ll make this an annual event and plan to do lots more

Next stop Paris for intrepid cyclists

A GROUP of local mums are going on a bike ride this month – all the way to Paris!

The four-day trip will be quite a challenge for the women, some of whom had never ridden a road bike before, let alone cycle with cleats (clip in shoes)!

But they have accepted the challenge from their friend Rachel Milne to pedal 285 miles from the door of St Peter’s Hospice in Brentry to the centre of the French capital.

Rachel is a physiotherapist at the hospice and has told them how provision of the free services at St Peter’s costs £27,000 a day. Many of the group have appreciated the care and love of the hospice for family members and friends and are inspired to raise as much as they can. They have prepared for their marathon effort, which begins on May 15, by takig spin classes and long weekend rides.

fundraising challenges over the year to support the Foundation and its valuable work.”

Tara said: “We need a better understanding of SUDC so that one day it can be predictable and preventable.

“Awareness is growing, and positive progress is being made. In March, MPs, senior medical professionals, and the charity SUDC UK, attended a parliamentary reception in Westminster to discuss this important issue.

“Things are moving in the right direction and with the right backing and research nationally, we hope to help save children’s lives and honour our beautiful daughter Amber.”

Amber was a beautiful, happy, and funny little girl and her family still don’t know why she died. SUDC remains the fourth leading cause of death for children aged one to four. It affects more than one child every fortnight and leaves families bereaved, without warning or explanation.

To contribute to the Amber Townson Foundation, visit

To test their mettle, they also took part in the Tour de Bristol 100km challenge in April.

The group are feeling nervous and excited in equal measure but determined to get to the finish line in Paris.

One of the riders, Rachel Evans, said: "It felt crazy when Rachel (Milne) first mentioned it to us - I didn't even own a road bike! Turns out you can teach an old Mum new tricks. It's been

fun going out training with the girls, and wonderful that all the money we raise goes to such a good cause".

Molly O’Donoghue, events fundraising manager at St Peter’s Hospice, said: “We’re so excited for our team of over 55 fundraisers to take on our longest cycling challenge to date: a 400km ride over four days from our hospice in Brentry all the way to the beautiful city of

Paris. We have such a brilliant team of people taking part and the money they’re raising will help so many patients and their families living in Bristol and the surrounding areas during the most difficult of times. Together, our teams have raised over £60,000 so far and we’d love to see this total rise even higher!”

To support Rachel and her gang, go to bdeyukvr

To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715 770448 or email 6 cliftonvoice May, 2024 n NEWS
Amber Townson The cyclists completed the Tour de Bristol and are now preparing for the 285-mile ride to Paris CLIFTON ARCADE BOUTIQUE OPENING APRIL 2024

n LOCAL ELECTIONS - Clifton ward

Becoming a councillor offers me a platform to advocate for policies that prioritise fiscal responsibility, individual freedoms, and community values. I will champion initiatives that promote economic growth, support small businesses, and ensure efficient public services. As a councillor, I aim to contribute to shaping local policies that reflect traditional values within Clifton, foster innovation, and create opportunities for all residents. Being part of the Conservative Party allows me to connect with like-minded individuals, ultimately making a positive impact on our community's future.

Daniel Bond

Conservative No information supplied

Driven by commitment to public service, I have consistently championed the interests of my local community. While Chair of the Bristol City Youth Council, I spearheaded initiatives to tackle vital issues like period poverty, unequal access for the disabled and the prevalence of ‘holiday hunger’. My belief in the transformative power of politics motivated me to work alongside Darren Jones MP, assisting in conveying the needs of constituents to both local and central government. I am enthusiastic about leveraging my experience to convert progressive ideals into tangible outcomes for residents.

Paula O'Rourke Green Party

I came to politics through campaigning to save Clifton Library and I have continued to work with the Friends group (FoCCaL) and with the Clifton LitFest.

Since being elected in 2016, I am pleased to have been able to make a difference in individual people’s lives, by helping them to resolve personal problems, which is such a major part of the councillor’s role. I am also pleased to have played a part in strategic decisions to improve the ward, for example leading on the pedestrianisation of Princess Victoria Street and finding innovative ways to fund projects like solving the decades-old problem of the waterlogged Observatory Playpark.

Growing up in the care system and witnessing injustices many face has motivated me to improve the equality of outcomes within our community. My work ranges from advising local authorities on children’s social care strategy to campaigning for charities tackling social inequalities and serving on the children’s social care advisory board for the Department for Education. Working with people of all ages and backgrounds taught me power lies in an inclusive, collaborative effort. I hope to work with Clifton’s vibrant community to contribute positively to its future and foster a stronger community.


Jerome’s combination of political and business experience makes him an experienced and capable Green Party candidate for Clifton. He was elected as the first Green councillor for Clifton in 2015 and was the Green Party candidate for Metro Mayor in 2021; he has worked on many important campaigns in the region; including campaigns for improving air quality and improvements to public transport. Jerome has lived in Clifton for over thirty years with wife, Catherine, who works as a GP. locally.

As I develop my own practice as an independent creative person in Bristol, I recognise firsthand how difficult it is for young people to make their way. I am passionate about sustainability, community and creativity. And I want to work in a peaceful and kind way. I want to ensure that Bristol City Council takes these aspects to heart in every aspect of it’s business. I have lived, and often worked, in Clifton for several years and enjoy all it has to offer whilst recognising that as a community we can achieve more. I hope Clifton will support my approach.

I am a Clifton Down resident and work as a lecturer at the City of Bristol College. Over the last 20 years, I have been actively involved in my trade union, as well as launching and running the Social Housing Action Campaign (SHAC). I have witnessed the devastation wrought by poor quality, unsuitable, and insecure housing. Councils could be doing much more to alleviate Bristol’s housing crisis. Underinvestment in housing and support services is a false economy which costs taxpayers dear in the long run. Economic inequality and social divisions undermine social health. Voting for TUSC is a demand for fundamental change.

Clifton is a great place to live. Having made it my home and working in the built environment profession, I recognise what is special about places and am acutely aware of our need to face challenges on climate, housing and our health and wellbeing. I would press for EV charging points for residents, make it easier to improve your home’s energy efficiency, community options for reuse and recycling, enhanced walking and cycling facilities and better bus services. I will focus on practical local issues that reverberate nationally to make Bristol outstanding for the right reasons.

8 cliftonvoice May, 2024 To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715 770448 or email
Thomas Green Party Dan McTiernan Labour Elena Dirik Labour Ana Clark Ribeiro Liberal Democrat Neil Harvie Liberal Democrat Suzanne Muna Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

n LOCAL ELECTIONS - Clifton Down ward

I am 26 years old and I am standing as a Conservative in Clifton Down. I’ve lived in Bristol my whole life, and I am training to become an Operating Department Practitioner in the NHS, where I’ve worked since 2017. I dedicate my free time to being with my wife, family and volunteering at a heritage railway. My policy interests are strengthening the NHS and social care, making our country safer and revitalising our towns and cities, which includes working on better transport for Bristol and getting the basics right for Bristolians. My late grandfather, Michael Hill, served as a Conservative councillor on multiple councils from 1974 until 2021.

Bristol needs politicians who love their area and focus on your priorities. I am standing to be the voice for those who feel that theirs is not being heard. Born and bred in the Westcountry, I am proud to have delivered Ofsted recognised improvements in children’s services and £1.2m of energy efficiency improvements to the most vulnerable households. I work as a consultant to tackle our number one priority: climate change. I deliver renewable energy projects across the UK and will take this passion to fight for improved public services and an accessible council.

No information supplied

As an NHS doctor who worked in Bristol through the Covid pandemic, I know the strain public services are under. This year we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get Bristol back on track. But it can only come through competent, experienced leadership, with a Labour Council and Labour Government working together. If elected, I will push for better buses (through franchising and better connections). I will help build more homes in Bristol, in addition to the 12,500 since 2015. A vote for Labour is a vote for a better, cleaner, more environmentally-friendly Bristol.

I have roots in the community here - I grew up locally, attending Cotham School and I love Bristol. My commitment to service began early, volunteering in the area.

As an advocate for a vibrant Bristol I enjoy organising events, and contribute to Disability Month, actively engaging with the community.

Bristol needs affordable public transport - I believe in public ownership of buses and better connecting services. I’ve spoken to lots of you on the doorstep, working with Carla and Tom, your current Green Councillors and I’m determined to keep that year round hard work going.

As a school governor I understand and practise the role of “critical friend”. I have been actively involved in the Clifton Down Community Association for almost 10 years – recently being part of the Gardening Crew looking after the planters on Clifton Down Station and working to change under-used carparks into raised bed mini allotment spaces for growing food.

I have lived with my family in the area for almost 30 years. Since 2019, I have worked with Green councillors to tackle local issues raised by residents on the doorstep, including transport, drainage and housing. I work in communications and previously worked as a town planner and journalist. Passionate about good urban planning, I monitor planning applications across the ward. I am interested in improving housing standards and ensuring derelict buildings are restored and brought back into use. I have volunteered for homeless shelters in Bristol. I’m happiest out and about on my bicycle around Whiteladies Road, chatting to people.

I greatly enjoy working within my community. At a city level, I want to deliver a well-resourced SEND system, improved reusing and re-cycling rates, reduce energy consumption in our homes and reshape public transport. I’d like to work at these together with residents in Clifton Down. As a Licensed lay Minister at All Saints (Pembroke Road), I am engaged in pastoral work within and beyond the parish including involvement in hospital chaplaincy. A life-long Lib Dem, I believe in the fundamental values of freedom, fairness and community.

To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715 770448 or email May, 2024 9
Lucas Hastings Conservative Michael Abbott Conservative George Calascione Green Party Serena Ralston Green Party Tristan Harris Labour Nick Smith Labour Clark Elizabeth Badman Liberal Democrat


Joy of sport brings us together

I ran the London Marathon in aid of Bristol Refugee Rights

On April 21, I finished the London Marathon with a new personal best. While I did not manage the time I was aiming for, I spent a day loving London, while running with some of my favourite music.

I ran the marathon in aid of Bristol Refugee Rights who do fantastic work with and for asylum seekers and refugees in Bristol. I'm proud to be supporting them and am grateful to them for all they do. Thank you to everyone who donated to my fundraising campaign.

More than one million girls who considered themselves sporty while at primary school drop out of sports as teenagers. I was one of those girls until my 40s when I discovered running. It will be my utmost priority to reduce the inequality between boys and girls when it comes to physical activity.

Football fans deserve better I recently enjoyed meeting with Bristol Rovers’ leadership team before heading to the terrace for the game against Reading. Football brings us together. We watch with our families and friends, at the local, in the stands or in our living rooms. For too long the intense buzz, pure joy (and sometimes gut-punching loss) felt in the all-encompassing emotions of a football match has been diluted with worry about troubles off the pitch.

As the Football Governance Bill makes its way through Parliament, and when the Independent Football Regulator is established, I’ll support clubs like Rovers to grow and give fans a greater say in the running of their clubs.

I hope all the hard work being put in by Rovers’ men’s team and staff to get closer to promotion pays off next season.

I support communities taking back control of bus services

Buses are by far the most used form of public transport in the country, but Britain is one of the few places in the developed world that hands operators’ power to slash bus services and hike fares. Decades of failed deregulation have left communities with little say over the essential services they rely on.

I know from my successful campaign for a bus route from the City Centre to St Paul’s and St Werburgh’s, that reliable buses can be the difference between opportunity and isolation for people across Bristol. Disastrous de-regulation has seen vital services vanish and communities left powerless.

Thangam Debbonaire writes for the Voice

Labour has announced the biggest reform to England’s buses in forty years, which would put power back where it belongs: in the hands of the communities who depend on buses the most. Labour’s plans mean up to 1,300 vital bus routes saved and created across England, and better buses delivered faster by breaking down the barriers to public control of bus services. 01934 830 111

His Majesty King Charles III (b.1948) – Unfinished watercolour study of Lochnagar, which featured in the 1993 production of 'The Legend of Lochnagar’ Sold for £17,000

- Lady's Oyster Perpetual Datejust 18ct gold wristwatch Sold for £4,800

CLEVEDON VALUATION DAYS Clevedon Salerooms, every Monday, 10am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm

VALUATION DAYS* Tuesday 14th May, 10am-3pm, Stoke Lodge, Shirehampton Rd, BS9 1BN

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

Salerooms, The Auction Centre, Kenn Road, Kenn, Clevedon, Bristol, BS21 6TT

Got news? Email: May, 2024 10 cliftonvoice
Rolex Muller Road bus lane

A decade of Flamingo Chicks


FLAMINGO Chicks, the multi-award-winning charity dedicated to bringing the joy of dance to disabled children, is marking its 10th birthday.

Since its inception, Flamingo Chicks has impacted the lives of over 30,000 children, providing them with the opportunity to experience the transformative power of dance. But the organisation, based in Downs Park East, offers much more than just dance classes; it fosters inter-generational volunteering, extends its reach globally, offers support to parents and carers, and advocates tirelessly for a fair future for disabled kids.

Flamingo Chicks invites you to join in the celebration of its 10th birthday with a spectacular fundraising event.


On May 17 and 18, the Leonard Hall, Henleaze will come alive with a 24-hour dance relay extravaganza. We're calling on the community to support this event in any way they can, whether it's through providing entertainment like face painters, DJs, and dancers, or by contributing refreshments like tea, coffee, and cakes. Additionally, local businesses are invited to sponsor a slot in the relay for £350, showcasing their support for this worthy cause.

Let's come together to celebrate the incredible achievements of Flamingo Chicks over the past decade and ensure its continued success in the years to come. Don't miss out on this opportunity to be a part of something truly special!

UNDERSTANDING labels at the supermarket, road signs, or letters from the doctor are just some of the day-to-day difficulties faced by adults who struggle to read. However, a national charity operates here in Bristol to provide support and solutions to those adults facing these very real difficulties, and for whom such support can be a life-changing and longlasting journey.

Read Easy Bristol offers free and confidential, one-to-one coaching. Coaches and learners meet twice a week at approved local venues, or online, to work for just half an hour at a time through a structured, phonics-based reading programme. They have helped many people achieve their reading goals and live easier, more fulfilled lives.

It is not just the readers themselves who benefit from the service of Read Easy; those who volunteer as coaches also find it tremendously rewarding. As one local coach agrees: “I have been with my reader for a few months now and knowing you can make such a difference, and watching someone grow so much in confidence with a part of life we all take for granted, gives you a huge feeling of pride in their achievements”.

If you know someone who struggles to read, please email: bristolnetworker, or call: 07554 117 763. For more information on the work of Read Easy, go to

May, 2024 11 cliftonvoice Got news? Email: n COMMUNITY NEWS
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Ascension day eases the grief

GRIEVING relatives flew kites on the Downs in Bristol to remember those who died during the Covid-19 pandemic.

They were brought together by artist Luke Jerram for the Ascension project on March 23, the fourth anniversary of the first UK lockdown,.

The specially made kites bore photos of

the lost loved ones and were flown as a form of healing for those taking part and for those watching.

Luke said: “There’s something wonderful about flying kites. It’s a way to connect the ground, to the sky. Most cultures around the world, have a spiritual connection to the sky. The sky often represents transcendence,

n NATURE WATCH with Dawn Lawrence

infinity, eternity, location of heaven and the residence of the gods. For this arts project, each kite line physically and symbolically connects the participant flying the kite with the person represented on it. The act of holding the line can compared to the way we hold on to memories of the individuals we have lost. ”

Create your own nursery for butterflies

A RECENT conversation with a friend, in which I asserted that the word for butterfly is invariably beautiful in all languages, set us agoogling. We found that the German word for butterfly, Schmetterling, refers to cream and originates in a belief that witches disguised themselves as butterflies in order to steal nips of cream and butter (a belief presumably shared in Britain). What a delightful contrast with the usual unsympathetic portrayal of witches! Nettles tend to grow where cows are housed (because they thrive in soils enriched with manure) and small tortoiseshell, peacock and comma, all widespread species whose larvae eat nettles, might therefore be expected to be more common around dairies, perhaps leading to this story.

This got me thinking about food plants. Without food for the caterpillars we won’t get any butterflies yet the emphasis is often placed on growing nectar plants for adult insects, over-looking the essential larval stage. With their stubby legs and podgy bodies caterpillars are not built for travel, they are eating machines and tend to pupate on or near their food plant. This means that if you provide their food, they will hatch in your garden.


So what plants are needed for baby butterflies to thrive? As you might expect, our commoner species are generally undemanding and you can make your garden into a top-class nursery for butterflies with ease. The orange tip caterpillar eats brassicaceous plants such as garlic mustard, a common weed, as does the green-veined white, and orange tips will also eat honesty and dame’s violet (they seem to be delicate feeders and I have never known them to grow to pest proportions). The holly blue

(with its beautiful silver-backed blue wings) alternates between holly for the spring brood and ivy for the summer brood and will also eat bramble. The common blue eats black medick and bird’s foot trefoil (black medick appeared in our garden once we had left the lawn to its own devices and bird’s foot trefoil is easily obtainable as a wild flower seed).

Then nettles, of course: their leaves are also eaten by a range of other insects including moth caterpillars and leaf hoppers; they are in turn eaten by predatory insects and spiders and these provide food for the birds. A nettle patch, particularly in a sunny spot, is a great addition to your garden – down by the compost heap will provide ideal soil for them.

Least fussy of all, bless them, are meadow brown, speckled wood, gatekeeper and ringlet, and small and large skippers, all of which simply require rough grasses - the easiest of all the caterpillars to cater for. All are various shades of brown but decorated with delicate stripes and spots and – particularly the browns – given to elaborate aerial chases on sunny days. Simply set aside part of your lawn for the summer and spend the time saved on mowing by watching the butterflies dance.

13 May, 2024 Got news? Email: cliftonvoice n NEWS
A peacock butterfly caterpillar on stinging nettle. Photo by Rupert Higgins Flying kites for healing Photo above by Tom Greetham Photo right by Luke Jerram


Bee a part of No Mow May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Worryingly, future generations won’t see

these either if we continue down our current path. Tragically we’ve lost 97% of our wildflower meadows since the 30s.

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

Check out for more information.

If you can’t imagine allowing your entire patch to run wild, then how about leaving a circle of grass in the centre of the lawn to bloom? Or why not stagger it – so that you have one area that’s mown once a month, one area mown at the end of summer, and so on.

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

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

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

This is double the target I set when launch-

Metro Mayor Dan Norris writes for the Voice

ing a £1 million Pollinator Fund for projects that support bees, and other pollinator superheroes.

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

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

But I know we can go further.

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

Got news? Email: May, 2024 14 cliftonvoice We are looking for Foster Carers in your local area. If you are interested in a life-changing vocation and can provide a safe, loving home to a child in care, we’d love to hear from you. 0333 0603 962 Join a local social enterprise and a community of foster carers providing long and short-term care for children. Highly competitive fostering allowance of up to £28,000 a year, taxfree. 24/7 support and specialist training. Potential to combine with full or part-time work.


Seeing red over removal of postboxes

RESIDENTS are furious that the two red pillar boxes that have served Westbury on Trym for decades have been removed without warning.

The postboxes were taken from the forecourt of the old post office in the centre of the village last month.

Their removal, which was unexpected by everyone including the operators of the current post office in a shop in Canford Lane, leaves Westbury without a late postal collection.

It is not yet known whether, or where, a replacement postbox will be provided.

Local councillors Steve Smith, Geoff Gollop and Sharon Scott and MP Darren Jones have all approached Royal Mail for an explanation. The Voice contacted Royal Mail’s press office for a comment but did not get a response.

Hilary Long, chairman of the Westbury Society (WoTSoc), said the society had protested strongly on behalf of the village.

“No one thought to give any pre-warning or advice that these two much used main post boxes were to be removed permanently,” she said. “Residents had no idea until they saw they had gone on April 6th, nor had the hardworking staff of our now small post office

Now you see them ... the pillar boxes were part of the street scene in Westbury

in Canford Lane been informed ahead of their removal. They were just given bags and told to expect a heavy delivery of letters from frustrated residents.

“It seems that high handed action and contempt for both the public and managers of the post offices is the way the postal authorities conduct their affairs. In light of the present national scandal over wrongful convictions of Post Office managers, you would hope that their actions would be to ameliorate inconvenience not perpetrate it.”

WoT=Soc member Jill Kempshall received a response from the Royal Mail that indicated there was no guarantee that the boxes would be restored quickly or even at all. She was told that there must be a postbox within


half a mile of 98 per cent of homes, but that a replacement could only be provided with consent of the local planning authority after a suitable site had been verified and underground services researched first.

The former Westbury post office closed a couple of years ago and the building is now rented for use as a gym. Adam Turpin, who runs Crossfit Trym, has explained via social media that the removal of the boxes, which were considered by many to be an important part of the street scene in the conservation area, is nothing to do with his business. Councillors are now trying to identify and contact the owner of the building to find out why they’ve been removed.

According to information on the Royal Mail website: “When a box needs to be taken out of service, either temporarily sealed or permanently removed, a notice will be displayed to tell customers why and give details of the nearest three alternative posting facilities. Where it is possible to do so, we will provide a four week notification to consumers when we plan to remove or relocate a box. However, sometimes a four week period is not possible because a significant proportion of removals and relocations are due to events outside of our control."

When post was haste for only pence

NOWADAYS, whether or not the missive is welcome at least it is delivered to our home – it was not always thus.

Although the concept of a public mail service was the brainchild of Sir Rowland Hill in 1840 when the Penny Post was introduced, you had to collect your mail from a post office which may have been miles away. Within a town the penny post deliveries were divided into districts, with Bristol having 63 of which Clifton with the greatest number of mailings was designated Penny Post Number One. With the increasing popularity of the new service, (Bristol had up to six deliveries a day), it was decided to introduce home deliveries, however the postman or woman, (post person sounds ridiculous), often had miles to walk in all weathers and having reached the address had to wait for the recipient to come to the door. With more and more mail to

deliver, the waiting time often extended the postman’s working day to unacceptable limits. Bristol’s Post Master and Surveyor of the Posts, Mr R C Tombs, gave most praise to Hannah Brewer of Bitton whose daily route was eleven miles up and down the Somerset hills around Bitton and by the age of 72 having walked a quarter of a million miles in all weathers she felt it was time to retire. The postal delivery staff were obviously a hardy lot! An even longer tenure was that of Hannah Vowles at Frenchay who only resigned at the age of 95!

The Post Office’s answer to the long delays caused by the need to hand the mail directly to the addressee was an appeal dated in May 1849 which requested every householder to fit a letter box or slit in their street door, obviating the need for the postman to wait.

Until the recent ‘rationalisation’ when the box was emptied the enamel collection time

plate, stored in a pocket inside the door was always changed =to show the next collection time. Nowadays the plate is a generalised notice which is of no help if you want to know whether or not you have caught the post - a far cry from when there were up to six deliveries a day. An oft’ quoted account was of people receiving a rsvp dinner invitation in the morning and being able to send a written acceptance for delivery the same day.

Residents in Henleaze’s Owen

Grove are very proud of this one which bears the Royal cypher of King Edward the eighth – a Rara Avis indeed!

n I hope you didn’t think that April’s article was a leg-pull. The people were real, and I personally photographed the stone 28ft below St Nicholas Street, marking the witnessed meeting. The Runic inscription was Bishop John Robinson’s Motto in the Bristol Cathedral Cloisters until it mysteriously vanished, and of course there is a buried room just past Bath Bridge with a window blocked by earth from dredging. I will leave you to find out where the ‘wall’ inscription is - in plain sight!

May, 2024 15 cliftonvoice Got news? Email:


We're offering spring Covid jabs - and treatment for infected insect bites

AS I write, it is bright and dry (in the UK); spring has arrived. We are proud to once again step forward to protect our community.

Kellaway Pharmacy now offers a Walkin offer for the NHS Spring Covid booster vaccine.

Anyone aged 75 or older with a weak immune system can simply walk in for a jab or book an appointment using the NHS website or NHS App or call 119 using our postcode to search BS3 1BN.

Why another Covid-19 jab? Covid-19 is still a very dangerous and even life-threatening disease for some. With Covid-19 still circulating, those at the highest risk eligible for the spring vaccine must get their jab to help top up their immunity.

As we all know, vaccines work to lower risk, but protection fades, so top-up jabs are offered for those deemed most at risk.

The NHS will send texts, emails, app messages or letters to those eligible - but you do not need to wait for the invitation to book or come in.

This is how the NHS puts it : "We are still seeing Covid-19 causing hospitalisations and severe illness, particularly among older people and those with weakened immune systems.

"And the vaccine provides the best protection - so don't put it off.

"If you're eligible, book your appointment as soon as the NHS invites you."

As nature awakens during spring, we see many more people getting insect bites and stings. These are usually not serious and get better in a few days, but sometimes, they become infected or cause serious allergic reactions.

Did you know you can now access NHSfunded treatment for infected insect bites at Kellaway Pharmacy, saving you time and need to wait for a GP appointment?

Signs of infection from a bite or sting include pus in or around the bite, swollen glands, increased pain, running a temperature, swelling and redness in and around the bite. Some useful NHS bite and sting prevention tips: Be calm and move away slowly if you

encounter wasps, hornets, or bees—do not wave your arms around or swat at them.

Wear shoes and cover exposed skin if outside at sunrise or sunset, Apply insect repellent and avoid strong perfumes that can attract insects.


0117 9246579

18 Kellaway Avenue, Westbury Park, BS6 7XR

Never disturb insect nests and keep food and drink covered when eating or drinking outside

So this Spring, we will continue working hard to look after our community, from providing you with your top-up Covid-19 jab to treating a wide range of conditions, saving you trips to the GP or Travel Vaccinations for your foreign trips.

Need us? Just call Kellaway Pharmacy: 0117 9246579

(adults and children aged 1


(adults and children aged 12 years & above)


(adults and children aged 1 year & above)


(adults and children aged 5 years & above)


(adults aged 18 years & above)


(women, aged 16 to 64 years)


(children aged 30 days to 2 years)


(adults and children aged 1 year & above)

To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715 770448 or email 16 cliftonvoice May, 2024 Meet with one of our qualified estate planning consultants to discuss your needs. Protect your family's inheritance Single & joint Wills from £99.00 *Including VAT Call us today on 0117 952 0698 or email Home visits or online appointments are available. VISIT YOUR VIDEO VIDEO CONSULTATION APPOINTMENTS APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE! AVAILABLE! K E L L A W A Y P H A R M A C Y N O W O F F E R S F O R A V A R I E T Y O F A I L M E N T S . ( I N C L U D I N G A N T I B I O T I C S W H E R E A P P R O P R I A T E ) QUICK, EASY & QUICK, EASY & CONVENIENT CONVENIENT LOCAL CARE! LOCAL CARE!
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Contest encourages the engineers of the future

CHILDREN from 15 primary schools competed in an Engineering Challenge at Badminton School last month.

The challenge was to install a model wind turbine by designing a crane out of K'Nex.

In class, the children had already been exploring the diversity of engineering and the range of tasks engineers undertake. They had also looked at how engineering could help solve issues around climate change. The children who were competing were the winners from heats in their schools. These budding engineers demonstrated teamwork, amazing design skills and perseverance, creating a range of fantastic designs.

The event was sponsored by STEMworks, a company that links industry and education, by providing workshops that enable

children to develop engineering skills and understanding through practical activities. There are plans to expand this opportunity and include more schools in the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) activities in 2025. The winning school was Burrington C of E Primary.

Badminton physics teacher Christopher Beer said: “We were thrilled to host the Knex Challenge final and work closely with STEMworks to help students learn about the fantastic opportunities in the STEM sector. It was a pleasure to observe how students innovatively and creatively tackled the brief and were able to produce such varied solutions. Not only did the event allow students to engage in an engineering activity, they also met engineers who inspired

them to consider this as a future career. It was thrilling to watch senior students from Badminton display their STEM skills as they performed a liquid nitrogen science show.”

Chloe, Upper Sixth, said: “It was fun being able to do a

Science Outreach demonstration with liquid nitrogen. I enjoyed presenting and gained valuable skills demonstrating science experiments to the primary pupils, inspiring them to look further into the amazing world of STEM.”

17 May, 2024 Got news? Email: cliftonvoice Visit our website to find out more | 0117 933 9087 n EDUCATION

Cheers! James's spritzers show their sparkle

A BRISTOL winemaker has won a TV competition to have one of his products stocked in a major supermarket chain.

James Bayliss-Smith’s success came in the Channel 4 show Aldi’s Next Big Thing, hosted by Anita Rani of Countryfile and Chris Bavin from The One Show.

James, from Montpelier, competed against other food and drink producers last month in an episode of the show with a party theme. He pitched two of his low-alcohol English wine spritzers to the judges, and at their suggestion experimented with a wider range of flavours and clearer packaging.

As a result, his improved cans of yuzu and elderflower and raspberry and pomegranate spritzers were chosen to go on sale in more than 1,000 Aldi stores across the UK.

Julie Ashfield, managing director of buying at Aldi UK, said: "It's an excellent product,

James Bayliss-Smith pours some of his successful spritzers

and I know it's going to sell.

James has drawn everything together to give us a spritz that's going to look wonderful on Aldi’s shelves.”

James, who is also a documentary cameraman and filmmaker, makes his ‘low

intervention, natural wines’ from the best English grapes from across the UK, all sustainably packaged in aluminium cans.

The spritzers are made with English wine, Glastonbury spring water and syrups from the Bristol Syrup Company.

James said: “I’m so happy! Who would have thought I would go from making wine in my allotment vineyard to having my product on sale in Aldi.”

James’s business, named Nania’s Vineyard, began when he planted 30 vines on the allotment behind his home. He works with partners in the English and Welsh wine industries to produce ‘natural wines canned for the craft beer generation’. He also brews barrel-fermented kombuchas and until now has sold his products in local independent shops.

The competition is part of Aldi’s ongoing commitment to support British suppliers. Last year, Aldi spent an additional £1.3 billion with British suppliers and growers, and they provide more than three quarters of all items sold in its stores.

The supermarket has also introduced a ‘Best of British’ section to its website.


One much to see! n NEWS

Clifton end the season in style

CLIFTON Rugby Club’s final home game of the 2023-24 season was completed in great style with an eight-try, 52 points demolition of close rivals Exeter University that secured them a creditable third place in the Rugby Football Union’s National League 2.

Director of rugby Matt Salter and player/ coach Luke Cozens can be well satisfied with this ending as the season was marked early on as a development time. Several players had retired or moved on pre season. Consequently new players had to be absorbed into the squad. During the season the club also incurred a high level of injuries. However, undaunted by changes, the team even managed to defeat the two teams finshing above them on their own grounds.

The development process in recent seasons has included the resurgence of successful second and third string teams to provide attractive routes into the national league team. Second team, Clifton Wanderers, has grown many players who have been able to take

the step up to that level.

A shining example is forward Shay Sainsbury who has become one of the leading second row men across the league. Typical of the spirit within the club, Shay has generously given time to coach within the club’s thriving M & J [Mini and Junior] section.

Luke Cozens has proved a motivational presence both on and off the pitch through his vast experience over the years


SusWoT is part of the Trout in the Trym group of local organisations, looking to improve the river Trym. The first river clean was in July 2018.

Cleaning the river TrymPeter Colman-Smith, from Bristol Avon Rivers Trust, reports on the great work volunteers are doing in the Trym and Hazel Brook. An amazing 230 tonnes or so of rubbish has been removed from the water and nearby greenspaces. Thanks also to the Bristol Parks team for taking it away. Also, about 700 hours has been spent clearing Himalayan Balsam (a non-native invasive plant that ecologists and the Council confirm damages ecosystems). ‘Balsam bashing’ will resume this spring. Activity is underway with the Council to de-silt the two Blaise Estate ponds, so they are better for wildlife - and look nicer. On top of this some volunteers monitor water quality, reporting results to the authorities. In the Trym and Hazel Brook phosphate and nitrate concentrations are sometimes too high, boosting algae growth. This

club to go forwards in coming seasons.

Success in the junior teams has been demonstrated by the U16 XV winningthe Bristol Combination cup for the third season.

The club benefits from long standing members and local businesses who provide sponsorship of matches, shirts and individual players. 1st XV players eagerly await the announcement of the man of the match award with a meal for two at the Clifton Sausage!

and outstanding kicking in all conditions. Cozens comments:

“There is a great spirit in this squad which has missed several established members through injury. Encouragement comes from so many younger players seizing opportunities to take their places in the starting line up and showing themselves capable of performing at this level “

This blend of experience with youthful energy is presentin the

winter, Bristol University students found high levels of microplastics in the water, which is concerning. But there is good news. Riverfly surveys measuring the abundance of different invertebrates, give a good indication that river health is improving (see the graph – higher scores are better). The latest scores are the highest for local sites since monitoring resumed in 2021 (mild, wet weather may have helped).

Wessex Water have done work to improve the situation in north Bristol with the building of the North Bristol Relief Sewer. Trout in the Trym, working with Wessex Water, have persuaded them to

improve two of their Combined Sewage Outflows (CSOs) by the Trym near the lower Blaise car park by raising their priority.

Trout in the Trym wants: 1. OFWAT to agree Wessex Water’s 5-year plan for 2025-30, to tackle 60% of spills from CSOs into the Trym; 2. Wessex Water, Bristol City Council, and the Environment Agency to organise an outfall safari so that problematic misconnected drains are identified and fixed; 3. Effective action to stop persisting pollution incidents like the recent one in Badock’s Wood.

The Trym and Hazel Brook are great places to explore already, and spring is here so watch out for kingfishers, grey wagtails and herons, which will be feeding in the river and raising their young.

The costs of running a national league club including long away trips to venues requiring overnight accommodation stretching from West Cornwall to Chester are considerable. In addition the junior section offers coaching and matches to approaching three hundred young people each week.

Anyone interested in sponsorship arrangements or advertising in the match day programme please contact Alison Harvey, commercial manager,

Roger Opie

The Community Fair is on 11 May from 11am to 3.15pm at the Parish Church and in the nearby doctors’ car park. SusWoT will have a stall as usual with tomato and other vegetable plants for sale. Representatives of Retrofit West will be there on the SusWoT stall too. This will give people the opportunity to ask about the Retrofit West project and how it could help them save money by reducing their energy bills and help to protect the environment.

The Village Show in September is one of the highlights of the year for us and will feature three SusWoT categories as usual – categories 92, 93 and 94. Category 92 has changed to ‘A plant in a pot that produces edible produce e.g. tomato, chilli or pepper grown from a seed or plant from any source’. 94 is ‘A video on the theme of the 4 Rs Reduce, Repair, Recycle, Repurpose (or Reuse). Maximum length 1.5 minutes’. 93 is unchanged ‘Vegetarian Dish where the main ingredient is homegrown, max diameter 8”/20cm’

May, 2024 cliftonvoice Got news? Email: 19
The inspirational Shay Sainsbury on the charge for Clifton


May 17


warmly invite you to a talk at The Apostle Room Clifton Cathedral on Wednesday 17th, from 6.45 to for 7.15.

Tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones has sung leading roles, from Verdi to Wagner to Britten, in the many of world's great opera houses. He will reflect on his career and his favourite music in conversation with Andrew Borkowski

Easy parking, bar, Friends £8, Visitors £10

Further information from Melanie David, Tel: 01934 842014 email:

Various days in May n WANT TO LEARN TO NORDIC WALK?

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, May 4th,8th , 18th & 22nd May Visit www.bristolnordicwalking. 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

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.

Monday 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 or phone Roma on 0117 9279875 for further details.


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.

n BRISTOL BRANCH OF THE KNITTING AND CROCHET GUILD 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 10-30 -12-30


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 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

Thursday 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 HENLEAZE LADIES’ CHOIR 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.

n HEALING FOR WELLBEING Feeling stressed? Come and try 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

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@


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. Friday

n HENLEAZE BOWLING CLUB. 5.45pm Grange Court Rd, by Newman Hall. Call 0117 962 1669 or email hbcsec@

n U3A SCRABBLE GROUP meets at the Black Swan, Stoke Lane from 2 to 4pm. For more information, contact Anne on

07715 770448 or email 20 cliftonvoice May, 2024
advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or


The Last One

FATIMA Daas is a 28 year old French writer. She is the youngest daughter ( the last one of the title) of Algerian immigrants, growing up with her two older sisters in Clichy – sous – Bois, a socially deprived suburb of Paris.

The novel, is based on her life, as she attempts to forge her own path in the world as a queer Muslim woman. The narrative shifts back and forth in time, presenting the reader with bold, vivid fragmentary slices of her past.

We learn that while the kitchen is her mother’s kingdom, her mother having learnt to cook at 14, the author, at 28, struggles to boil a pan of spaghetti. She was the result of an accidental pregnancy, a big disappointment

to her father, who was hoping for a boy. She notes that her father walks with his head held high and his chest puffed, whilst her mother meekly follows, eyes to the ground.

We follow her story, including childhood beatings from her father, racism from her white teachers, and family visits to Algeria, bearing suitcases full of clothes, perfume, toys and gifts. We hear about her attempts to be a good Muslim, learning the ablution rituals from her sisters and managing to pray twice a day, compared to the expected five.

The author chronicles her emerging sexuality, detailing her past and present lesbian relationships, trying to find what


CURTIS Doyle is a businessman, a father, a widower, a suspected philanderer, confirmed philanthropist and collector of palatial homes, embarrassingly large cars and art he does not understand. He is also one of those nice billionaires who treats his numerous staff as though they are people too and understands that they, occasionally, have purpose beyond his estate. At least, that is, according to the narrator of this novel who has taken the imperative of the title and run with it. Gardener to Doyle at his Highland Estate, “the palace”, as she terms it, she offers her version of who Curtis is to a silent audience apparently intending to make a film about Curtis’ life. Or, who Curtis was. He seems to occupy the past tense, whether because he has gone missing, Lord Lucan-style (nannies notwithstanding), or because he is dead.

The unnamed narrator is keen to please. She wants to offer enticing detail but also to appear fair to her employer. Other colleagues may have had a lower opinion of Curtis but she is not sure this is borne out by the evidence. She recalls stories and characters that may appeal to the filmmaker, even pitching specific scenes to them. The only breaks in her monologue come when she pauses or when something she says is recorded as ‘indistinct’. Not once do we learn what question she has been asked: ‘tell’ is the only prompt.

This has a potent effect. The reader has every reason to doubt the motives assigned to the characters – children, step-children, art advisers, biographers – who visit Curtis at the palace yet there is little time to pull on the dangling threads as the narrator drags one into her tangled story. Slow down the telling and blur the lines drawn between employer and employee, between classes, between those in the inner circle and those looking in, and one starts to question everything. The gardener plants little but doubt – ‘I’ll always remember that,’ she claims at the end of one anecdote, leaving the reader wondering if memory can be trusted at all.

Elizabeth Moss, owner of Heron Books, Clifton Arcade

is missing in one in the other, without knowing what it is she is looking for.

This is a bold, engaging and thoughtful book, skillfully tackling a range of issues including family ties, chronic illness, sexuality, therapy, faith and friendship.

You can find it at Bishopston Library. Please come and join us at 100 Gloucester Road. You can walk out with a library card, giving you access to over two million books and a range of activities including baby bounce for toddlers, chess and lego clubs for children and shared reading and family history tuition for adults.

Clifton Library opening hours

Monday 10am-2pm

Tuesday 1pm-5pm

Thursday 1pm-5pm

Friday 10am-2pm

Saturday 1pm-5pm

07572 412 600

We pride ourselves on being professional, with excellent customer service, fully insured and competively priced.

● Regular domestic & commercial cleaning

● Short stay Airbnb management & cleaning

● End of tenanacy cleaning, one-off deep cleans, carpet cleaning, communal area cleaning

● All cleaning products supplied and included in price NO FEES OR CONTRACTS! Management &servicecleaning

May, 2024 21 cliftonvoice Got news? Email:
Review by Bob Deacon of Bishopston Library

Crime author coming to town

THE UK’S biggest-selling female crime writer Holly Jackson is coming to Westbury this month.

The visit on May 9 is organised by Henleaze independent bookshop Max Minerva’s.

Holly will be introducing and discussing her new young adult crime novel, The Reappearance of Rachel Price, and her best-selling series, A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, which is soon to come to the BBC. As this was shot partly in Bristol, including at Redmaids' High School, it is fitting that the school is hosting the event, in which Holly will be in conversation with author and journalist Charlotte Philby.

Holly’s novel Five Survive made her the biggest-selling female crime writer in the UK in 2023 and won her Author of the Year


at the TikTok Book Awards. The Reappearance of Rachel Price was released last month. It tells the story of 18-year-old Bel, who has lived her whole life in the shadow of her mum’s mysterious disappearance, when young Bel was two years old and the only witness.

Rachel is presumed dead, but when the case is dragged up to be filmed for a true crime documentary, Bel can’t wait for filming to end and life to return to normal. But then, Rachel Price reappears and life will never be normal again.

Tickets, at £10 for adults, £5 for under-18s, and £15 with a hardback book, and are available from Max Minerva’s website

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one of the most used areas in the home, fitted kitchens need to be a flexible space while being up to daily wear and tear. A new fitted kitchen can be customised to suit any layout and lifestyle. Give your bathroom or wetroom the look it deserves with a beautiful range of traditional and modern styles. We take great pride in our work and we respect clients homes and belongings. All works are fully insured.
discuss your needs or to arrange a free, no obligation quotation, please do not hesitate to contact us Beautiful contemporary kitchens, bathrooms & wetrooms, also cloakrooms & understair toilets 22 cliftonvoice May, 2024 n NEWS ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS

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A luxury care home with a heart


Our care home offers a vibrant community where residents enjoy a busy and active lifestyle with support where needed from our award-winning Homemakers.

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Book your tour with our friendly team today: 01172 350 240 |

Lovell Place Care Home, Sparrowbill Way, Patchway, Bristol BS34 5AU


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