Keynsham Voice May 2024

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Safety concerns remain over repainted cycle lane

A PAINT job aimed at breaking the “optical illusion” that causes people to trip and fall in Keynsham High Street’s cycle lane has failed to impress some in the town, who remain “bamboozled.”

Contractors painted new double yellows along the road on April 11 and changed the solid white line along the edge of the cycle lane to a dashed line.

Paul Roper, Bath and North East Somerset Council’s cabinet member for economic and cultural sustainable development, said: “This mitigation should make the change in levels clearer to pedestrians and prevent further trips and falls.”

It comes after scores of people have tripped and fallen since the cycle lane was installed by the council two years ago.

There is a kerb and a drop between the pavement and cycle lane, a white painted line between the cycle lane and planters and bike racks, and then another kerb that drops down to the road. One person who fell called it an “optical illusion.”

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Picnic in the Park

Families are invited to a enjoy a fun-filled Picnic in the Park in Keynsham next month.


Abseil success

Intrepid abseilers took the plunge from the tower of St John’s Church in Keynsham to raise money for Mencap.


Runner saved

Two Keynsham St John Ambulance cadets helped save the life of a runner who collapsed during the London Marathon.


Normandy trek

A Keynsham man plans to walk to Normandy to raise money for a war veterans’ charity.


Bikers are back

A motorbike community venue in Keynsham has celebrated its revival after being flooded by New Year storms.


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Music-makers from Keynsham Mencap gave a performance to remember at the Royal Albert Hall - full story on Page 15

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Save the date for another summer Picnic in the Park

FAMILIES are invited to a enjoy a fun-filled Picnic in the Park on Saturday June 22.

The free event, organised by Keynsham Town Council, will run from 12pm to 4pm in the Memorial Park, offering family entertainment and live music.

A bandstand programme, showcasing local musical talent, will set the soundtrack for the day. Stage managed by Keynsham’s own KTCRfm, the line-up includes Keynsham Brass Band, Keynsham Key Voices, Justin Towell, and Yellow Pavement a local youth band.

Deputy town clerk Katherine Sears said: “Keynsham Town Council encourages everyone to embrace the ‘Great British Summer’ by bringing along their picnic baskets, blankets, and come and enjoy what’s sure to be a great day out.”

Free activities will include face-painting, a teddy bear trail with hidden teddies scattered

throughout the park, agespecific children’s races, and garden games, while roaming entertainers will add to the fun.

A community mural project will be on display, where people can add their brush strokes to a large-scale drawing by local artist Fi Smith.

During the picnic, the town council will consult the youngest members of the community so they can help shape the future of the town’s playgrounds.

The council acknowledges that several playgrounds could do with a refresh, so it wants to hear from those who use them the most.

Children are invited to find town council staff at the information booth at the top of the park to fill in their comments and draw their perfect playground, as part of the council’s long-term Neighbourhood Development Plan Project.

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The cycle lane was painted red in August 2022, but people have continued to be injured, with around three people reporting falling each month ever since. Now the council hopes that turning the solid white line into a dashed line will fix the problem.

But many Keynsham residents out and about on the High Street on the first day since it was painted remain concerned.

Asked if he thought it would stop people falling, Jeff Gardner, 74, said “not a bit.”

He added: “They are trying to bring your attention to the line, I can see that, but I don’t think black is going to bring people’s attention to it.”

He said he had seen several people fall in the cycle lane and said: “If you were working in industry, you would never have this because it’s a trip hazard. You’d definitely never have a step there and a step there.”

Derek Francis, 78, warned that the drop was the problem. He said: “Get rid of these kerbs and just have a white line.

“I’m very careful because if I fall over I’ll have had it.”

Jean Culverwell, 77, said: “Nobody falls down the Temple Street end because it’s a normal road, but here you have got to have your wits about you.

“If you wear varifocals like I do, you are completely bamboozled by it.”

Almaira Hughes, 69, said: “I have fallen over myself. I tripped several times.”

She also uses the lane as a cyclist but warned that, because

bikes only go along it in one direction, many pedestrians don’t realise it is there and could step out in front of riders.

Mr Gardner added that some cyclists can come along the cycle path at real speed, although he stressed it is not everyone.

One woman who preferred not to be named said she thought the new dashed line might help to stop the falls.

She added: “I use the walkway, the pedestrian crossing, so it hasn’t really affected me.”

Keynsham residents waited about a month and a half for the painting to be done. B&NES Council announced it in February but said the work would be carried out “at the earliest opportunity,” weather and contractor availability allowing.

The decision to turn the solid line into a dashed line was controversial. Alan Hale (Keynsham South, Conservative), the council’s member advocate for road safety, warned in February that the changes planned by the council are not those which auditors recommended. They had suggested putting tactile paving along the kerb, but the scheme’s designers said this could cause more confusion.

Mr Hale said: “It seems to me that the council administration have spent good money on an audit but, having received the results, they together with the officers and the design team have decided to dismiss what they have been told.”

John Wimperis, Local Democracy Reporting Service

May, 2024 3 keynshamvoice Got News? Call Keynsham Voice on 0117 9082121 Email n NEWS
Above, the new dashed painted line along the cycle lane in Keynsham High Street.
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Left, the solid white line it replaced

Church caretaker Graham takes the plunge at St John’s

ABOUT 60 intrepid abseilers took the plunge from the tower of St John’s Church in Keynsham to raise money for Mencap.

Among those making the 100foot descent in bright sunshine was St John’s caretaker Graham Mitchell, who abseiled down the tower he helps to maintain.

The abseil was part of a family fun weekend on April 20 and 21 which also raised funds for the

church. There were stalls and face-painting, and children from St John’s and Two Rivers schools helped to draw tickets for the St John’s spring raffle.

Raffle organiser Anne Hewett said: “It was a super weekend. Probably over a thousand people came to watch, and to support two such good local causes.”

l We hope to publish more photos from the event in our June issue.

Wombles clean up river rubbish

KEYNSHAM Wombles were among the volunteers who took part in the Great Avon River Pick.

It was the third year the event has run, with groups from central Bristol, through to Bradfordon-Avon and beyond, picking litter along the River Avon. More than 40 volunteers from the Keynsham area collected more than 65 bags of rubbish and some larger items.

A Keynsham Wombles spokesperson said: “We even had help from an unwary van driver who parked alongside us and offered to ferry a load of rubbish to the collection point for B&NES to remove!”

If anyone would like to become a Womble or join the next group litter pick, they can contact Erica on

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Cadets help save marathon runner’s life

TWO Keynsham St John Ambulance cadets helped to save the life of a runner who collapsed during the London Marathon.

Volunteers Becky James and Matthew Cleave, both aged 17, were on duty at the event on April 21.

One of the runners - Richard Walker, executive chair of Iceland Foods - was close to the finish line when he collapsed with heatstroke.

Becky and Matthew, of Keynsham All Services Unit, were part of a team of first aiders who then leapt into action, helping to prevent what could have been a tragic outcome.

Heatstroke is caused by a failure in the brain to regulate the body’s temperature, meaning the body is unable to cool downwithout fast action it can be fatal. Symptoms include headache, dizziness, confusion, and a body temperature over 40 Celsius.

Cadets Becky and Matthew showed composure under pressure to help Richard. And he was able to walk out of the treatment centre just two hours after collapsing, surrounded by his relieved family.

Richard hailed the volunteers as “absolute heroes” – and Becky and Matthew also received a

tribute from St John Ambulance.

A spokesperson said: “We could not be prouder of the important work our volunteers do. Seeing Richard fit and well is a stark reminder of the lifesaving impact of first aid.

“Our volunteers, including our dedicated cadets, embody the spirit of community and compassion that is at the heart of St John Ambulance.”

The organisation said it hoped the London Marathon incident would remind the public of the importance of first-aid training and the difference it can make in emergencies.

“As Richard Walker’s story shows, heroes can emerge in the most unexpected moments, ready to make a life-changing difference.”

Last month, the Voice reported how Lily, another Keynsham cadet with St John Ambulance, saved the life of a customer who collapsed in the cafe where she was working. She performed CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) until parademics arrived.

For more information about St John Ambulance’s first-aid training, first-aid advice, or how to donate to the charity, go to

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Keynsham cadets Becky James and Matthew Cleave helping Richard Walker to recover from heatstroke at the London Marathon
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CAITLIN Brennan has gone the extra mile to raise money towards a new defibrillator in Keynsham.

Braving stormy conditions, she hiked up Pen y Fan – the highest peak in South Wales –with an intrepid group of family and friends.

She then enjoyed much brighter weather on the KeynshamNow spring cycle ride, pedalling from Saltford to Bristol, Bristol to Bath and then back to Saltford again.

Caitlin said: “It took us 3 hours 19 minutes. It was very hard work! Lucky, we had lovely weather at least.”

She has set a target of £2,000 for her defibrillator campaign on Gofundme. As the Voice went to press, it had raised £1,020.

Caitlin was inspired to raise the money after a traumatic incident last October.

She was walking to a friend’s house in Somerdale at about midnight when she found the man lying on grass near the site’s entrance.

At first she assumed he was asleep and tried to wake him, but he did not respond.

A check of his pockets revealed no information that might explain why he was unconscious, so she rang 999 and followed their instructions for treating someone in cardiac arrest.

“I screamed for help as there was no defibrillator near me.

“Thankfully, a group of men stopped and helped as I wasn’t strong enough to continue chest compressions on my own.

“This was the scariest situation I’ve ever been in. The ambulance and police crew were there within minutes and were amazing.

Caitlin hits the heights for lifesaving campaign

a bleed kit and an anaphylaxis kit.

“Had I not completed defibrillator training with my local council only a few weeks before, this situation could have been completely different.

“The ambulance driver told me I saved his life, but to this day

I’m not sure what happened to him after.”

Caitlin hopes the new defibrillator will be installed near the entrance to Somerdale, where she found the man. The target amount would also cover

“Should I exceed the goal, I’m hoping to hold a session where anyone who’s been in this situation can come together and talk about their experience - it’s not something I knew how to deal with.”

Although Caitlin is a Keynsham town councillor, she is raising the money as a private individual, but the defibrillator would be managed by the council once in place.

To donate to Caitlin’s fundraiser, go to www.gofund. and search for ‘Cailtin Brennan’. Or you can use the QR code printed here.

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May, 2024 7 keynshamvoice Got News? Call Keynsham Voice on 0117 9082121 Email
Caitlin Brennan and her team reach the peak of Pen y Fan. Below, fifth from left, Cailtin on the KeynshamNow spring cycle ride

£1,600 boost for Daniel’s campaign

A COFFEE morning at Keynsham Cricket Club has raised more than £1,600 for Daniel Money’s campaign to support Cancer Research UK.

The efforts of Daniel and his supporters have so far raised more than £49,000 for the charity, plus £9,000 in Gift Aid.

Daniel, a junior doctor, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in November 2022 at the age of 24. During his treatment, he has also been involved in fundraising events through his giving pages on the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) website.

The successful coffee morning on April 19 followed a race night in March at

Keynsham Rugby Club that raised more than £3,000 for Daniel’s campaign.

Daniel’s mum Sarah Stone said: “The event went so well, like the race night. It was lovely to be surrounded and supported by family, friends and the Keynsham community. Daniel was really shocked by how much we raised - over £1,600 - and very appreciative!

“I would just like to thank everyone who came, donated cakes and raffle prizes and helped raise such a lot of money.”

To support Daniel’s fundraising, visit unite/daniels-fundraising

May, 2024 8 keynshamvoice To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715770448 Email NEWS Offices in: Bradley Stoke | Central Bristol | Clevedon | Henleaze | Keynsham | Nailsea Portishead | Staple Hill | Thornbury | Weston-super-Mare | Worle | Yate Need legal advice? We offer expert services for you, your family and your business Solving your legal problems ...locally Get in touch: 0117 986 3504 16 High Street, Keynsham, Bristol BS31 1DJ

Pupils’ art promotes school fair

PUPILS at Saltford School showed their artistic flair to help to promote the school’s summer fair.

They entered the PTA’s annual drawing competition, which aims to capture the fun, vibrant spirit of the fair, incorporating this year’s chosen theme of the Parish Olympics.

The judges chose Otto, aged 6, from Palm class, as the overall winner, alongside runner-up Toby, aged 9, from Lime class. Otto’s winning entry will used to promote the summer fair, which takes place on Saturday June 15, from 12pm-3pm.

l Pictured above are Toby, left, and Otto. Right, Otto’s winning picture.

Council criticises plan for flats at fire station

PLANS to demolish Keynsham’s old fire station and replace it with a block of 21 flats have been criticised by the town council.

It has raised concerns about the design, lack of affordable housing, and issues with the scheme’s boundary.

The four-storey development for the over-55s would comprise 12 one-bed and nine two-bed apartments, with commercial space on the ground floor facing Temple Street.

Chewton Place Developments Ltd have lodged plans with Bath & North East Somerset Council that would include just two offstreet car parking spaces, as well as 42 cycle spaces for residents.

The town council has objected to the plans, saying: “The development does not address the need for affordable housing in the centre of town. Also, the proposal does not meet the needs of a mixed development,

catering for only one section of the community.”

It adds that the materials and design are “unsatisfactory” and “incongruous” with the surroundings.

The Civic Centre car park lies behind the fire station, and the town council adds: “The site plans are inaccurate with the applicant’s proposal using land in the ownership of the local authority to accommodate some of its parking.”

Several people have objected to the scheme, mainly concerned about a lack of parking spaces.

The target date for B&NES Council to reach its decision on the plans is June 10.

9 keynshamvoice May, 2024 Got News? Call Keynsham Voice on 0117 9082121 Email NEWS


Addresses hidden to tackle intimidation

COUNCILLORS in Bath and North East Somerset will be able to keep their home addresses private if they wish to, amid concerns about intimidation.

Addresses have been listed publicly in the register of interests, unless councillors could provide “evidence of threat of violence and intimidation.”

Now councillors will be able to ask for their home address to be treated as a sensitive interest and not publicly disclosed.

Speaking at a meeting of Bath and North East Somerset Council’s standards committee, Alan Hale (Keynsham South) said: “Anything that makes it safer for our colleagues or even to give them some peace of mind, I will follow.”

But he added: “I will continue to display my address because it would be a pointless exercise to try and hide it in a small town, and people know me.”

Michelle O’Doherty (Newbridge, Liberal Democrat) said she supported the change, although she was also happy having her address public.

She said: “Having been a councillor for seven years, the political discourse has got so personalised and often quite unpleasant that I think a lot of councillors feel very vulnerable.”

The committee voted in favour of the proposal.

John Wimperis, Local Democracy Reporting Service


with Keynsham & Saltford Local History Society

This is an old and rare image. Drawn in 1793 by Thomas Baskerfield, it is titled “The Coal Mine near Keynsham”. We cannot be certain of the location but it is most likely to be in Charlton Bottom, near Stockwood Vale. We know there was a mine there and the lane is still known as Engine House Lane.

The picture shows, on the left, a

horse-gin, used to power the hoist to lift cages up the shaft, and to the right, a steam engine to pump water from the workings.

The caption states that the pit had a depth of 13 fathoms, equal to 78 feet or 24 metres.

The drawing is in the collection of Science Museum and is reproduced under the Creative Commons Licence.

10 keynshamvoice To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715770448 Email May, 2024

Campaign to help Jack raises £21k

A CAMPAIGN to support a Saltford boy who has a rare genetic condition has raised £21,000.

Seven-year-old Jack Anderson-Jones has Cornelia De Lange Syndrome, which presents him with physical and mental challenges.

Now David Diamond, of Saltford Golf Club, has presented a cheque to Jack and his family following the fundraising success.

David said: “Being the Saltford Golf Club captain last year was an absolute honour. It was an opportunity for me to help support a very worthwhile cause in our local community.

“Jack is a lovely fun-loving boy who obviously needs a lot of special care, and his parents planned on building some much-needed facilities at their home in Saltford to help better manage matters for young Jack.

“Helping support a local cause was important to me and raising funds for this was one of my key aims during my captaincy year.

“I would like to thank members and local businesses for their generous donations, especially since we are living in such financially trying times.

“We collected a massive £21,000 for Jack, so thank you all for your support and for being such amazing people. You have helped one of our own and I am very proud to live among you in the Saltford and Keynsham communities”.

Jack is pictured with his mum Abby and big sister Mya. David Diamond is accompanied by his friend John Cheshire and Molly the dog, who both helped David with canvassing and supporting the fundraising effort.


Repair cafe date

AFTER a break in April, the next monthly Saltford Repair Café will be at Saltford Hall on Saturday May 18 from 11am to 1pm.

As well as offering the chance to get broken items repaired, the event will include its community café, offering Newton Farm bacon rolls, ahome-made cakes and Fairtrade tea/coffee.

So it was fitting that

reader Andrew Harrison spotted this

thrush in Keynsham Memorial Park on April 23 –the date, Andrew notes, of Shakespeare’s birthday.

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ELIGIBLE people are being invited to have a top-up Covid-19 vaccination this spring. The NHS is offering Covid-19 vaccines to people who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus –including those aged 75 and over (by 30 June 2024), residents of care homes for older adults, and those aged 6 months and over with a weakened immune system.

ELIGIBLE people are being invited to have a top-up Covid-19 vaccination this spring. The NHS is offering Covid-19 vaccines to people who are at increased risk of serious illness from the virus –including those aged 75 and over (by 30 June 2024), residents of care homes for older adults, and those aged 6 months and over with a weakened immune system.

Eligible people can make an appointment at a GP vaccination clinic when invited. People can also book an appointment at a GP clinic, a local pharmacy or at a community vaccination clinic in the following simple ways:

Eligible people can make an appointment at a GP vaccination clinic when invited. People can also book an appointment at a GP clinic, a local pharmacy or at a community vaccination clinic in the following simple ways:

• Download the NHS App and make an appointment

• Download the NHS App and make an appointment

• Visit to use the online National Booking Service

• Visit to use the online National Booking Service

• Call 119 for free if you can’t get online (translators are available)

• Call 119 for free if you can’t get online (translators are available)

The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) NHS area is also offering walk-in vaccinations in community clinics. For details and more information about

The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) NHS area is also offering walk-in vaccinations in community clinics. For details and more information about

Top up Covid-19 vaccination on offer for high risk people

Top up Covid-19 vaccination on offer for high risk people

the spring campaign, visit www.

the spring campaign, visit www.

Vaccinations for people living in the community began on 22

Vaccinations for people living in the community began on 22

April 2024 and local GPs have also started visiting adult care homes. Spring vaccinations will be available until 30 June 2024.

April 2024 and local GPs have also started visiting adult care homes. Spring vaccinations will be available until 30 June 2024.

Local GP Dr Dougal Darvill said: “Protection against Covid-19, either from catching the virus or from a previous vaccination, can fade over time and the virus can change, so if you are at higher risk of severe illness it is important that you top up your protection.

Local GP Dr Dougal Darvill said: “Protection against Covid-19, either from catching the virus or from a previous vaccination, can fade over time and the virus can change, so if you are at higher risk of severe illness it is important that you top up your protection.

“For some, particularly older people and those with a weakened immune system, Covid-19 can still be very dangerous and even lifethreatening. If you or your child are entitled to a spring top up vaccination, I strongly encourage you to take up the offer. It’s quick and easy to recharge your immunity and will give you the protection you need for the

“For some, particularly older people and those with a weakened immune system, Covid-19 can still be very dangerous and even lifethreatening. If you or your child are entitled to a spring top up vaccination, I strongly encourage you to take up the offer. It’s quick and easy to recharge your immunity and will give you the protection you need for the

months ahead.

months ahead.

“Covid-19 vaccines provide protection against the virus and help reduce the risk of serious illness. The vaccine has saved countless lives, prevented thousands from needing to go to hospital and helped us to live with the virus without fear or restrictions. For local vaccination information, visit www.grabajab. net.”

“Covid-19 vaccines provide protection against the virus and help reduce the risk of serious illness. The vaccine has saved countless lives, prevented thousands from needing to go to hospital and helped us to live with the virus without fear or restrictions. For local vaccination information, visit www.grabajab. net.”

Those invited should make sure their appointment takes place at least three months since their last dose.

Those invited should make sure their appointment takes place at least three months since their last dose.

Anyone who believes they should be eligible for a vaccine but does not get invited can check online. Alternatively, they can self-declare via the National Booking Service and then speak to a clinician on site.

Anyone who believes they should be eligible for a vaccine but does not get invited can check online. Alternatively, they can self-declare via the National Booking Service and then speak to a clinician on site.

12 keynshamvoice To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715770448 Email May, 2024

Dave’s Normandy trek to help veterans

A KEYNSHAM man plans to walk to Normandy to raise money for a war veterans’ charity.

Dave Westall will cover 230 miles in six days in aid of the Spirit of Normandy Trust.

As well as supporting the Normandy veterans, the trust built and maintains the Normandy Memorial near the village of Ver-sur-Mer.

The memorial pays tribute to those who took part in the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944, which paved the way the Allied victory in the Second World War. Each year, the trust helps many veterans make the journey to the memorial to mark the D-Day anniversary.

Dave said: “This may be the last opportunity for many of them, the youngest being 98 and the oldest 103.”

He was inspired to support the trust by a talk he heard at the Bath & Bristol Armed Forces Breakfast Club, which meets once a month at the Riverside in Salford.

“The chairman of the Spirit of Normandy Trust spoke to us about the charity. He came with Stan Ford, who is one on the veterans who is going to Normandy this year for the 80th anniversary.”

Stan’s account of his experiences on the Normandy beaches all those decades ago struck a chord with Dave.

Dave, 53, said: “Gentlemen of that generation often don’t talk about their experiences, but here I was in a position to help them possibly get some peace and closure before it was too late.

“I then thought, how many veterans would have liked this opportunity to return and

show family a little bit about them perhaps that they didn’t know.”

Dave was an adult instructor with the Avon and Bristol Air Cadet Force for more than 30 years. After 22 years working for the Prison Service at HMP Bristol, he left eight years ago to take up a role in the quartermaster department at 7 Military Intelligence Battalion at Horfield.

Dave will set off from the Bristol Horfield Army Reserve Centre on May 30, stopping overnight in Keynsham, Warminster, Salisbury, Southampton and Portsmouth.

He will then catch the night ferry to arrive at Caen on June 5. From there, he will walk to Arnhem and onto the Normandy Meemorial, arriving on June 6.

The next day, after the anniversary commemorations, he plans to meet some of the veterans and hand over a cheque for the amount he has raised.

To sponsor Dave, visit JustGiving at and search for ‘Dave Westall’. For more information about the Spirit of Normandy trust, visit

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We’re prepared to repair in the Big Fix


from Keynsham Repair Cafe are encouraging people to get their household items mended as part of two national campaigns.

The team offer their services on the second Saturday of the month (the same day as Keynsham Farmers Market) from 10am-12pm at Keynsham’s Baptist Church.

This month sees two national initiatives – Mend it May, which runs each year as part of Sustainable Fashion Week, and The BIG FIX, a campaign to breathe new life into as many broken things as possible.

While supporting the May campaigns, the Keynsham Repair Cafe team are keen to help people every month of the year.

Gwen Edwards, the café’s co-organiser, said: “We fix a lot of lamps, toasters, hoovers, food mixers, and people also bring in soup makers, kitchen clocks, toys and so on.

“We also look at simpler things. For example, sometimes people will know a battery or bulb needs replacing – we can help them work out which one is needed, and then help them to change it. We also help with simple sewing repairs too, and are always keen to share our skills and fix things together.”


“We repair about 80 to 85% of what people bring in, and get a buzz from knowing we are helping others to keep something useful in use, sharing skills, as well as saving people money and keeping things out of landfill.

“So next time you notice something at home needs fixing, and you’re not sure what to do to make it work again, why not bring it in and we can look at it together?”

The next Repair Cafe is on

Saturday May 11, 10am-12pm, at Keynsham Baptist Church (the one with the garden, on the High Street). All are welcome, repairs are free, and a small cash donation if possible helps the team to cover the rent. More information is available from keynshamrepaircafe@gmail. com; @KeynshamRepairCafe on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; https:// keynshamrepaircafe.wixsite. com/home

Artist Peter’s emu is the winner

MEMBERS of Compton Dando Art Group members put on a display of artwork they produced during the

It included paintings of flowers and animals, and ranged from landscapes to cards.

The paintings were judged by Lisa, from the Compton Inn, and the winning artist was Peter Coombes, who painted a humorous emu.

the members have supported the group over the years, and although inevitably some of the group have moved from the area, and some have sadly passed away, there has been a solid core of dedicated artists. We also have had some new members join last year.”

The group was started 18 years ago by organiser and club leader Sonia Priest, who said: “Many of

l Pictured, art group members (left to right) James Wickham, Maureen Baker, David Turner, Peter Coombes, John Chivers and David Wall - and Peter Coombes’ winning painting of an emu.

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AMAZING performers from a much-loved Keynsham music charity took to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall for an incredible performance – joined by musical and theatre legend Michael Ball.

Members of Keynsham & District Mencap Society’s Music Man project joined other regional Music Man Project groups to perform at the venue on April 8. More than 250 musicians with a learning disability from across the UK performed alongside Michael Ball OBE and the Bands of the HM Royal Marines.

Laura Jefferies, operations manager at KADMS, said: “It was phenomenal. We have no words to describe how incredible this experience was. Our musicians had the time of their life, loved every minute, and totally smashed the performance. We could not be prouder of our Green Team.

“We really want to thank Music Man

Projects UK founder David Stanley, who made this all possible with his absolute belief and unwavering passion.

“Also, our very own director, Naomi, who works tirelessly behind the scenes to prepare for the rehearsals, arrives on a Saturday to Music Man full of energy and positivity and always smiling. And all of the volunteers who attended the rehearsals and learnt all of the material alongside the musicians to be able to support them on stage.

“Thank you also so much to our volunteer team for supporting this trip; driving minibuses and vans, running errands, collecting sandwiches and lunches, calming nerves, getting people and instruments to where they need to be, the 2am wake-up calls, and

everything else you did to help make this happen. What a dream come true and incredible memories made.”

Since 2018, the Music Man Project Keynsham has been giving people with a learning disability access to a regular and inclusive music club. It provides education, enjoyment, and inspirational performance opportunities, giving creative artists a platform to raise awareness about the difference music can make.

KADMS chair of trustees Kath Dawson said: “This is up there as one of the best Mencap trips, long anticipated, well prepared for and flawlessly executed. Well done to all the musicians and a heartfelt thanks to all dream team staff and volunteers for your selfless support.”

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So many ways you can help the young

FANCY a paddle, building a raft or something less adventurous?

Keynsham Scouts invite anyone aged 18-plus to join in this year’s Big Help Out.

Bear Grylls is helping lead this national venture, but you don’t need to be Bear to join the Scouts. You don’t even need to have been a Scout when younger – you just need a little time, enthusiasm and the desire to help give young people a brighter future.

Here are just some examples of how to volunteer locally, but there are many more opportunities to suit all skills and ages.

On the river: Building rafts, using kayaks, and generally having fun. No experience required. We have the equipment - our young people just need more adult support. It might only be for one evening for a few weeks over the summer. It will not impact weekends - you give what you can.

On dry land: Helping to organise hikes, share navigation skills, giving young people the skills to explore the countryside. Not a weekly commitment, more about working with others to provide opportunities, supporting the existing leader team.

On paper/media: We would love

to improve our marketing internally and externally. Creating posters, using online tools such as Facebook and Instagram. It might be highlighting internal opportunities to our members, promoting our fund-raising events externally, or marketing our campsite. A fantastic way to support young people.

On camp (but not having to camp): June 7-9, Wanjam 2024 weekend - fancy helping to run activities for a camp of over 500 young people? It could be crafts, an obstacle course, or a nature base. Give a couple of hours or a whole day. This is a one-off opportunity and a great way to find out more about scouting.

If interested, please email

If you don’t fancy activities, we’ve got plenty of behind-thescenes roles too.

It feels great to help others and bring our communities together too. That’s why we’d love to invite you to come along and try volunteering for yourself. To find out more, email or ring 07714237525

P.S. If it’s not for you, could you encourage someone you know to help out?

16 keynshamvoice To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715770448 Email May, 2024
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New life emerges in spring’s splendour

THE Friends of Manor Road Community Woodland volunteering group are back working in the woods again after our winter break, enjoying the warmer weather and the signs of spring everywhere.

The marsh marigolds are in flower around the pond, which is also currently home to a number of wriggly tadpoles. Hopefully, over the coming weeks, we will see these developing, and a new generation of frogs should be enjoying the woodland too.

For the past couple of months, the Plaishets wildflower meadow has been surrounded by blossom from the blackthorn and now the hawthorn, with some wild cherry and crab apple to add to the mix.

The meadow has its own splashes of colour from the cowslips, dandelions and buttercups dotted about. In March, some of the volunteers also planted cuckoo flower, (also known as lady’s smock or milkmaids) which likes damp ground and is named because it comes into flower around the same time as the cuckoos appear - sadly not so much nowadays.

This plant has lots of superstitions surrounding it so please don’t go picking it or you might be bitten by a snake or summon up a thunder storm!

Another group of volunteers have been working up a sweat cutting up and moving a couple of trees that have come down over some of the paths in the woodland, while others have started on more general path clearance, chopping back overhanging branches and brambles.

Walking through the woods is lovely at this time of year as the trees are bright with new leaves, and in some spots the paths are edged with primroses. If you can find them in amongst the cow parsley, the wild bluebells are also out, some planted by members of the group in previous years.

As a volunteer, it’s great to see these changes over the year and to be part of maintaining and developing this beautiful natural space. If you’re interested in joining us, we would be very happy to welcome you to the group.

We meet once a month from March through till the autumn, usually on the last Sunday of the month. No experience is necessary. Our next task day is on Sunday May 26, when we’ll meet at 9.30am by the first gate into Top Woods, on Manor Road coming from Keynsham (BS31 1SF). You can also get in touch via our Friends of Manor Road Community Woodland Facebook page to find out more.

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Trophy triumph for Spring Show winners

Rachel Wemyss, who won the cup for best in show for jams, chutneys and preserves, with town council chair Hal MacFie

TROPHY winners are celebrating their success in the second annual Keynsham Spring Show.

The event, held last month by Keynsham Town Council, allowed residents in the area to put their ‘best to the test’ in categories including horticulture; cookery; jams, honey and preserves; arts; handicrafts; photography; and the extensive children’s category.

Keynsham Town Council hopes to expand the number of trophies up for grabs at future spring shows. If you or a loved one would like to personally sponsor a trophy for classes not yet covered, email deputy town clerk Katherine Sears at

The winners at Keynsham Spring Show were as follows (with category sponsors in brackets):

Most points in daffodils: Neal Hatch (Keynsham in Bloom).

Most points in other horticulture: Anne-Marie Bird (Wild About Flowers).

Best in show – horticultural: Neal Hatch.

Most points in cookery: Fay Jenkins (Savour Kitchen & Farm Shop).

Best in show jams/chutneys and preserves: Rachel Wemyss (Heavenly Hedgerows).

Best in show – photography: Gerda Timinskaite (Keynsham Photographic Society).

Best in show – photography under 18s: Lex McKechnie (TimeOut Youth Service).

Best in show – art: Dave Amis (ArtSpace).

Best in show – handicraft: Helen Gist (Art & Pottery Studio @ The Chocolate Quarter).

Most points in children’s under 5s: Zoe Ward (Snapdragons Nursery).

Most points in children’s under 7s: Finlay Landen (TrueSpeed).

Most points in children’s under 11s: Anna Prideaux & Charlotte Ward (Caitlin Marie Nails).

Most points in children’s under 16s : Iris Aldridge (Wellsway School).

May, 2024 18 keynshamvoice To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715770448 Email n NEWS
Winners, left to right, Anne Marie Bird, David Amis and Neal Hatch


May is one of the most magical months in the year, when our countryside comes to life, with migrant birds back and busy nesting, insects buzzing and wild flowers in bloom with a burst of colours.

And, as the weather hopefully improves, we will now be able to leave our wellingtons at home when going out for a countryside walk.

In many of our green spaces we can hear the song of newly arrived warblers, with the leaves of various native trees providing cover for other songbirds. Just get out and listen to the auditory delight of the dawn chorus.

For something different, visit the Somerset Levels or Chew Valley Lake, where bitterns can be heard booming whilst birds of prey such as marsh harriers may be seen gliding over the reed-beds.

Places like Avon Wildlife Trust’s Folly Farm reserve near Bishop Sutton and the Manor Road Community Woodland in Keynsham will be excellent places to look for wild flowers and butterflies as well as a number of day flying moths.

During the second week of April, I walked from Compton Dando to Woollard on a circular route. After traversing a woodland carpeted with wild garlic, wood anemones and bluebells, I emerged onto an area of unimproved grassland where wild flowers like red campion and wood-rush were emerging from the ground. In May these wild flowers will be far more advanced and will be attracting butterflies and moths.

A wonderful plant for attracting butterflies is common yarrow, which will be coming into flower later this month.

The Large Skipper, Meadow Brown, Peacock and Small

Copper particularly like the small clusters of white flowers. Bees and hoverflies as well as butterflies, particularly Brimstone and Orangetips, enjoy the nectar from red campion. Another lovely butterfly is the Marbled White, which can be seen in the grasses of the Manor Road Community Woodland and Folly Farm.

Last year the Butterfly Conservation charity reported that 42 species were recorded in the area and 28 of these species were found in higher-than-average numbers. Hopefully 2024 proves at least an equally good year in northeast Somerset and beyond.

Whilst enjoying the outdoors,

please have a look on oak trees for abnormal growths found on its twigs. These are oak galls and their shapes will vary. They are created when wasps lay eggs in the young tissues of a tree and the tree responds by wrapping protective material around the injury and the eggs. In doing so, this also provides a cocoon for the developing larvae.

The oak gall has another use that nature had not intended and poses the question: What have the Magna Carta, the American Declaration of Independence, and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice have in common? They were all written in oak gall ink. The use of this ink, produced from

the crushed oak gall, has been traced back to Roman times and, surprisingly, it was still in use during the 20th century.

Oak gall ink owed a lot of its popularity to its indelible properties that made it very useful for legal documents.

Now is the time to get out into nature this month and enjoy the wonderful spectacle of spring at its best.

For more details on Avon Wildlife Trust Keynsham Group, visit our website, email or phone Kathy 07850 508702. Andrew Harrison

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Oak gall and, right, the Orange-tip butterfly are two sights to look out Photos: Andrew Harrison A hoverfly alights on common yarrow Photo: Creative Commons


Thirsty plants will need your water

BEFORE starting this article, we had a mini hurricane followed by heavy rain with sleet, and now all is calm and the sun is shining. We cannot rest on our laurels with this changeable weather, hence the need for rainwater storage to keep our High Street plants alive if we have a heatwave - it has been known! If you feel that your downpipe can be used with a water butt, please contact me at or Dawn Drury at Or pop into the town council office in Temple Street to leave your contact details. The Triangle

flowerbed opposite Poundland has now been planted with donated shrubs and herbaceous flowers, plus thousands of wildflower seeds that are friendly to bees and all insects, hence the need for water. Thank you to all Keynsham in Bloom volunteers.

Keynsham Station is looking lovely, and the open ground to the left of the memorial train is now being planted with spring bulbs and shadeloving plants, again donated by the kind people of Keynsham. Thank you so very much.

Work at the Pocket Park is starting under the tree, which will be a fairy garden to stimulated

the imaginations of our young people. The fight against creeping buttercup and bindweed continues, but the mature plants look healthy and ready for another summer.

The containers at Holmoak, Queens Road and Chandag shops are crammed with alpines and succulents which are looking colourful, as is the crown in the Memorial Park.

Once again, South West in Bloom will be judging our little town this July, so let’s hope our parks, railway station, High Street and all other areas will be enjoyed and treated with respect.


Village tradition lives on

THERE has been a village fete in Queen Charlton since the 14th century.

It was originally to coincide with St Margaret’s Saint’s Day, and a Royal Charter allowing the fete to continue is said to have been granted by Queen Elizabeth I when she passed through the village in 1573.

The village will be closed to cars during the fete on Saturday June 8, 2pm-5pm. Parking is available in the fields as you enter the village, and accessible parking in the farmyard behind the village church.

Attractions this year include local bellringers, Keynsham Brass Band, traditional children’s games, a bouncy castle, a display of classic cars, and a dog show at 2.30pm.

The fete supports local crafts people - there will be the ‘wood man’ and handmade pottery from a potter in Whitchurch. The Bath Bee stall will also return – mesmerising bees to watch and honey products to buy.

Refreshments will include a barbecue, cream teas served in the village hall, a cake stall and The Horseless Bar.

The Church of St Margaret, which has been in place since the 12th century and is a Grade II listed building, will be open, and its organ will be played periodically throughout the fete.

All money raised from the entry fee and stalls goes to the upkeep of the church and village hall. l Photo: Kim Atkins Photography

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Left, the crown in the Memorial Park Above and right, work in the Pocket Park


Do you remember the days of Wansdyke?

Local government organisation and council boundaries are hardly subjects that set the pulse racing. However, I was reminded recently that last month marked 50 years since the sweeping changes made to local government on 1st April 1974 came into effect. These were so far-reaching that it is worth describing what went before and why modernisation was probably inevitable.

The county of Somerset was created by the Normans in the 11th century. The name appears to have first been used in the eighth century when the area was part of the Kingdom of Wessex. Somerset County Council was created in 1889, along with other county councils and county boroughs across England and Wales. It was responsible for the major administrative functions of local government such as education and highways.

Beneath this county level, services in this area were provided by Keynsham Urban District Council. This came into being in 1938, when Keynsham and Saltford were considered large enough to operate as a separate entity and they were removed from Bathavon Rural District Council.

These local councils had responsibilities mainly related to public health and welfare. Services provided included refuse collection, sanitation, sewerage, housing, street-lighting, cemeteries, libraries, parks, controls on buildings such as petrol stations, and licensing of public entertainments. Their small size meant that staff were spread over different activities so that specialist expertise was impossible to develop.

In 1972 central government decided that these arrangements, with a large number of very small authorities – such as Keynsham UDC – were outdated and inefficient. They were to be replaced by a new two-tier structure with new counties surrounding major centres of population. Bristol was such a centre and Avon was created around it. Somerset survived but it lost its northern part to the new county.

Below the new county council were six district councils (as shown on the map on the right). Keynsham and Saltford were in the new district of Wansdyke. Named after the sixthcentury earthwork that ran from Maes Knoll

around the south of Keynsham and across through Englishcombe, this was a somewhat artificial area, with two main centres of population: Keynsham and Midsomer Norton / Radstock.

Apart from being in Somerset, these two centres had little in common and had never been connected by main road or railway. So, the new council had a lack of identity and there was perhaps an inbuilt tension when it came to deciding where resources should go.

As far our electors were concerned, the changes meant that local matters were being decided by councillors from a wider area; the loss of autonomy was keenly felt and on the last day of its existence the UDC held a civic service at St John’s to mark its passing.

In fact, the new arrangements had only a

The county of Avon with district councils

1. Wansdyke

2. Bath

3. Bristol

4. Kingswood

5. Woodspring

6. Northavon

short life. In Bristol especially, the loss of the historic county borough status was resented and the new county of Avon was never really accepted. After another review, both Avon and Wansdyke were abolished on 31st March 1996. Local government services in Keynsham and Saltford were then handed to a new single-tier authority – Bath & North East Somerset Council – which moved its principal offices to the new civic centre in Keynsham in 2015.

Before long, it became apparent that there really were benefits in co-ordination between the local authorities across the greater Bristol region in some activities, such as strategic planning and transport, and this led to the setting-up of the West of England Combined Authority in February 2017.

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The procession to the civic service on 31st March 1974, the last day of existence of Keynsham UDC. Below, the Wansdyke District Council offices in the civic centre in April 1990


esus told the parable of the Good Samaritan to teach us to show compassion and not to be choosy about who we help. This was brought home to me recently when I attended a routine ENT clinic at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

I was due to have ear surgery in a few weeks’ time and after some treatment, all was ready. As I left, I began to feel dizzy so I went to the Lansdown Restaurant for a coffee – I felt it wasn’t safe to drive. I rang ENT to ask if this was normal. Apparently, yes – should wear off in 30 minutes.

But it didn’t. I sat with my head on the table, my eyes clamped shut. By now, the room was swimming – I couldn’t focus or ring for help. I felt sick and all I was thinking was: “I must not vomit while all these people are having lunch.”

Eventually, a male voice asked if I was alright. I gave him the gist. He rang the clinic. My ‘Samaritan’ was from the anaesthetic department. Apparently, I didn’t look too good.

Thank you to my Good Samaritan, who I never saw ... My day was redeemed by the kindness of strangers

“You should be lying down,” he said, and I heard him ring to request a trolley. The trolley and porter arrived.

“If you move me, I will vomit,” I warn. “We’ll get a bowl, don’t worry.”

I had no intention of voluntarily moving. Suddenly, I was swept up and delivered onto the trolley on my side. Sadly, there was no bowl.

“Oh, she’s been sick, I hear, and I continued to be sick as they pushed me out of the

restaurant until I arrived in theatre recovery. My ‘Samaritan’ had improvised.

“Who is this woman and why is she here?” I heard a female voice ask. I needed to be moved but A&E was full. I heard various calls.

Finally, I was trolleyed to day surgery, who looked after me until, eight hours later, I could walk in a straight line and be picked up and taken home.

So thank you to my Good Samaritan, who I never saw. Thank you to the ENT doctor, on his way home, who got stuck with me while I was homeless. Thank you to the nurse in theatre recovery who organised an IV line and antiemetic before I was moved again. Finally, thank you to the staff of the day surgery unit who took care of me.

My day was redeemed by the kindness of strangers. This teaching of Jesus is timeless and translates into every age and culture. The giving and receiving of kindness can transform even the worst of days.


Affected by dementia?

Then this event is for you

THREE Bristol charities - Alive Activities, Bristol Dementia Action Alliance, and BRACE Dementia Research - are working together to host a much-needed, free information event called Let’s Talk Dementia’

The event is taking place on Saturday May 18, 10.30am-4.30pm, at the Watershed, Canons Road, Bristol, BS1 5TX.

Let’s Talk Dementia is a onestop event to learn more about dementia. One in two people will be affected by dementia in their lifetime, either through developing the condition or through caring for a loved one with dementia.

Whether you are living with dementia, caring for a loved one or keen to learn more about dementia, this event will have something for you.

Dementia specialists will give short, easy-to-understand talks on:

l Dementia diagnosis

l Early onset dementia

l South West dementia research

l Support for people living with dementia, and more

Arts and music sessions will be run throughout the event for people living with dementia. There will also be charity, care, research, and health exhibitors.

We advise booking a free ticket to guarantee your place. Turn up at a time that suits you.

l lets-talk-dementia-2024tickets-825215661257


l 0117 414 4831

The Watershed is a fully accessible venue. We hope to see you there!

May, 2024 22 keynshamvoice To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715770448 Email


Avon Valley Railway celebrates its 50th

AVON Valley Railway celebrated its half century with four days of anniversary events and behind-thescenes tours last month.

To mark the milestone, Metro Mayor Dan Norris unveiled a plaque on April 4 - exactly 50 years since the railway’s first public open day in 1974. He then boarded an anniversary dining train with a 1970s inspired menu.

The plaque unvelling was attended by dozens of locals, including celebrity rail enthusiast and social media star Francis Bourgeois.

Opened in 1869, Bitton Station is an original Victorian Midland Railway station, which closed in 1966 under the Beeching Cuts before being restored by volunteers nearly a decade later.

There are now three miles of re-laid track, and locomotives and carriages have been returned to their former glory – as has the original Victorian railway station building. Visitors can enjoy steam and diesel train rides throughout the year.

Parking concerns over Treetops flats plan

REVISED plans to build flats on the site of the former Treetops care home have been criticised by Keynsham Town Council.

Since the facility in St Clements Road closed in 2018, there have been repeated attempts to redevelop the site.

The empty building has also become the target of anti-social behaviour, with young people causing damage and starting fires.

An application to demolish the building and construct 39 flats was dismissed by a planning inspector in April 2022, and an attempt to get permission for 30 apartments was turned down by Bath and North East Somerset Council later in the year.

Last autumn, Treetops submitted a new bid to knock down the building – which was constructed in 1992 – and build 36 flats on the site in two threestorey buildings.

Revised plans now submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council propose 36 “high quality apartments, with a good residential mix of one, two and

three bedrooms, contributing to the developing character of Keynsham suburbs and addressing housing need.”

A total of 30 car parking spaces would be provided, as well as another five to be shared with the adjoining Temple House Health Centre. There would also be 79 covered cycle spaces.

But Keynsham Town Council has objected to the scheme, saying it is “totally contrary” to what is proposed in B&NES Council’s Local Plan Partial Review, which suggests there is space for only about 30 homes.

The town council describes the project as “incongruous and an overdevelopment”, saying it would spoil the look of the location on the edge of a conservation area.

It is also critical of the number of “affordable” homes that would be built.

“No viability appraisal appears to have been submitted in respect of the developer’s calculations equating to only 7.1 affordable homes, whereas we believe the 30% affordable housing contribution based upon a total of 36 dwellings should equate to 11 affordable dwellings - a number that Keynsham Town Council would expect for a development of this size.”

The town council adds: “The application fails to demonstrate adequate accessibility, car and cycle parking and cycle and vehicular access for the proposed development.”

The plans have attracted about 70 objections on the

B&NES Council planning portal, from people concerned about parking in St Clements Road and the health centre, as well as the traffic threat to the safety of children using the road to get to and from Wellsway School.

The manager of a GP practice in the health centre states: “I have huge concerns of the impact on our patients. There will be no policing of the parking, and residents will use health centre parking, preventing our patients being able to.”

One objector complained: “One and two-bed flats are needed at an affordable price in our community. Here flats are crammed in with minimal outside space and inadequate parking facilities. “Sustainable” here is not met by any improvement of local infrastructure such as buses or trains, childcare or schools. It is a word used by a developer to market poor parking facilities.”

It is not clear when B&NES Council expects to make a decision on the planning application.

May, 2024 23 keynshamvoice Got News? Call Keynsham Voice on 0117 9082121 Email
Celebrity rail enthusiast Francis Bourgeois, centre, with Dan Norris, left, and others who attended the unveiling of the 50th anniversary plaque

Avenue flats bid

PLANS to build two flats near Keynsham town centre have been submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council.

The one-bed flats in Vandyck Avenue would be accessed through a lane to the side of number 23.

The applicants say the two-storey building would have an eaves height similar to that of neighbouring homes and would not be an over-development of the site.

They said there would be adequate garden and parking – with two spaces – and there would be easy access to local facilities in the town without the need to travel by car.

Comments can be made via B&NES Council’s planning portal until May 7, and the planning reference is 24/01234/FUL. A decision is due to be made in June.

Life’s Pleasures POETRY CORNER

Life’s pleasures are always around us, Though some seem too busy to see. How much they are missing as days pass them by In a haze, rushing past you and me.

Just opening the curtains each morning And watching the birds flying by, Can make the heart sing, for a precious new day Has begun as we gaze at the sky.

Children’s young voices as school-ward they go Could be heard as a deafening din. But is it a din? Listen carefully, and then Close your eyes, it can sound like a hymn.

For life is whatever we make it, It’s a choice that we’re given to take. And by thanking the Lord for our blessings each day We’ll feel a still peace when we wake.

Sylvia Kirby


Scenes from Keynsham life

Diary – April:

Monday: Absent-minded. Intending to enter pharmacy, found I had wandered into toy shop. That’s the third time this has happened. Overheard: ‘No darling, you don’t just pick it up and take it home. It’s more complicated than that.’

Tuesday: Surprised barber does not think her home-grown tomatoes are an achievement.

Continue reading Michael C. Fitter’s Histories of Keynsham.

Wednesday: Sign on wall at work invites me to take up new, 15-step hand-washing technique. Curious. I’m sure I’ve seen that same sign in Keynsham somewhere.

Thursday: Splashed by white car on corner of Park Street. Gave rear fender a jolly good eyeballing. Muttered ‘unbelievable’. Congratulate myself on benevolent disposition.

Isaac Glynn

STAFF at Waitrose in Keynsham have celebrated the store’s 10th anniversary.

A spokesperson said: “We feel very much part of the Keynsham community, with many of our partners living in the immediate area, and we get involved with local events.

“In recent weeks we have supported the local school in Saltford with their ‘walk to school’ event. We also support local charities, including the community fridge.”

Concern at night flights

A protest against Bristol Airport’s expansion plans, which were approved on appeal after a long battle

KEYNSHAM Town Council has expressed concern about the number of night flights operating at Bristol Airport and the fact that the airport is exceeding the total permitted.

The council said that, despite 4,000 night flights being allowed to take off or land per year, Bristol Airport was exceeding that limit by a figure greater than at Gatwick or Heathrow.

It was responding to a report by the Parish Council Airport Association following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request about night flights at Bristol.

If flights operate between 11.30pm and 6am when not scheduled to do so, the airline has to apply to North Somerset Council for special dispensation for exceptional circumstances.

The FOI request, by the Bristol Airport Action Network (BAAN), revealed that Bristol Airport had 1,188 night flights more than permitted between March and

October last year. Special dispensation was granted for 806, meaning that 382 requests were refused.

BAAN said only seven of the 806 involved an emergency consisting of an immediate danger to life or health. A further 186 concerned delays likely to lead to serious airport congestion or serious hardship for passengers, while 613 were because of delays resulting from widespread and prolonged disruption of air traffic.

During the same period, Gatwick was granted 576 special dispensations and Heathrow 415.

BAAN said that Bristol Airport “can exceed their night flight quota with impunity.”

Keynsham Town Council said it would continue to support the Parish Council Airport Association in its efforts to ensure that Bristol Airport was not breaching such permissions.

May, 2024 24 keynshamvoice To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715770448 Email
birthday to us!


A MOTORCYCLE community venue in Keynsham that aims to improve wellbeing and prevent suicide has celebrated its revival after being devastated by flooding.

Bolts N Brews was started by Sean Good, a 16-year Army veteran who is now a qualified trauma risk management leader and a mental health first aider.

Sean served in combat zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq and lost a number of friends in battle. He still suffers night terrors but he is able to share his feelings with family and friends. Many are not so fortunate and some end up taking their own lives.

Sean believes that riding motorcycles is a great antidote to depression. For the past 10 years, he has organised the Bristol Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, during which time it has raised £131,000 for mental health support and research into prostate cancer.

But as the ride happens just once a year, Sean felt more regular social events were needed to create a better sense of community among the Bristol area’s many riders.

That’s how Bolts N Brews was born, offering monthly social events where people can share their love of motorcycles and find a safe space in which open up about their feelings.

A launch event was held at its base on the Broadmead Industrial Estate in Keynsham just before Christmas. It included a display of show bikes and attracted about 200 people.

But just after New Year, disaster struck when storms flooded the Bolts N Brews unit. Bikes were damaged, with even headlights being filled with water. Café machines and

Shared passion for bikes can save lives

Half of Keynsham businesses that responded to the survey said changes

supplies were ruined, workshop tools destroyed, and walls and furniture saturated.

A Crowdfunder campaign was launched with the aim of

raising £2,500 to help towards the cost of draining, cleaning and restoring the venue.

And its success has helped Bolts N Brews to reopen, with a

celebration event on April 20.

Sean said: “It was some of the best weather we have had since last summer. We cannot thank the local biker community more.”

First of all, 10 riders met up at the Bolts N Brews base in Keynsham before travelling into Bristol, where they joined 35 other enthusiasts for a ride-out.

“The day could not have gone any better. We arrived back at Bolts N Brews around 12.45 to find the car park full of choppers, scooters, sports bikes, cafe racers and some great American muscle.

“We had guest speakers from Movember, Talk Club, and Mental Health Motorbikediscussing their great strategies and programmes for mental health and suicide prevention.”

Now Sean and his supporters aim to use the venue to create a great social calendar, with a gallery, museum, garage, workshop, showroom, store, and, most importantly, a sociable cafe/bar.

“What Bolts N Brews looks to do is become that local social common place - where people from all walks of life come together to share their passion for two-wheels, whether they ride a motorcycle of not.”

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Sean Good at Bolts N Brews. Top, visitors to the comeback event

Blocked drains cleared on A4 Bath Road

BLOCKED drains that have been causing problems for motorists and pedestrians on the A4 Bath Road in Keynsham have been cleared.

As reported last month, Voice reader Paul Israel said he had contacted Bath and North East Somerset Council several times about the issue without action being taken.

The Bath Road resident said the worst drain was by the new pedestrian crossing, and the drains became blocked last autumn when all the trees shed their leaves.

B&NES Council told the Voice that, having assessed the drains, it did not feel they needed an urgent visit but that they were due to be cleaned by the end of April.

The work has now been done, with Mr Israel saying: “All the drains on the Bath Road have been cleaned and now they are clear.

“They now just need to come along and sweep the pavements and the gutters to stop them blocking again.”

Choir take top prize in debut contest

THE choir from The Meadows Primary School in Bitton are celebrating success at an Eisteddfod performing arts competition.

The children, from years 3 to 6, won first place in the choir category at the event in Thornbury. It was their first competition.

Their choir teacher, Cara Clark, said: “I was absolutely delighted with how well the children performed both in their singing and deportment.

“They have worked so hard during the past

weeks and I was extremely proud of every single one of them. Lovely comments from the adjudicator included ‘this was polished and musically aware singing’ and ‘a poised and evocative performance’.”

The choir performed Double Trouble from the Harry Potter films and The Rose by Bette Midler. Daisy Stone in year 5 said: “I love being part of the school choir and was so happy to have won our first competition!’


Transition Keynsham

Perils of processed

MY son is travelling around Asia on a gap year. On one overnight bus journey he found himself sitting next to an ecologist studying the impact of the cassava industry on the environment.

This was new to me, so I dug into it. I discovered that cassava root is a cash crop grown all over Asia, particularly in Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar. It’s processed to create tapioca flour or starch, which are used in food, paper and toothpaste.

Demand for tapioca has skyrocketed, and that’s led to farmers pushing into virgin land –usually forests, and often protected areas – to expand their cassava production. They clear the forest by cutting trees and plants down and burning them.

This burning is causing horrific levels of air pollution right across Laos and Thailand, with thousands of people falling sick with respiratory diseases. The massive haze of toxic smoke covering the skies in the dry season also has a negative impact on tourism.

Processing cassava uses huge amounts of energy and water. The


wastewater is heavily polluted and often dumped back into watercourses, contaminating drinking sources.

The feedback loop is undeniable. Growing and processing cassava leads to the destruction of biodiversity and human ill-health, and contributes to climate change through deforestation and intensive energy use.

It isn’t happening on our doorstep, but our lifestyles are driving it. Processed cassava (tapioca) is used as a binding or thickening agent in many ultraprocessed foods. If you’re a fan of bubble tea, those popping pearls are cassava products. If you buy a burger, it’s probably held together with tapioca flour or starch.

Our appetite for processed food only seems to grow more rapacious, but we need to consider its impact on lives across the world. Finding out about cassava has only made me more convinced that we need to turn our backs on processed food – for our own health and that of the planet.

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Proposals wanted for community projects

KEYNSHAM Town Council is seeking proposals for small community projects to be put forward for this financial year.

These proposals - with a deadline of March 31, 2025 - will be funded through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

CIL is a tariff system that allows Bath and North East Somerset Council to raise funds from developers to contribute to the cost of providing infrastructure for new schemes, and to mitigate the impact of the extra homes and residents.

CIL money does not need to be used to provide infrastructure on the site it is collected from. But it must be spent on projects that satisfy one of these criteria: l the provision, improvement, replacement, operation, or maintenance of infrastructure; or l anything else that is concerned with addressing the demands development places on an area.

‘Infrastructure and services’

are defined as:

l Physical infrastructure: e.g. highways, transport links, cycleways, energy supply, water, flood alleviation, waste management.

l Social infrastructure: e.g. education, health, social care, emergency services, art and culture, sports halls, community halls, faith, crematoria.

l Green infrastructure: e.g. parks, woodlands, play areas, public open space.

The council is keen to receive ideas from residents that improve the physical or social infrastructure of Keynsham or to help mitigate the increased demands that new development places on the area.

These could include new play equipment, improving rights of way, or a small project to benefit a local neighbourhood.

A suggestions/application form is available by emailing or calling 011798 68683.

It’s green for go at Saltford House

THE leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council, Kevin Guy, met representatives of the Saltford4Nature volunteer group and was shown progress on a project to enhance the green area in front of Saltford House.

B&NES parks department has prepared two planting beds and has agreed to cut the grass around them more often.

Saltford4Nature is backed by the Saltford Environment Group

and B&NES ward councillors Duncan Hounsell and Alison Streatfeild-James. Ward councillor funding is earmarked to provide the team with the resources they need. Anyone interested in getting involved with the group should email

l Pictured, left to right, are councillors Duncan Hounsell and Kevin Guy, Phil Harding of the Saltford Environment Group, and Nicola Thomas of Saltford4Nature.

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PEN TO PAPER Technology

St George karters scoop shield

MEMBERS of both Scout troops from 1st Saltford attended the Wansdyke District St George’s Soap Box Challenge, held at Camerton Village Hall.

They had spent the previous couple of weeks designing and building their karts in readiness for this popular event. It attracted 19 teams from the district, made up of around 100 scouts and leaders.

All their hard work paid off as 1st Saltford Scouts took home the winning shield!

renewed the Scout promise they made when they first started.

I am not sure who had the most fun with the karts. Many of the leaders supported the Scouts from designing, building, and sourcing materials, through to racing at the event itself. How often do you get to be a big kid again?

A total of 24 Scouts from Saltford took part in the challenge and won three out of the five categories. They were lucky with the glorious weather, which made the event much easier and more fun for all involved.

We used to employ paper and a fountain pen or pencil, Some would have a typewriter – a convenient utensil, We wrote letters, cards and memos, scribbled without fail, Packed them into envelopes and sent them in the mail.

We could add, divide, subtract and square without a lot of heat, Just by writing down the numbers on a handy little sheet. A slide-rule was a useful tool to help to oil the cogs, And we could get pin-point answers with seven-figure logs.

But all that’s changed – we just need to press a key, A moment later on your screen – the twelfth root of sixty-three. Did you enjoy your breakfast? Take a snap of what you eat, And then announce it to the world – just takes a little tweet.

That’s the way it’s meant to work, but is that really so?

There’s viruses and bugs and scams that come to spoil the show. Deciphering the help page is like reading Ancient Greek Then the internet goes down and leaves you up the creek.

So I’ll walk out in the country air and leave it all behind, Get away from all this techno stuff before I lose my mind. So here I am o’er hill and dale away from all that cr*p. (I must take some pictures on my phone and post them on WhatsApp.)

George Liddell

Keynsham Creative Writers welcome new members – call George Liddell on 0117 914 8654

As St George is the patron saint of Scouts, St George’s Day doesn’t go unmarked in the scouting calendar, and all those involved


If you would like to join us, we are always looking for adults to inspire, and enjoy working with, our young people aged six to 18. Just a couple of hours a week is all it needs to support our leader teams. We would love to hear from you, so please email us


Sociable group offers company

CAMEO (Come And Meet Each Other) is a group for people who live on their own.

It was formed 30 years ago by a Methodist probationer minister in Keynsham who recognised there was a need for many people to have more social contact, doing things together which some people found difficult to do on their own.

We meet for an activity each week and have a programme of events three times a year.

On the first Friday of the month, from 10am to noon, we meet for coffee/tea and biscuits in the Victoria Centre. Members can also book for events such as lunch at one of the pubs and restaurants in and around Keynsham, a trip to Bristol Hippodrome for a musical, or a coach outing. This summer we will be going to Laycock, Oakham Treasures, Weston-super-Mare, Minehead, and Bicton Gardens.

CAMEO invite speakers to inform or entertain us. We also have afternoon meetings for getting to know each better, with activities such as beetle, quizzes, skittles, reminiscences and our version of TV game shows.

Saturday afternoons can be a lonely time for some people on their own. On the last Saturday of the month from 2.30pm to 4pm, there is a Tea, Chat and Cake afternoon.

Before Covid, a holiday was arranged each year with the help of Bakers Dolphin. Unfortunately, we have not been able to continue this, mainly because hotels are reluctant to provide enough single rooms.

If you would like to know more, come along to a CAMEO coffee morning (first Friday in the month) or when the Victoria Centre is open for coffee on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday and pick up a programme.

May, 2024 28 keynshamvoice To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715770448 Email


Making tracks for a wonderful day

WHAT a lovely day and

Conditions were perfect for the Keynsham Walkers are Welcome train trip to Bradford on Avon.

A total of 37 people assembled at Keynsham station to catch the early morning train - the vast majority had pre-booked, but some turned up on the day.

We then met another few people at Bradford on Avon station, who had made their own way to the start of the walk.

After the pre-walk chat by walk leader Dave Johnson, we headed up the Frome Road to Culvers Close Park. Because of the high numbers, not only was Milla Keeny, the back marker, brought into use, we had several of the organising group to act as marshalls.

We crossed the park to meet up with the towpath of the Kennet & Avon Canal. At a casual pace, we then walked the two miles, via the Tithe Barn, to Avoncliff. Here we stopped for a break and to admire the spectacular aquaduct.

Suitably refreshed, we headed

back towards the town via Barton Farm Park. On its outskirts, the group split into two sections. Those fitter than the rest, headed by Dave Vince, climbed the steep hill to see the Chapel of St Mary Troy, and to admire the far-reaching views towards the Westbury White Horse and surrounding countryside.

There was ample time to tour the sights of Bradford on Avon and visit the local hostelries. The Three Horseshoes seemed to be the popular haunt before we headed

back to the station. There were options on which train to catch back to Keynsham, but over half the group stayed in the town and caught the 16.07.

This day out certainly proved to be popular, with everyone commenting on its success.

This month we start our summer walking programme, with two walks each month. The first is on Sunday May 5, meeting at the Memorial Park gates at 10am for the 7.5-mile circular walk to

Tucking Mill. The walk leader this time will be Milla Kenny, and the outing is open to anyone who wishes to join us.

There is no charge, and dogs under control are welcome. Please bring a packed lunch as we shall be stopping en route.

The second walk of the month is on Sunday May 19, again starting at 10am from the Memorial Park gates, for a three-mile circualar walk around the Umpty Dumps, led by Derek Butler.

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We’re digging in to create a nature haven

VOLUNTEERS from Andrews Estate Agents abandoned their desks for the morning to work at the Fox and Hounds Community Woodland.

This small area of overgrown land in the centre of Keynsham is being transformed into a nature reserve by Fox and Hounds Lane Action Group (FAHLAG), with the help of Keynsham Town Council, which now owns the site.

Andrews, whose head office is in the town, is sponsoring the project and wanted to get hands-on experience of what was involved.

Margaret Maxwell, FAHLAG secretary, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Andrews group to one of our regular working parties.

“We have been working on the project for a few years now. A lot of hard graft has been involved, clearing brambles, removing dead trees and creating pathways around the site.

“We have also restored an existing pond, planted new hedgerows and created two small grassy clearings. There’s still a lot to do,

but we’re getting there and look forward to opening up the woodland for the community.

“The Andrews volunteers have given the project a tremendous boost. They each gave it their all and took up their allotted tasks with enthusiasm and good humour.”

Alex Maggs-Usher, senior compliance officer at Andrews, said: “It was great to have colleagues getting stuck into clearing

brambles and weeds, and generally giving the woodland a once-over.”

FAHLAG holds regular working parties through the year. Anyone interested in taking part should contact Margaret at fahlag18@ The group would also welcome donations of spare gardening tools. And if anyone has a surplus timber bench in good condition, please let Margaret know.

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Green belt needs ‘permanent protection’

GREEN-belt land around Keynsham needs permanent protection from future development, the town council has said.

It was responding to a consultation on the new Local Plan, which will shape the future of home-building and job creation in Bath and North East Somerset until 2042.

Options for new housing mentioned in B&NES Council’s consultation document include 1,500 homes in north Keynsham, 500-750 at Hicks Gate, 350 in south-east Keynsham, 100-300 in west Keynsham, 160 east of Avon Mill Lane and 40-100 in central Keynsham. They also include 800 homes in south Saltford and 500 homes.

In its official response, Keynsham Town Council has asked B&NES Council, as the local planning authority, to “seriously consider the request of Keynsham and Saltford for landscape designation”. This would provide a “more permanent protection” for green-belt land, much of which has already been lost to development.

The town council said: “B&NES Council is apparently willing to surrender Green Belt land to development to meet housing need and not comply with the spirit and intent of the Government’s national planning and environmental policies.”

It said the aim of national green-belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open.

“To remove land from the Green Belt for development in the Local Plan would represent a failure of trust by B&NES Council to the local communities adversely affected.”

The town council said it favoured the creation of sustainable new settlements, stating: “This would be much less harmful overall than the current approach by B&NES Council of the over-developing and ruining of existing settled communities by adding additional housing developments to meet housing targets that put such a strain on local services, congest local roads and remove the last remaining parcels of green space that are so important for residents’ health and wellbeing and local wildlife habitat.”

The town council also argued:

MORE than 7,500 comments have been received about proposed options for future development needs across Bath and North East Somerset.

The Local Plan Options consultation allowed people to add their comments about where the council should plan for new homes and jobs.

Residents in Keynsham and Saltford have raised concerns about these options at public meetings, at which councillors encouraged them to have their say via the consultation process.

Councillor Mathew McCabe, cabinet member for built environment and sustainable development, said: “Although we had some software teething problems at the start, we received nearly 7,000 responses online.

“The planning team will

carefully consider the issues raised in the comments and feedback, and they will help to shape the Draft Local Plan.”

The council will work closely with key stakeholders on the Draft Local Plan, which will be subject to public consultation early next year, giving residents another opportunity to have their say. It will then be submitted to the Secretary of State and examined by a planning inspector. Once approved by the inspector, it will be adopted by the council. When adopted, the Local Plan will guide planning decision until 2042.

More information about the development of the new Local Plan can be found on the council’s website at https://beta.bathnes.

“The identified need for new housing going forward is in Bath not Keynsham or near outlying villages. If people are to walk and/or cycle to work, new housebuilding should be where the jobs are.”

Regarding the suggestion for 1,500 new homes in north Keynsham, the town council said the two best options were to build nothing – because of concerns about conservation and flooding – or aim for 2,000 homes of a higher density, possibly by building apartments rather than houses. The latter would need to be supported by “really good” infrastructure.

The town council said it was “very surprised that this proposal includes student accommodation, as the location is totally inappropriate.”

It gave its “partial support” to 160 homes on brownfield land east of Avon Mill Lane, saying “this will bring relief to the much-disturbed nearby residents and resolve potential enforcement issues that are often raised due to current site activities.” But 4Concrete, a company currently based at the site, would need help finding another location to avoid jobs being lost.

The town council was

scathing about suggestions to build homes on the Tesco car park and other town centre car parks, saying this would worsen parking problems in the town.

It commented: “You cannot transport the weekly shop for a family on your bike or on a bus.”

It said it was concerned about the prospect of 100 to 300 homes to the west of Keynsham, narrowing the green belt separating the town from Stockwood and resulting in the loss of the Lays Farm industrial estate. But it was partially supportive of building on just part of the identified land.

“Since homes have to be built somewhere, this is one of the least-bad options. However, on the land proposed it should be possible to build more than 100 homes if density were increased.” It gave its partial support to 350 new homes in southeast Keynsham, welcoming the opportunity to link development with the Manor Road Community Woodland improvement project, but said walking and cycling routes to nearby amenities would need to be significantly improved.

Regarding the suggestion for 500-750 homes at Hicks Gate, the town council warned that “such heavy development will be problematic for the A4” and urged B&NES Council “to be aware of the danger of merging Keynsham and Bristol.” It did, however, say that one of the two options proposed would provide easy access to the A4 for residents and could be combined with industrial uses.

The Local Plan options document includes proposals for a new village of up to 3,000 new homes on land south of Burnett, next to the A39, which have sparked protests from residents who have formed the Burnett and Corston Protection Alliance.

Keynsham Town Council said: “The development of a new residential community in South Burnett is unwelcome in a green valley of agricultural land. The paucity of services and environmental destruction in this location makes it a totally inappropriate location for development.”

l To read Keynsham Town Council’s full response to the Local Plan consultation, go to uk/ and click on ‘News’

31 keynshamvoice May, 2024 Got News? Call Keynsham Voice on 0117 9082121 Email
Members of the Burnett and Corston Protection Alliance Keynsham Town Council had a scathing response to the suggestion of building homes on the Tesco car park


Monday May 6

n The Royal British Legion Women’s Section, Keynsham Branch (charity number 219279) host speaker

Naomi Johns from the Bird of Prey Project at Newton St Loe, 8.15pm, upstairs at the Royal British Legion Club, 8 Charlton Road, Keynsham BS31 2JA. She will give a talk about her work with owls and hawks. Come and find out more about the amazing work being done at this small visitors attraction right on our doorstep. Entrance £2 - pay on the door (sorry, no lift available).

Saturday May 11

n RUHX Walk for Life to raise money for Royal United Hospitals Bath. The event offers a 10-mile and marathon 26.2-mile option along the Kennet & Avon Canal. Adult tickets £20, children £8. Register your place at https://ruhx.

Monday May 13

n Messy Church at Keynsham Methodist Church, Queens Road, BS31 2NN, 3.30pm-5.30pm, with our usual mix of craft activities, Bible story, songs, food and fun. The theme for this month is the Old Testament character Ruth. Please book your place (to help us with catering) with the church office on 0117 914 9408 or bookings@

Tuesday May 21

n Coffee and Welsh conversation, Keynsham Courtyard pub, 7pm8.30pm, May 21 and June 18. Free. Call Catherine on 07941669925 for information.

Saturday May 25

n Winterbourne Wind Band is playing on the Keynsham Memorial Park bandstand, 2pm-3pm. Pop, rock, jazz, and classical. Come and enjoy this free event.

n Saltford Bridge Club

Would you like to bring your bridge up to date? Lessons, with assisted play, in a friendly setting at Saltford Golf Club with bar and easy parking. Date and time to be announced. Further information from or contact Val on 07989 775780.



n Saltford Whist Club, Saltford Hall. Monday afternoons 1.30pm-4pm. Contact Malcolm 01225 872555.

We would love to publicise your event

Send details of your events and activities in the following format:


Email us at: or call us on 0117 908 2121/ 07715 770448

n Tai Chi Shibashi 11am-12 noon. Gentle flowing movements for physical health and emotional wellbeing. Easy to learn and a joy to do. All ages and abilities. Saltford Hall BS31 1DS. Contact Ruth on or 07912 077458.

n Keynsham Bridge Club can now welcome new experienced players to our Monday evening sessions. Contact Pat 01275 835583 or Diane 0117 9861267.

n The Royal British Legion Women’s Section Keynsham Branch meets on the first Monday of each month upstairs at the RBL Club, Charlton Road, Keynsham, BS31 2JA, 7.30pm. Occasional speakers, social events and outings.

n Keynsham Brass Band, Broadlands School, St Francis Road, Keynsham, 7.30pm to 9.30pm term time. Trombonists particularly needed for traditional brass band. Friendly, relaxed group who play at summer fetes in Keynsham Memorial Park and a few concerts. Please call Sarah Medley on 0117 4625626 or email, or see the Facebook page or webpage (Keynsham Brass Band).

n Key Voices Community Choir meets Mondays at 7.30pm at St. Dunstan’s Church Hall, BS31 2BQ (or third Monday of month at Royal British Legion). We sing a wide range of music, with occasional performances and social events. We are a friendly non-auditioned choir, all are welcome. First session free to newcomers.

n CPK Badminton Club is a friendly but competitive club playing at Keynsham Leisure Centre, Mondays 7.30-9.30pm. Match night Fridays. Ideal for existing and potential league players, or those looking to improve their badminton. Email

Mondays to Fridays

n Beginners Pilates & Beginners Yoga for over 50s. Tuesdays 9.30 and 10.30 Keynsham High Street. Friendly Pilates classes focusing on strengthening and improving core strength. Hatha Yoga, help improve balance, flexibility and reduce stress. Other classes - Pilates: Mondays 5.45pm, Wednesday 9.30am. Yoga: Thursday 4.30pm & 5.30pm. Sound Bath: Fridays 6.30pm. 121s available. Contact Sandhya to book - 07565 976129 www.


n The Victoria Centre of the Methodist Church in Keynsham High Street is open 10am-12pm for coffee, biscuits and a chat.


n Yoga For Men

Monday 7-8pm, mixed ability, St John’s Church of England School, BS31 2NB Thursday 7.30-8.30pm, mixed ability, Two Rivers School, Hygge Park, BS31 1GE Free 1st class, £8 thereafter. Loyalty card. Drop in and pay on the night. Cash or contactless. See for further details.


n Butterflies Haven, charity for families of children with autism, sessions Mondays 7pm-8pm for ages 11-18 and Fridays 5.45pm6.45pm or 7pm-8pm for ages 4-11, at St Francis Church, Warwick Road, Keynsham, BS31 2PW. A safe place for children to be themselves, supported by volunteers. Sessions must be booked in advance. For more information, email


n Indoor rowing exercise classes, Mon 7pm, Fri 5pm and Sun 10.15am, Saltford Rowing Centre, Bath Road, BS31 3JS. Go Row

Indoor caters for people of all ages and levels of fitness. Classes last 45 minutes using rowing machines. First class is free, then £5 (or £18pm). Email gorowindoor@ to book. More details at http://


n Keynsham Girls’ Brigade for girls aged 4 to 15 meet during term time from 6pm to 7.30pm at the Key Centre, Charlton Road, Keynsham. Contact Linda on

n Badminton - friendly, beginners and improvers, mixed, adult (18 - 80!) group play every Tuesday 10am-12 noon at Keynsham Leisure Centre. Ring Clive 0117 9866793 or just turn up.

n St Keyna Townswomen’s Guild meets at the Fear Hall, Keynsham, from 10am to 12pm on the second Tuesday of each month.

n Keynsham Sequence Dance Club, 7.30pm-10pm, Fear Hall, Keynsham, every Tuesday. Contact Brian and Jo, Keynsham Sequence Dance Club, on 0117 9868540, or just turn up. Everyone welcome.


n Keynsham’s popular Good Afternoon Community Choir from 2pm-4pm at Keynsham Methodist Church / Victoria Centre. NO auditions and NO charge to attend your first ‘meet us’ rehearsal. Everyone welcome

n Oldland Ukulele Club is a mixedability group who meet every Wednesday at 1.30pm at Oldland Common United Reformed Church (the blue church), High Street, Oldland Common, BS30 9QN. Call/ text ‘Ukulele’ Ben on 07910 668258.


n Walking Tennis coached sessions at Saltford Tennis Club. Wednesday 10am for 45 minutes for the active and Thursday 10.45am for People with Parkinson’s. Cost £5 per session. Racquets and balls provided and stay on for a cuppa and chat afterwards. if you are interested do come along to a session.

May, 2024 32
To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715770448 Email



n ASP Poetry Circle, free entry, every third Thursday of each month, 11am-12pm, Keynsham Library, upstairs balcony, diagonally across from table in corner, by the window. Bring two or three poems, own or another poet’s, to share. https://

n Midweek worship at the Keynsham Methodist Church coffee morning (Victoria Centre, BS31 2JA). Join us for a relaxed short service at 11am. Take a short break from your hectic day and enjoy the informal atmosphere. All welcome.

n Keynsham & Saltford Dementia Action Alliance runs Music for the Mind sessions for people living with dementia and their carers. St Dunstan’s Church Hall, Keynsham, 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month, 10.30am-12.15pm. Singing and gentle exercises from 11am. No charge. www.keynshamdaa., or 07392442966.

n Longwell Green Orchestra meet each Thursday at Longwell Green Community Centre, 7.30pm to 9.40pm. We have players of all abilities. Email Contact@ or 07972 844073 beforehand to tell us what instrument and what level.

n Mat Pilates Classes

Taught by Physiotherapist Kate Thurs 7-7.55pm (intermediate) Thurs 8-8.55pm (beginners)

St Francis Church, Warwick Rd, Keynsham. 6 week block of classes £54. You are welcome to do a trial class first £10. 1:1 sessions also available at my studio in Saltford.

Book online or by contacting Kate - 07454 047536,


n NEW Pilates Class

Fridays 10.30am

St Francis Church Hall, Warwick Rd, Keynsham. Mixed ability level, beginners welcome.

6 week block of classes £54. Trial class £10.

Book online or by contacting Kate 07454 047536

n Cafe Plus at Keynsham Methodist Church (Queens Road, BS31 2NN) during term time. Come and share breakfast, chat and a place to chill and relax, from 8.45am.


n Volunteers at Keynsham Repair Cafe – a free monthly repair event, with a café, at Keynsham Baptist Church on the High Street – help to fix your everyday household things like toasters and lamps, sew a button onto a jacket, glue a handle back onto a mug, as well as more unusual items. Every second Saturday (same as Keynsham Farmers Market), 10am–12pm. Website keynshamrepaircafe.

n Keynsham Sequence Dance Club Monthly Dance, 7.30pm to 10.30pm, Fear Hall, Keynsham, third Saturday of the month. Contact Brian and Jo, Keynsham Sequence Dance Club, on 01179868540 or just turn up. Refreshments (coffee/tea and biscuits), £5 each.


n Keynsham Kings Flag American Football. Do you fancy trying out a new sport? Do you love the NFL? Flag American football is taking the UK by storm as a fastpaced, non-contact version of American football. Training: Sundays 10.30am-1pm, Manor Road Playing Fields. Mixed sport - anyone 16 yearsplus welcome. No previous experience needed. Contact us for more info on the Keynsham Kings Facebook or Instagram pages.

VILLAGERS savoured the beauty of nature when they took part in Compton Dando’s bluebell walk.

One of the organisers, Jenny Davis said: “The bluebells and wild garlic were stunning. We returned to St Mary’s Church for tea and cake.”

The church’s summer teas resume on Sunday May 26, 2.30pm-5pm, running through to Monday August 26 and including two bank holiday Mondays. Anyone wanting to find out can ring Jenny on 01761 490727.

Cracking boost for charity

CHELWOOD Bridge Rotary Club teamed up with local businesses to raffle a number of giant Easter eggs to raise money for charity.

The eggs, weighing 1.5 kilos, were put in 25 locations in the local community, raising over £1,700 to be shared between Children’s Hospice South West, Wizzybugs, and Water Survival Box.

A list of winners and businesses involved can be found at the Rotary club l Pictured, Rotarian Tony Watson presents an Easter egg to Suzy Kierk, who won the raffle in B Block at Keynsham’s Chocolate Quarter.


Knitwear gifts for seafarers

FATHER Jeremy Hellier of the Seamen’s Mission was a guest speaker at the Keynsham and Saltford Probus Club.

He described how the mission, founded in Clevedon in 1854 and now based at Royal Portbury Dock, provides worldwide welfare services to seafarers.

Many seamen from hot countries are poorly dressed for our climate, and he requested donations of knitwear to make their stay in port more comfortable.

In response, Sue Dixon, our

president’s wife, joined with the Knit and Natter group from Whitchurch United Reformed Church and produced a great number of quality items.

The photo shows Pete Coombs (on behalf of Probus) and his wife Margaret (representing Whitchurch URC) presenting the items to Father Hellier.

keynshamvoice May, 2024 33 Got News? Call Keynsham Voice on 0117 9082121 Email


Letters for publication can be sent to or by post to Letters, Keynshamvoice, 16 Ashmead Business Centre, Ashmead Road, Keynsham, BS31 1SX. The editor reserves the right to edit your letter.

Build homes on car parks? Get real, BANES!

What sensible person in BANES Council can even consider the possibility of building on half the Ashton Way car park and on some of the Keynsham Tesco car park? (Local Plan, April issue)

Currently these car parks are full most of the week, and with car ownership increasing more parking is needed if shops and businesses are to keep going. The BANES Liberal Democrat council live in cloud cuckoo land if they think an aging population will be able to walk to Keynsham shops. How will people take their weekly home from Tesco by walking?

Car numbers are increasing, and if available parking is reduced then businesses and shops will go elsewhere. Just look at what is happening with Broadmead Bristol versus Cribbs Causeway shopping centre.

The councillors cannot maintain bus services at present so they will reduce even more in future years even if you can afford the fare.

Some sense of reality is needed by current councillors if they are not to leave the future generations with no chance to park.

Cars will not go away.

Well done, Thornbury!

On a recent visit to Thornbury, we found that the town had recently revamped its High Street road and pavements. No steps and kerbs, and clear lane markings, all in the same level. So much more successful and user friendly than the current dangerous revamp of Keynsham’s High Street. I wish Keynsham had used whomever designed theirs!

Alison der Harr

Disappointed with PCC

When we recently received our council tax bill for 2024/5, I noticed that the precept we pay towards Avon and Somerset Police is £248. I then calculated that the approximately 8,000 households in Keynsham contributed a total of around £2 million each year.

I had been at the public meeting in January with Mark Shelford, the Police and Crime Commissioner, and two police officers, held to address problems with shoplifting in Keynsham and persistent unruly behaviour with youngsters in the High Street. Despite visiting the High Street most days, I have not seen either a police officer or PCSO for more than a year so wondered how the £2m was being spent.

I decided to email Mark Shelford on 22nd March asking him this question. I did not receive any reply or acknowledgment so decided to write a formal letter on 6th April and again have not had any reply. I did however have an email from Rob Turner, who is the police sergeant for Keynsham, on 15th April, who assured me that there are a total of seven officers, three PCs and 4 PCSOs, for the Keynsham area. I very much hope to see one of these sometime!

I am however disappointed that Mark Shelford, who is currently seeking re-election to his post of Police and Crime Commissioner, seems unwillingly to respond directly to correspondence. His website says: “I am here to help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch” - and with a salary of £88,000, he certainly should. He won’t be getting my vote!

Hazel Powe

Editor’s note: Mark Shelford has since emailed Hazel Powe, thanking her for her email but saying he did not receive the letter she sent by post. He said he forwarded her email to the

Neighbourhood Policing Team for Keynsham for a swift response.

He added: “I do apologise that you did not receive a direct response from myself informing you of the action I had taken and I understand your concerns raised.

“As Police and Crime Commissioner I want everyone to feel safe within their communities. I am satisfied that the Neighbourhood Policing Team are doing everything they can, and I will continue to work closely with ASC [Avon and Somerset Constabulary] regarding the matters you have raised and hold the Chief Constable to account.

“I do hope Sergeant Turner was able to provide you with some reassurance and address the questions which you asked. If there is anything I can do further to assist you, please do not hesitate to get in touch.”

Let’s vote on policing

I WONDER how many people have noticed we have elections for the Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner on Thursday May 2.

Certainly in the last year, policing of Keynsham in particular and Avon and Somerset in general has been a major concern, particularly following the Channel 4 series Catch a Copper Police and Crime Commissioners may not be the most well-known politicians, but they do have an important role. They hold the Chief Constable and police force to account on the public’s behalf, set budgets, and produce a plan for local policing priorities.

As a reminder, if you’re heading to the polls in Keynsham, you will need to take your photo ID with you. The voter identification requirements were introduced last year for the local elections and will apply to all elections going forwards. Personally, I feel these new rules were not necessary, as there is virtually no voter

fraud in this country, and add an extra barrier to people exercising their right to vote. However, I would hate anyone to be disenfranchised, so please remember your ID!

If you need to check whether you have the right form of identification, please see the council’s website at or you can call 01225 477333.

You can find out more about all PCC candidates at Councillor Andy Wait, Keynsham East Editor’s note: The four candidates are: Benet Allen, Liberal Democrats; Katy Grant, Green Party; Clare Moody, Labour and Co-operative Party; Mark Shelford, Conservative Candidate – More Police, Safer Streets.

High Street solution

Having read even more notices about the traffic in Keynsham High Street, I would like to make the following suggestion, which will possibly be cheaper than the ongoing round of “improvements”:

Put it back as it was, with two-way traffic and no cycle lane, and limit the parking.

This would solve several problems.

The reinstatement of a bus stop near the Post Office would increase the footfall in the High Street to the benefit of the traders.

Constant traffic flow would increase the chance of anti-social behaviour being observed and the culprits identified.

Because people crossing the road would have to pay more attention to the traffic, there would be fewer accidents caused by inattention.

Richard Hopkins

Green rules not to blame

Is this an April Fools’ Day joke? Arch-Brexiteer Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg - our MP, who was paid £324,121.44 by GB News for his second job, on top of his MP’s salary of £86,584 - stated recently: “Anything that makes trade more difficult makes countries poorer. The UK needs to abolish certain rules. What we should do is get rid of green regulations and all related charges, so we have an economy that’s efficient and low cost.”

He complains about “green regulations” whilst ignoring the enormous red-tape burden imposed by the self-inflicted act of Brexit.

Sir Jacob fails to recognise that moving more quickly to decarbonise our economy will be the most financially beneficial route for the country (advocated by both the Government’s own UK Climate Change Committee and Office for Budgetary Responsibility). It would be helpful for constituents in understanding his motives if we could be reassured that his personal wealth interests are not tied up in fossil fuel industries.

David Leverton

Thanks for path clean-up

Just want to say a huge thank-you to whichever council person cleaned up the pathway beside the Old Bank pub walk-through to Tesco. It made such a difference.

Name supplied, Keynsham

May, 2024 34 keynshamvoice To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715770448 Email

Adult Fiction

The Sixth Lie

Sarah Ward

I have always really enjoyed Sarah Ward’s crime stories, and this book is the second in the series featuring Mallory Dawson, a retired Met police officer. It is set in one of the smallest cities in the UK, St Davids, and the surrounding Welsh countryside. The story starts on New Year’s Eve 2011, when toddler Huw Jones disappears from his bedroom. His mother has attended a party and his father is at home, along with five of his oldest friends. Hours later, Huw is found dead on the nearby cliffs.

where she meets Mary Read. Mary is just as unconventional as Anne– a widow and sailor who has dressed as a boy since childhood.

They make a thrilling double act. In a story packed with fun and sometimes tragedy, the two women go on the run from their pasts and, of course, from the British Navy. A great read. Anne Bonny and Mary Read were real-life pirates – look them up!

Adult Non-Fiction

All six friends are questioned by the police. All have perfect alibis. Then ten years later, Heledd, Huw’s mother, is found dead.

Mallory is brought in by local police to help look into the original disappearance of Huw while they investigate Heledd’s death. But are the two crimes connected?

This is a very well-paced story, in particularly the dynamic between the six friends, and kept me guessing right up to the end.

Bonny & Read

Julie Walker

A story of two extraordinary women in the Caribbean in 1720, this is a tale of pirates and adventure. Anne Bonny – runaway wife and now pirate aboard the Revenge – is involved in the capture of a British merchant ship,

Frida: the biography of Frida Kahlo

Hayden Herrera reviewed by Emilie Bioud, Keynsham Library Assistant

Even if you’re unfamiliar with the name, you will have seen her face, on adverts, calendars, books etc.

Frida Kahlo is the most famous Mexican artist of the 20th century – better known now than her late husband Diego Riviera.

Her iconic look - traditional Tehuacan dresses, braided hair tied

Popular toddler group needs a leader Christ Church, Hanham is looking to employ an enthusiastic, creative & friendly


to develop and grow a popular faith-based toddler group. Can you organise and enable fun filled stay & play sessions on a Tuesday morning, term-time only?

For details email Jenny Cresswell, Team Administrator at or visit our Facebook Page @ChristChurchHanham. For an informal chat telephone Sharon on 0117 9678195

Closing date 20 May 2024. Interviews will be held on 3 June 2024.


with Judith Thomas from Keynsham Library

on her head with flowers - made everyone turn around in the street. This biography provides an insight into her private life, with letters, notes and comments from friends and family, along with explanation of her paintings.

Hayden Herrera gives us a woman both strong and fragile, who continues to fascinate the world with her thoughts and the art she left behind.

Children’s Picture Books

Bluey: Queens

Ele Fountain reviewed by Emilie Bioud

and box in the kitchen that has an animal illustration becomes her new pet. It starts with a monkey, then it’s a pelican, soon joined by a giraffe and a penguin.

The story presents itself as most of the TV show does: it’s a role play between Bluey and her younger sister Bingo. They decide to be queen and her butler. Both sisters prefer being butler and having things to do, but they learn to take turns at playing the roles.

The colours are always fresh and joyful in Bluey, and you get a glimpse of the Heelers’ family life, the parents busy cleaning the house while the girls are carefree. It captures nicely the games and imagination of young children without judgment or consequences.

Animal Crackers

Ruby Wright reviewed by Emilie Bioud

Little Maisie dreams of having a pet, but her mum explains that their flat is too small. So creative Maisie finds a way. Every packet

But such a big menagerie brings a lot of responsibilities that little Maisie isn’t sure she is ready to take on. A sweet story where little ones can dream that anything is possible.

Library news

Thursday at 11am is Storytime at Keynsham Library – term time only and for children up to four years old. Come along with a cushion and listen to fantastic new stories.

There’s always so much going on in our libraries, and it’s all free, so drop in and see what’s on offer. For families with children, sing along at Baby Bounce and Rhyme, or get comfy whilst listening to stories at our ever-popular Storytime.

For adults, we’ve got book clubs, writing classes, and much more throughout the year. Joining the library costs nothing, so pop in or visit to also access thousands of e-books, e-magazines, audiobooks, and a wealth of other resources.

Our ‘virtual library’ has loads going on, including the latest library news, competitions, book reviews and digital offers.

Search ‘Bath and North East Somerset Libraries’ on social media or visit bathneslibraries.wordpress. com

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Got News? Call Keynsham Voice on 0117 9082121 Email 35 keynshamvoice May, 2024
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A well presented 3 bedroom end of terrace property located in a popular part of Saltford close to local amenities and transport links, with a garage and ample off street parking.

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A well presented detached Edwardian property located a short walk from Keynsham High Street and St Johns School, with 4 bedrooms, a double garage and ample off street parking.

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Party time and triples success

IT is the time of the year when those of our members who play throughout the winter at the Bristol Indoor Bowling Centre check their kit for the start of the new outdoor season.

Our ladies playing indoors competed in the Wednesday Fours and the Thursday Triples, finishing both in mid-table positions.

Our men played in various leagues, ending up as winners in two. In the Thursday Triples, Paul Matthews, Bob Payne plus Bert Merrell from Fry’s Bowling Club not only topped the league but also obtained a hotshot. That is when all of your team’s woods end up closer to the jack than any of your opposition’s, allowing you to obtain certificates from Bowls England to acknowledge the achievement.

Our photograph shows (left to right) Bert, Bob and Paul with their

was delayed by wet weather, but things are now moving forward as leagues for ladies and gents get under way.

We launched the new season with a party, when we were entertained by vocalist Naomi, who performed songs from the 60s and 70s. In the break, we enjoyed an afternoon tea prepared and served by Annette, Julie, Lyn and Simon.

The afternoon was appreciated by the 60 members who attended, as our photograph above shows.

It would be remiss not to mention the Monday boys – a group of members who turn up rain or shine throughout the winter to carry out indoor and outdoor maintenance to ensure everything is “spic and span” when the season starts.



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certificates. The same players, with Roger Price, won the Tuesday Fours, and Roger playing with Paul in the pairs also achieved a hotshot. Moving on to the outdoor game, the opening of our green
May, 2024 40 keynshamvoice To advertise, contact Emma on 0117 9082121 or 07715770448 Email


Bright future for club at new home

Bitton Road Runners are settling in at their new facilities at Longwell Green Community Centre

BITTON Road Runners have moved to new facilities at Longwell Green Community Centre.

The club was based at Old Abbotonians in Oldland Common for 20 years, but changes with league fixtures meant the facilities were not always available.

Vice chairman Nigel Cox said: “We are excited by the move. The facilities that Longwell Green Community Centre have suit our every need.”

The club was formed in 1986, when runners met at Bitton Railway Station,

initially calling themselves Bitton Puffers. It now has about 150 members, who run competitively or for fun.

New chairman Steve Herring described the Runners as “a small club that punches above its weight.”

The club organises seven races throughout the year, from the Hanham Horror at Easter, and a 5k series at Bitton on the cycle track during the summer, to the iconic Sodbury Slog in November, which has been voted one of the best races in the UK.

The first 5k at Bitton on May 8 will be

raced under a new format. It will be chiptimed, and runners will be able to compare their performance against a Power of 10 national ranking.

Money raised from the races helps sustain the club, and donations are made to charities throughout the year.

Members run on a Tuesday and Thursday at 6.45am from the community centre in Shellards Road, and new recruits are welcome. Enquiries about membership can be made to the club secretary at




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41 keynshamvoice May, 2024 Got News? Call Keynsham Voice on 0117 9082121 Email 0117 313 6884 Call us for your FREE quote


Isabella on top form for under-12s at tournament

KEYNSHAM under-12 girls’ rugby team made the short journey to Bristol Barbarians RFC to take part in the Waterfall Festival run by the Bristol Junior Combination.

Six teams from all over Bristol competed in the 7-a-side competition. This is the first time Keynsham girls have taken part in a tournament-style competition, and they thoroughly enjoyed the day.

They won two of their five games, with very close results in the losing games. Keynsham managed to score 15 tries in total throughout the competition, with many being scored by Isabella Penfold (pictured).

The under-14s also played some rugby recently, making the short trip to North Somerset Barbarians for a fun and relaxed practice game.

If you know a young girl who fancies giving rugby a try, why not bring them down to our open evening on May 9, 6.30pm-7.30pm, at Keynsham RFC, where we will be doing a fun introductory session for new players.


Impressive run hoists the Ks to safety

KEYNSHAM Town secured their place in the Toolstation Western League Division One with an impressive run to end their turbulent season.

The Ks’ young side were at risk of relegation before they turned things around with four wins in their last six games – taking 12 points from a possible 18.

Despite losing their final game of the season 4-2 at home to Wincanton Town, they achieved the security of 18th place – fifth from the bottom – in the table.

Although it is not known what the League will decide about relegation, it is widely regarded that finishing above the bottom four means the club will stay in Division One.

Great credit is due to our joint managers, Marvin Brown and Ashley Morgan, who put in so much hard work. It has been a tough season but with a promising end, so we look forward to the next season (which is due to start in July) with a renewed optimism.

Sadly, our reserves manager James Tooze notified the club that he was stepping down at the end of the season. Although the reserves have also had a tough season, they should be safe for

another year in the Somerset Count League.

James has worked tirelessly over many seasons, sometimes single-handedly, to get a team together season after season. We wish James all the best as he moves on to pastures new.

In our junior section, our U14 Colts secured the Division 3 title to win promotion to Division 2 of the Avon Youth League next season. With a 100%-win record, the team wrapped up the league with four games still to play in their season. Congratulations to the coaching staff - Sam, Christian, Elemer and Helen - on a great season. This marks three promotions in three seasons for the Colts, having started in Division 5 at U12s.

On Sunday May 12 from 10am, the club is holding its annual fun day at the AJN Stadium. There will be football from all our sections, including the juniors, ladies and walking football teams. It will include a raffle with a first prize of £100 cash.

The bar will be open, and food and drink will be available all day. Our collection will be in aid of Muscular Dystrophy UK. For more information, please visit our website or social media channels.

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Action from Keynsham Town’s 7-2 victory over Middlezoy last month


Players clinch promotion with impressive win

FRY’S Tennis have now completed their winter league season.

They went into their penultimate match against Saltford knowing a win would secure top spot in the division and promotion.

Mark Long and Kerry Grace got things started with a 6-1 6-1 win in the men’s doubles. Jo Taylor and Jane Wright followed with a 6-2 6-3 win in a competitive ladies’ doubles. The mixed matches saw convincing victories for Mark and Jo 6-1 6-1 and Kerry and Jane 6-0 6-0. An impressive overall 10-0 win

meant that Fry’s had secured the top spot. Fry’s final match was against second-placed Almondsbury. While the title was secure, Fry’s were keen to avenge their only loss earlier in the season.

Mark and Kerry were in top form as they secured a 6-1 6-1 win in the men’s doubles, but the match of the day was undoubtedly the ladies’ doubles. In a high-quality match that could have gone either way, Jo Taylor and Elaine Hanham won through 7-5 6-4.

In the first mixed match, Mark and Jo

won a comfortable first set before just about edging a close second, 6-0 6-4. Kerry and Elaine then wrapped things up with a 6-2 6-2 win. Another overall 10-0 win meant Fry’s finished the season with a massive 72 points from 80 - a great result and a big well done to all the players who took part this year.

Attention now turns to summer league, which begins this month.

Anyone interested in joining Fry’s Tennis Club should email Tony Dicker at

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