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kingswoodvoice www.kingswoodvoice.co.uk

April, 2020 Issue 13

John Cabot Academy takes star baker award: Page 6



We wish you well

Kingswood shuts down NORMAL life has been put on hold as restrictions put in place to fight coronavirus affect every aspect of society and the economy. From schools to pubs to churches, places that are part of the everyday fabric of life have been closed, while long-planned events that form part of the Kingswood area’s yearly calendar are postponed or cancelled.

Supermarket shelves are emptied in panic and loved ones are unable to see each other. But across the area people are coming together to offer support to neighbours in self-isolation, give advice and suggestions for things to do at home - and simply cheer each other up. Reports: Page 3


This edition of Kingswood Voice reflects the rapid changes that have taken place in the past month. Just a few weeks ago, community life was continuing as usual and some of those activities are reported in these pages. Now we must all play our part in helping stop the spread of coronavirus. It is likely we will have to suspend print publication for a while but we will continue to keep you up to date with what's happening via our website and our Facebook page. We will be back! Meanwhile, we hope all our readers and advertisers stay safe.



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EDITORIAL Linda Tanner news@kingswoodvoice.co.uk

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April 2020


Happy birthday to us and thanks to all of you THIS month’s issue of Kingswood Voice celebrates the first anniversary of the newspaper's launch. We would like to give a big thank you to all of our contributors and all of our young distributors for your dedication in getting the paper to the residents of Kingswood each month. We would also like to thank our loyal customers whose advertising funds the paper. To the wonderful people of Kingswood we thank you for all of your kind words, encouragement and postivity over the last 12 months and we hope you continue to enjoy reading our newspaper each month.

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MAY DEADLINE Our May edition will be going to print on April 27. To ensure your news or letters are included, please contact us by Wednesday April 22. Advertisers are asked to contact us by the same date. LOCAL INFORMATION South Gloucestershire Council www.southglos.gov.uk 01454 868009 Police www.avonandsomersetpolice.uk general enquiries: 101 Emergency: 999 Fire www.avonfire.gov.uk General enquiries: 0117 926 2061 Emergency: 999 NHS 111

Safer Stronger team sscg@southglos.gov.uk 01454 868009 Anti social behaviour team asbreporting@southglos.gov.uk 01454 868582 Streetcare/litter/vandalism etc streetcare@southglos.gov.uk Environment/trading standards 01454 868001 Well Aware Health and social care information www.wellaware.org.uk Tel: (freephone) 0808 808 5252


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

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PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Kingswood Voice is independent. We cannot take responsibility for content or accuracy of adverts, and it is advertisers’ responsibility to conform to all relevant legislation. We cannot vouch for any services offered. Opinions are not necessarily those of the editor. Kingswood Voice is distributed each month to local residents. If for some reason you do not get a copy, please get in touch or collect one from local pick-up points. Feedback is welcomed, call Brookfield Publishing on 07540 383870 or email news@kingswoodvoice.co.uk. This month 7,500 copies will be distributed in Kingswood and the local area.

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April 2020



Community rallies to help needy PEOPLE are joining together to help neighbours in need through the coronavirus outbreak. Thousands of people have signed up to volunteering Facebook groups, where residents can ask for and offer support. Groups have been set up to cover areas by postcode, with residents encouraged to join up to their local group so they can see who needs help in their area. From offering to run errands and buy shopping for people who are self-isolating to organising activities children can do at home, the pages have seen an outpouring of goodwill. Around 40 groups, with more than 5,300 members as the Voice went to print, were being coordinated via the COVID-19 Help, Support And Volunteering South Glos and Bristol page. One of the organisers of the page is Emersons Green town councillor Matt Palmer, who says the page has been “swamped” by a “phenomenal” level of support since it was set up in mid-March. Matt said: “We are in unprecedented times and people across the whole community are working together to support each other. “The admin team from our Facebook page have been overwhelmed by the community response to the challenges of Covid-19, and the number of volunteers who have pledged their time and support to help those in need. “We are working on a coordinated response to make sure that those who need support receive it and we maximise the

Families across the district are putting rainbows in their windows to give children something to see and to cheer people up during social distancing. People can place their own rainbows on an online map at Google My Maps at bit.ly/3adkyOj.

effectiveness of our volunteers, whilst at the same time ensuring our most vulnerable and isolated residents are safe. “We are trying to create a safe, apolitical space filled with love, kindness and hope. “The community really is stepping up across the whole of South Gloucestershire and Bristol from random acts of kindness, singing, dancing, waving through windows, sending emails to food delivering, shopping and dog walking – people are all playing their part. “This has been a volunteer run initiative and we have been pushing the boundaries with what we can do without funding and support from the local authority or MPs.” Many existing locally-based Facebook groups, such as Mangotsfield Matters, have also become hubs for sharing pleas for help and offers of support. Since the groups set up, councils have also offered help in coordinating volunteer groups. South Gloucestershire Council announced it was setting up a directory of groups and was making available a support pack for community aid groups, via parish councils and online at www.southglos.gov.uk/

communityaid. The council is asking community groups to email their details to CommunityAid@ southglos.gov.uk. Council leader Toby Savage said: “This outbreak is absolutely unprecedented and will impact in some way on almost all aspects of almost all of our lives. It is vital that we follow the expert advice, but as restrictive as that may sometimes feel, I am so delighted to see our communities responding with displays of open-hearted generosity to each other. Selfisolation can have a greater impact for those who already feel lonely, which is why it is so heart-warming to see communities rallying round during the outbreak to ensure that no one is forgotten. “I want to express my thanks to everyone for the way they are facing this challenge already and for the efforts that we know will have to come in the future. Anyone in need of help who is not online and is stuck at home can call Matt Palmer on 07738 589329. People in Mangotsfield who are not online and need help can contact Clive Heath of Mangotsfield Residents Association on 07507 168700.

Team provide free food parcels A HELPLINE has been set up for Staple Hill and Mangotsfield residents who are struggling to afford basic food during the coronavirus outbreak. Ward councillor Michael Bell announced details of the free food parcels service for people in crisis and has also appealed for donations from residents to support it. The service is a partnership between the Staple Hill Community Hub, the Staple Hill Salvation Army and the Staple Hill & Mangotsfield ward councillors. The helpline will be staffed between midday and 5pm on Mondays and between 10am and 5pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Messages can be left at other times.

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Food parcels can be picked up from the Salvation Army on Broad Street on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between 11am and midday. Anyone who is unable to leave their home can have a parcel delivered. The helpline number is 07434 737512 and the service can also be reached by email at hello@ staplehillcommunityhub.org.uk or via a message to the Staple Hill Community Hub Facebook page. Donations of long-life food such as tins and packets to help support the service can be dropped off at the Salvation Army on Broad Street at the times listed above or at the Bean Tree Cafe in Page Park while it is open.

Churches and schools shut BUSINESSES, schools and even churches have been forced to close by the coronavirus outbreak. Pubs, restaurants and cafes were among the first to be affected by social distancing rules designed to slow the spread of the disease, with some closing their doors while others ran takeaway or delivery services to keep going. Schools in the area closed completely from the end of Friday March 20 except for the children of key workers. Libraries and public toilets have been closed by South Gloucestershire Council, which has set up a Service Disruption page on its website southglos.gov.uk to keep residents up to date with the latest changes. All leisure centres in the district had been closed, although the Sort It centre in Mangotsfield and council offices were open as the Voice went to press. Even churches have had to close to protect congregations from the risk. Supermarkets in the area have been reserving some hours of opening for pensioners and vulnerable customers, with Tesco doing so between 9am and 10am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the Co-op also reserving an hour from 8am-9am on Mondays to Saturdays and 10am-11am on Sundays, and Sainsbury’s opening for NHS workers only from 7.30-8am and for carers, elderly and disabled people from 8am-9am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Bus and train services have been changed to ensure essential workers can still use them while many other people stay at home. First West of England started running a Saturday service during the working week from March 23. The change came as the Government advised against non-essential travel and contact.

Email: news@kingswoodvoice.co.uk



April 2020


Roy’s legacy to schoolchildren in Nepal ROTARY members have visited a school which was rebuilt thanks to the legacy of a long-standing member. Kingswood Rotary Club, which includes members from Downend, Frenchay, Longwell Green, Cadbury Heath, Hanham and Almondsbury, visited Nepal to celebrate the opening of the rebuilt Shree Amar Jyoti Basic School serving Arba village in the hills outside the city of Pokhara. The primary school had been severely damaged in a massive earthquake in 2015. Kingswood Rotary Club became a partner rebuilding the school with the Rotary Club of Pokhara Midtown, the Pahar Trust Nepal and Rotary International. Funding came from a legacy from Roy Stone MBE, who was a member of Kingswood Rotary Club from 1993 until his death in 2013. David Lewis of Kingswood Rotary Club said: “Roy had a passionate commitment to children, their education and schools and in his will he made a bequest to his Rotary club. “It was his wish that it would support the education of children in the Third World.” There are 46 pupils at the school. Some of them have to walk two hours each way to get

to their classrooms. A group of nine Kingswood Rotary Club members travelled to Nepal for the reopening of the school. David said: “It was an emotional and unforgettable occasion when we arrived at

the school. We were welcomed by children with smiles and flowers and enthusiastic music. “Parents, teachers and villagers were there to celebrate the opening of the school and coincidentally its 44th birthday. There were garlands, singing, dancing and local music. The place was full of colour and cheerfulness. “The school is clearly at the very heart of the community. We ceremoniously presented essential items the children – rucksacks, pencil cases, uniform, writing kit and lunch box; and for the school a Wi-Fi printer and paper to help its day-to-day work.” Roy had been a pupil at Cadbury Heath Primary School and later became its chair of governors. The school’s pupils are working to set up a Friendship Link with Shree Amar Jyoti Basic School, which Kingswood Rotarians will help to sustain. David said: “The nine travellers from Kingswood Rotary Club learnt so much about the life and culture of Nepal and grew to appreciate how cheerful and resilient the Nepalese are in the face of challenges. “We hope that Roy Stone would have been proud of what has been done in his name at Shree Amar Jyoti School.”

Police warning over doorstep tricksters POLICE have warned residents of Kingswood to be on the lookout for rogue traders after a series of suspicious incidents. All three incidents happened on the same day, February 29, and two of them involved elderly people being approached and asked about having work carried out on their homes.

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One was in Kingswood, one in Frampton Cotterell, and one in Cleeve Lawns, Downend. Avon and Somerset police said the suspects were seen to leave in a Mercedes Vito van and a blue Transit van. A police spokesman said the men were white and spoke with Irish accents. One was described

as wearing workman’s clothes and an orange jacket. Another was aged between 25 and 30, slim and had dark hair. He was wearing dark clothing. The spokeman added: “We are appealing to residents who live in this area and have car dash cameras or home CCTV to please check their footage and

get in touch if they have any information that can help with our enquiries.” Police are calling on all residents to be alert to rogue traders and distraction burglars. Anyone who has information which could help the police should call 101 and quote the reference number 5220 044 191.

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April 2020



Pupils select book prize winner

STUDENTS from King’s Oak Academy in Kingswood were among those who chose this year’s winner of the Concorde Book Award. The selected title for South Gloucestershire’s literature prize for young people for 2020 was The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Raúf. It is a novel that tells the uplifting story of a boy who flees from a war-torn country and makes new friends in the UK. Six books were shortlisted for the award. Eight secondary schools and three reading groups took part. Votes were cast on World Book Day and the winner was announced at a gala event at Bristol and Bath Science Park at Emersons Green. Chair of South Gloucestershire Council Councillor Brian Allinson announced the winner. He said: “I’d like to congratulate Onjali for winning this award in what was a

shortlist full of excellent books. The Concorde Book Award encourages young people to maintain a passion for reading through a time in their life when some turn to alternative activities instead. Onjali Raúf said: “I’m so utterly thrilled to have the Concorde Book Award be gifted to Ahmet’s story it means the world to me that the story is deemed worthy enough of this lovely award, and that the story is still striking a chord with so many hearts. Thank you so much for the honour!” The Concorde Book Award aims to promote a love of reading among 11-14 year olds, and thousands of young people have taken part since it was launched in 2007. It is one of the few literary awards that involves children and young people all the way through from choosing the longlist and the winner, to delivering presentations and author interviews at the annual

award ceremony. Shortlisted books are made available from South Gloucestershire public and school libraries, and voting takes place on World Book Day each year. This year’s shortlisted titles were: • The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Rauf (Winner) • The Truth About Lies by Tracy Darnton • Whiteout by Gabriel Dylan • Thunderstruck by Ali Sparkes • Potkin and Stubbs by Sophie Green • The Land of Neverendings by Kate Saunders For more information on the Concorde Book Award visit www.southglos.gov.uk/ concordebookaward, www. facebook.com/sgloslibraries or find on Twitter @southgloslibs

£45,000 work at play park A PARK wrecked in an arson attack has reopened after repairs and renovations costing £45,000. Springfield Park play area in Mangotsfield was closed to the public for almost a year after a slide and safety matting was damaged when it was set on fire. Work to repair the play area started in January but was delayed by bad weather, although this resulted in work being carried out to improve drainage at the site. The play area is now open to the public again and already being actively used by local children. Emersons Green Conservative ward councillors Rachael Hunt, Colin Hunt and Judy Adams welcomed the completion of the work. They said: “We are delighted that Springfield Park has been restored and it looks great. We were appalled last year when we learned that arsonists had caused such damage to play equipment that are used so regularly by young people in this community. “On behalf of our community, we want to thank the council for their readiness to support residents by finding the funding and getting the work done. ” A 14-year-old boy from Emersons Green admitted starting the fire on April 30 last year and was referred to a youth panel.


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April, April 2020 2020


Celebrity chef judges bake contest CELEBRITY chef and cookery teacher Romy Gill helped judge a bake-off competition at the Cabot Learning Federation. Students from 22 schools and settings took part in the contest, in which participants were asked to design and bake a cake that represented the CLF’s heart values. The winning cake was created by students from John Cabot Academy in Kingswood and featured rainbow colours to represent LGBTQ+. The runners up were from Bristol Futures Academy in Barton Hill. Romy Gill, who was owner and head chef at Romy”s Kitchen in Thornbury, was joined for the judging at Bristol Brunel Academy in Speedwell by the federation’s chief executive Steve Taylor. All

Romy Gill and Steve Taylor with the winner

the cakes were later sold and raised more than £50 for the CLF’s big trip.

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Executive principal Kate Richardson, who organised the event, said: “The judges were

most impressed by the way the students made decisions about what to bake by incorporating our values of high expectations, equity, all children achieving, resilience and tolerance. “The cakes were delicious and the students were really proud to share the stories behind their bakes, they were also inspired to hear Romy talk about her love of baking and how she progressed into a career as a professional chef. To be able to host an inclusive event like this and raise money for our big trip made for a brilliant afternoon.” " Thank you to The Italian Kitchen and the Sticky Fingers Bakehaus in Hanham for sponsoring the prizes for the event."


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April 2020



Bugsy Malone goes down a storm JOHN Cabot Academy staged their own version of the West End musical Bugsy Malone. The annual production provided a non-stop performance of fun, entertainment and charmingly madcap routines, The story follows the rivalry between two half-witted street gangs and the well-intentioned, one-time boxer who steps in to take control of Fat Sam's gang and tackle Dandy Dan and his boys. Year 10 student Harry Bowley as Bugsy Malone was supported by a strong cast. Blousey Brown was played by Mabel Hutton and Flo Tunstall. Tallulah was played by Mariama Sanneh and Callie Brooks-Davis. Fizzy was played by Alassan Singhateh, Fat Sam by Cassidy Bryant and Dandy Dan by Jasmine Gotts. More than 50 students from Years 7-11 were on stage, four in the sound and lighting team led by Year 10 student Ethan Leaman and five students backstage working on set design and stage management. In addition, there was a live band featuring three Year 11 GCSE music students, a Year 10 GCSE music student and flute teacher Mr Shepherd.

The cast of Bugsy Malone, staged at John Cabot Academy in Kingswood Charlotte Grierson, curriculum leader for performing arts and Shousha Nady, teacher of drama, said: “We are incredibly proud of all of the students and all of their

hard work and commitment over the last few months. “They have been learning their lines, songs and cues tirelessly, and we really enjoyed three

fantastic performances. Students from Boomsatsuma Film & Media also came along to professionally film and record the audio so that we could make top quality DVDs.”

A new start for Diane A KINGSWOOD woman who spent 20 years looking after her disabled children has made her way back into the workplace with the help of Carers Support Centre. Diane found she had time to get a job because her children had respite care in place, but her confidence was low and she was unsure of how to apply for work using online applications. Carers Support Officer, Abi Unwin, helped Diane come up with a job goal. Diane wanted a job which offered training and progression, along with flexibility to enable her to juggle work and caring. Abi helped Diane build her employability by giving her the skills to create a CV and covering letter, complete application forms, find references and prepare for interviews.

Diane said: “Working with Abi has been fun, as well as so helpful. I’ve learnt so much and enjoyed the short course Abi signposted me to at a local library to increase my IT skills.” With the help of the Fishpondsbased centre, Diane has secured paid employment as a housekeeper at Avon Valley Care Home in Kingswood. The centre offers one-to-one support and runs job clubs s well as sourcing flexible work placements. If you would like help looking into options for work, training or education, please contact the employment team at Carers Support Centre. employment@ carerssupportcentre.org.uk Tel: 0117 377 1015 www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk

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Email: news@kingswoodvoice.co.uk



April 2020


Well done to all our local heroes UNSUNG heroes from across South Gloucestershire were presented with a 2020 Chair’s Community Award. The annual honours are held to recognise and celebrate the valuable contribution that local unpaid volunteers make to life in the district, by giving up their time to help others. The event was held at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College’s WISE campus and certificates were presented by the chair of South Gloucestershire Council Brian Allinson and the college’s principal Sara-Jane Watkins. Among the winners was Roger Humphries, who was said to always go the extra mile in his role as a volunteer driver with Kingswood Community Transport. Councillor Allinson said: “The people here are stars of South Gloucestershire and it is a pleasure to be able to recognise them for

The Chair's Community Award winners with certificates, presented by Brian Allison and Sara-Jane Watkins their dedication and community spirit. “They embody everything that is positive about our local communities with their selfless contributions and I’d like to thank them personally, and on behalf of South Gloucestershire Council for helping to make South Gloucestershire the wonderful

place it is. “It is extremely uplifting and encouraging; one of the highlights of my role is to be able to honour our award winners here this evening.” Sara-Jane Watkins said: “SGS College are proud to sponsor and host the inspirational South Gloucestershire Community

Awards and celebrate the superb work of some truly outstanding community volunteers across our region.” The evening also featured students from the Level 3 Musical Theatre group, based at WISE campus of South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, perform songs from Les Miserables.

Love our High Street THE new High Streets Minister Simon Clarke has been brought up to date on the regeneration in Kingswood. Local MP Chris Skidmore and South Gloucestershire Council leader Cllr Toby Savage met Mr Clarke at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. They told him about the £3million cash injection from the West of England Combined Authority ‘Love Our High Streets’ initiative, and a larger bid through the Government’s Future High Streets Fund for wider regeneration works. The new bid will be submitted in June and seeks a share of £1billion of funding between now and 2024. Included within this bid will be the additional £2.3million to fully restore the historic Whitfield Tabernacle into a community performance arts centre. Councillor Savage and Mr Skidmore used the opportunity not just to showcase the work already in progress but to lobby for more support. Kingswood MP Chris Skidmore said: “Meeting the new Minister

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so soon after his appointment was a fantastic opportunity to get Kingswood High Street on his radar as well as to promote the positive work being led by local Conservatives across South Gloucestershire to reinvigorate the hubs of our local communities. “There is a lot of local ambition for the future of Kingswood High Street and the surrounding area and we need to ensure that those aspirations have enough resource behind them to ensure they come to fruition.” Cllr Toby Savage, leader of South Gloucestershire Council, added: “It was a pleasure to meet the new Minister and to get his view on our community’s vision for Kingswood and our other high streets across South Gloucestershire. “Our aim is to deliver new and exciting services to the community and deliver a rejuvenated town centre that attracts new businesses and new visitors and it was important to get a fresh and positive perspective on our work so far.”

Email: sales@kingswoodvoice.co.uk


April 2020



Keep calm and carry on running! This month I was going to write to you about my preparations for the Virgin London Marathon, however the Covid19 pandemic seems to have overtaken matters rapidly. I’ve run the London Marathon every year since 2010, this year would actually be my 13th time, so it seemed ironic that it was (inevitably) postponed till October on Friday 13th March! I’m not superstitious, but perhaps the writing was on the wall this year, as my training had already been reduced by previous injury and I’m counting the days not years until I turn 50. This year I will be running for Cancer Research UK so will update later in the year with details if you would like to contribute to this great cause. Hopefully in the meantime I’ll be able to continue training with the other 40000 runners planning to be on the start line in October. Currently we are open and seeing patients at our clinics in Kingswood and Hengrove, but the situation

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changes daily. The General Chiropractic Council, British Chiropractic Association and Chartered Society of Physiotherapy have offered advice to either close clinics or to stay open to maintain care for acute and chronic patients. We have chosen to stay open at present, following further advice to maintain highest standards of hygiene, screening patients for exposure and/or symptoms, maintaining social distancing, and rescheduling those patients

in the at-risk groups. We are more than happy to offer advice over the telephone as often self-management and exercises can help even when you are stuck at home under selfisolation. In the meantime, take care of yourselves, your family and friends, keep exercising to stay well physically and mentally, let’s hope the situation improves as quickly as possible. If you do need any further advice on or treatment or preventative care

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n NEWS Litter pickers do a great job LOCAL residents have pitched in to do their bit during a litter pick in Emersons Green. On Sunday March 1 30 people helped to collect over 30 bags of litter from several sites around the area from 10am to 12pm. The litter pick had previously been postponed twice before due to the weather and was organised by Claire and Cath from the Plastic Free Shop, an online resource. On the day litter pickers and bins were provided, and kits for children were also available too. Claire said: “I ended up having a chat with a manager at Sainsbury’s about the number of blue disposable plastic gloves in the bushes behind the petrol station – some of us spent around an hour picking up over 700 of them! ” Plastic Free Shop’s next litter pick is scheduled to take place at the Old Mangotsfield Railway Station on Sunday April 26. To keep up to date with updates in light of the coronavirus outbreak and to find out more, visit: www. facebook.com/pg/

April 2020

New minibuses take to roads KINGSWOOD Community Transport operators have been handed the keys to two new minibuses. Community transport teams in Yate and Thornbury also received two new vehicles each and all three will be given two more minibuses each later in the summer. The vehicles have been paid for with £740,000 funding by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth Fund, administered by the West of England Combined Authority. The new minibuses are equipped with Euro 6 engines and will replace some of the oldest vehicles in the operators’ fleets, helping to reduce harmful emissions, as well as lowering fuel consumption and reducing ongoing maintenance costs. Present at the official handover were West of England Mayor Tim Bowles, South Gloucestershire Council leader Toby Savage and representatives from Kingswood Community Transport, Green Community Travel in Yate and Four Towns and Vale Link Transport in Thornbury. Each minibus has been liveried with the branding of the individual operator.

South Gloucestershire Council leader Toby Savage, right, and West of England Mayor Tim Bowles, centre, with community transport operators and their new vehicles Councillor Savage said: improving our air quality.” “Investing in transport to keep Mr Bowles said: “It’s great to South Gloucestershire moving see our Local Growth Fund being and acting on climate change used for these new community are top priorities for the council, minibuses which will help even so we are very pleased to be more people to get around able to help deliver these new the region, and supports our vehicles for our local community ambitions for clean and inclusive transport operators. economic growth in the West of “The new vehicles will help England.” them continue to provide their For more information valuable services to residents about community transport and will bring down fuel and in South Gloucestershire upkeep costs, whilst also visit www.southglos.gov.uk/ reducing harmful emissions and communitytransport

Rotary's vital gift to Creative Youth Network THE Rotary Club of Kingswood has funded a defibrillator at Creative Youth Network’s head office in Kingswood. More than 140 people work on the Kingswood Estate site, which is home to numerous charity offices. The device could be a lifesaver for anyone on the site who experiences a sudden cardiac arrest. A defibrillator electrically shorts the heart back into a normal rhythm, but speed is essential: survival rate falls by around 10 per cent for every minute that defibrillation is delayed. Joanna Pengilley, CYN centre manager, said: “We hope to never have to use the defibrillator but it is reassuring

knowing that it is there and accessible should anyone need it. Everyone on the estate is grateful to the Kingswood Rotary Club for helping to provide such a valuable resource to our busy site.” She added: “We are grateful for the South West Ambulance Service for additionally providing some free training to people based here at the Kingswood Estate so that they can feel confident to use it [the defibrillator] should the need arise.” Richard Law, President of the Kingswood Rotary Club and Joanna Pengilley, Centre Manager of Creative Youth Network

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April 2020



You’ve got a Dementia Friend If you are concerned about coping with Dementia, the Alzheimer’s Society initiative known as Dementia Friends could help you. All of the team at Simpson Solicitors in the Kings Chase Shopping Centre have registered as “Dementia Friends” to show those with dementia that they will receive a warm welcome. Solicitor John Baden-Daintree says, “When helping with Wills and Powers of Attorney, it is important our team understands how to welcome and support people with dementia along with their families. Dementia Friends is an excellent initiative that has given us great insight”.

Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain and is not a natural part of ageing. There are many types that have different effects and which progress at different speeds. Whilst dementia usually causes problems with short term memory loss, Dementia Friends shows there are ways to still engage positively. For example people with dementia can often still recall emotions. Therefore it is better to ask them if they enjoyed their morning, rather than ask them what they did. Dementia Friends explains the need to be patient with people with dementia - to help see beyond their dementia; and how, with the right support, it is possible to live well with dementia. Some support requires Lasting Powers of Attorney to be in place. These are legal documents where you appoint those you trust to speak up for you and to help you make decisions about you money, property

and medical treatment – if you became too ill to be able to do this on your own. These have to be set up in advance whilst you have the mental capacity needed. Simpson Solicitors’ complete service can prepare, register and activate Lasting Powers of Attorney – with no hidden costs. Vincent Mulcock of Simpson Solicitors says “The Dementia Friends training highlighted how people with dementia can often still communicate their wishes – they just need more time to get their thoughts across. We can help them by not interrupting but by smiling and being encouraging. Then with Lasting Powers of Attorney they can continue to make their own decisions for as long as possible.” To find out more about Dementia Friends go to www.dementiafriends. org.uk or call the National Dementia Helpline 0300 222 1122. Find out more about the Free Legal Review service of Simpson

Vincent Mulcock

of Simpson Solicitors, Kings Chase Shopping Centre, Kingswood

0117 960 8594

www.simpsonsolicitors.com vbm@simpsonslawuk.com Solicitors covering Wills, Powers of Attorney and Probate call 0117 960 8594 or pop in to see their friendly team at the Kings Chase Shopping Centre (opposite Costa) in Kingswood. They also offer a free review by telephone or by home visit, if getting in to the office is difficult.



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BOOK YOUR FREE MEETING: Call 0117 960 8594 OR message@simpsonslawuk.com OR Michelle at Simpson Solicitors OR Kings Chase Shopping Centre offices in Kingswood (opposite Costa). If getting to us is difficult our FREE home visit service covers Bitton, Downend, Fishponds, Hanham, Kingswood, Oldland, St George, Staple Hill, Warmley, Willsbridge and surrounding areas.

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April 2020


Longleat Safari Park Open For Visitors Longleat has announced its drive-through Safari Park will be open for visitors from this Friday (March 20). While Longleat House, walkthrough animal areas and other attractions are temporarily closed as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the worldfamous Safari Park will continue to operate under strict hygiene standards. The Wiltshire attraction believes the fact visitors will remain inside their vehicles for the vast majority of the experience will enable people to adhere to social distancing and hygiene guidelines. “We are keen to be able to continue to give people the opportunity to enjoy the park in a safe and secure environment,”

Safari Park will be continuously staffed and disinfected, with additional hand washing and sanitising facilities available for guests. “In place of the usual food and beverage outlets, there will be a takeaway food and drink offering at the beginning of the Safari experience. All of these policies are designed to comply with guidelines on social distancing,” he added. Longleat has said the decision is under daily review and will be guided by the advice issued by the Government and Public Health England.

said Ceawlin Thynn, executive chairman of Longleat Enterprises. “In order to comply with the strictest hygiene standards, card

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payment pads will be disinfected after each transaction and cash will not be handled during this period. “Toilet facilities within the

For more information please visit https://www.longleat.co.uk/ visitor-info/coronavirus-faqs To book tickets, visit https:// www.longleat.co.uk/ticket/ safari-park-ticket

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April 2020


Traveller transit site remains a long way off

A TRANSIT site where illegal traveller encampments in South Gloucestershire can be moved on to will take up to seven years to find, councillors have been told. There are no temporary stopping places for gypsy or travelling families in the district, making it harder for the police and local authority to tackle the problem, according to a report. But because it will take so long to identify a suitable location, council officers are set to hold talks with their Bristol counterparts to use the city’s transit site in Lawrence Weston on a formal basis. At present, travellers in South Gloucestershire who set up camp without a landowner’s permission on sites such as Siston Common are moved there on an ad hoc, case-by-case basis. A report to scrutiny commission members said any encampment on public or private

land without a landowner’s consent is considered unlawful. “However, the council’s ability to address these instances (working with the police) is more limited than it otherwise might be, as there are no transit sites and no negotiated/ temporary stopping places on which gypsies and travellers are permitted to stop within South Gloucestershire.” It said the number of illegal camps had been falling for years, from 72 in 2014/15 to 21 last year. But the report said: “There are a number of locations where unauthorised encampments often occur, which include the areas around Siston, Webbs Heath, Chesley Hill, Yate and Alveston commons and also playing fields and sports grounds within the Kingswood area.” It said the reasons for the decline included practical

measures to discourage illegal occupation, such as physical barriers, and an increased use of permanent gypsy/traveller sites, including the district’s 39 pitches at Patchway and Winterbourne, where more families have stayed with relatives while passing through the area. The report said a transit site in South Gloucestershire could “enable police to use their powers more effectively – any group that refuses to leave would be committing a criminal offence”, while a temporary stopping place, which has more basic amenities and is available only during peak demand, would also help. The council has rejected a number of sites suggested by the travelling community as unsuitable and is instead reviewing land it owns. “Owing to the potential complexities, officers consider

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that the provision of a transit site/temporary stopping place in South Gloucestershire would be likely to be brought forward within the next five to seven years,” the report said. “With this in mind, officers consider that there may be value in revisiting discussions with Bristol City Council to investigate whether potential exists for a formal agreement around use of the transit site on Kings Weston Lane in the short term.” Council leader Toby Savage told members: “First and foremost it’s a planning consideration. “But there is also a very specific aim to not want to draw undue attention onto a vulnerable group in society that’s subject to significant levels of discrimination." By Adam Postans, Local Democracy Reporting Service

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April 2020



Mixed emotions THIS month I’m writing with a different perspective. There’s no escaping the global, national and quite probably local implications of the coronavirus, and as you’d expect we’re following best practice and NHS guidelines to ensure we all stay healthy and continue to provide high quality clinical care come what may. Enough of that though, this month it’s all about my Dad, Phil Turner. Phil qualified in 1969, 30 years after his father Harold and 30 years ahead of me. Clearly it’s not something that we planned, and to have a 20 year gap would have been more appropriate. 20/20 is a key vision standard we all aspire to, but as I’m sure you can work out, as we’re not child prodigies, 20 year gaps would be basically impossible! Back to Phil, he was a committed husband, Dad, clinician and friend to many. And yes sadly he died this week. He’d been battling motor neurone disease for around two years, and died peacefully at home with his family. Many of you will no doubt remember him for his caring attention to detail, in a not pedantic but particular way unless of course you’d met him in his role as a College Examiner. He was always gently trying to tease answers out, but wouldn’t stand for students trying to bluff their way past him, that never happened! I know this from trying to get out of trouble at home. Dad always seemed to instinctively be at least one step ahead. Phil was a keen walker and DIY enthusiast. Only last year, despite his illness, he was regularly stomping up and down the hills of England and Wales. As part of his transition out of work he built a house with his wife Christine. After this they took a year off to go travelling, returned home to build a garage, took another

Peter Turner

of Turners Opticians

0117 962 2474 0117 965 4434

www.turnersopticians.co.uk year or so off and then built a garden shed! Technically of course Phil never actually retired, that wasn’t his way, he remained on sabbatical until he died. We’ll all miss him terribly, and thanks to you all for your kind thoughts, well wishes and prayers. It wouldn’t be an eye blog without at least mentioning glasses, and as Dad wore glasses himself I think I can get away with this one! Our new Maxx collection has been very well received, and as he was always one for a bargain, Dad approved too! You and your family are most welcome to come and see us for your eye care and on trend Maxx glasses. We’d like to check you can see clearly and have healthy eyes too. To book an extended eye exam or frame style consultation for yourself or those you love, please call 0117 962 2474 or 0117 965 4434.




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




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57 Henleaze Road Bristol BS9 4JT

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0117 962 2474

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

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April 2020


We face this challenge together

with Police and Crime Commissioner

Sue Mountstevens

WE are living in unusual and unsettling times with the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. In these very exceptional circumstances, the Government announced that all local elections, including those for the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), will be postponed for a year. In light of these developments, I would like to reassure local people that I will of course stay on as the PCC for Avon and Somerset until elections are held. I want to you to know that my office and Avon and Somerset Police are doing everything we can to work with partners in health agencies and local authorities to keep you safe and ensure you can access essential services during this unprecedented global health emergency.

xxxxx xxxxx

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I will continue to work closely with Chief Constable Andy Marsh to ensure Avon and Somerset Police has everything it needs to provide critical policing services and support our communities. My priority as PCC will be to make sure victims of crime are still at the forefront of everything the police do and it is crucial that the most vulnerable still have some level of vital services from the police and partners, despite the unusual measures taken as a result of the pandemic. I am assured by the Chief Constable and his Chief Officer Group that Avon and Somerset Police is in a strong position to support the response to the virus and I urge you to all follow advice from the NHS, Public Health England and central government, to do your best to lessen the impact of the virus.

I cannot stress enough how important our dedicated ‘frontline’ officers, staff and volunteers are. This includes our handy people, mechanics, IT staff and other support functions, who help our officers do their jobs but often go unrecognised. We are all committed to being open with our communities, working in partnership and having courage during these unsettling times and I know officers, staff, teams and volunteers will continue to go above and beyond for our communities. Finally, remember to have compassion and look out for one another, especially those who are more vulnerable. We stand stronger when we support each other. We face this challenge together. Stay safe.

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April 2020



Don't give your pets any Easter eggs WITH warmer weather and lighter nights this usually brings longer dog walks in the park and cats lounging in the sun! However, whilst we’re enjoying the Easter weather, we must remember our responsibilities to keep our pets safe. With Easter just around the corner and, for majority of people, it is all about one thing… Chocolate! Whether it be Easter egg hunts with the family or treating yourself to some chocolatey goodness, nearly all households around this time of year have chocolate in their home and around their pets.

Unfortunately chocolate contains an ingredient known as theobromine, a chemical similar to caffeine, which can cause toxic effects in cats and dogs. Dependant on

the varying level of theobromine (dark chocolate contains more than milk chocolate), it can cause visible symptoms such as agitation, hyperexcitability, tremors and con-

vulsions, as well as hidden dangers such as kidney failure and heart problems. Spring time also means bunches of flowers are being exchanged and grown in our gardens. Lilies are a common spring flower but unfortunately highly toxic to our feline friends and can be fatal. If you own a cat we advise not to keep any lilies in your home or garden, also do not gift lilies to people who own cats. There are a variety of different Easter treats for our furry friends that you can give them so they can join in with the fun! Just always check with your local vet or the label to ensure they are pet friendly and not toxic! We hope you all have a safe Easter. As always, if you have any questions or need veterinary help please give us a call at Kingswood Vets4Pets on: 0117 961 6417.

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April 2020


A fire engine overturned in Carson’s Road in 1976. The Carson`s factory in the background is often referred to as being in Mangotsfield. Carson`s themselves refer to it being in Shortwood, it is in fact in the Parish of Siston. In the same vein, Mangotsfield Golf Course, and the Mangotsfield Recycling Centre, all have Mangotsfield in their name but are all in Carsons Road, Siston. Curator Alan Bryant said "This is one of several hundred unseen images to go on display in the Spotlight on Downend and Mangotsfield Display at Kingswood Heritage Museum." Kingswood Heritage Museum is located in the former Champion Brass Works, at Tower Lane, Warmley, BS30 8XT, just off Avon Ring Road (Cadbury Heath exit).


Kingswood Heritage Museum: 2020 season

THE reopening of Kingswood Heritage Museum has been delayed due to current events. The Museum will review its position regularly with a view to opening as soon as practicable. One of the two new major exhibits that will be on show in 2020 is entitled “Spotlight on Downend and Mangotsfield”, with pictures that show how much the area has changed in 50 or so years.

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The two photographs above illustrate how profound some changes have been. They show the same spot in Downend “now” and “then” (in 1972).The old Sandringham Garage in Downend has disappeared completely, to be replaced by a modern housing development. The Museum thank Downend Camera Club, for matching up the “now” picture with the South Gloucestershire Gazette “then”.

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April 2020



Things to do in the garden in April “Sweet April showers do bring May Flowers” Thomas Tusser THE April showers are inevitable, but hopefully the longer days will bring plenty of sunshine and as the earth starts to warm there will be plenty of opportunities to get outside into the garden and start sowing outdoors, just be careful of late frosts on tender shoots This is a good time to remove any frost damaged shoots from evergreens. So what other jobs does April bring us? Well as the weather improves the weeds need to be kept under control, fruit blossoms may need protecting from any late frosts. Fig trees should be pruned and climbing and rambling roses will need to be tied in. Trees should be fed with a balanced fertiliser, eg blood, fish and bone, hoeing it into the soil around the roots. Also tree ties need to be checked so ensure there is room for growth without the ties digging in and causing damage. Hardy annuals can be sown outside in April like Nasturtiums, Sunflowers, Snapdragons, Cosmos, Calendula, and half hardy annuals and be sown under cover. Herbs and wild flower seeds can also be planted outdoors and hungry shrubs and roses will need a good feed and a good mulching layer of 5-8cms of organic matter. This will aid water retention especially during dryer spells, reduce the need for weeding and improve the structure of the soil. Plants that really benefit from mulching include rhododendrons, azaleas and camellias as if roots become dry it can reduce flowering potential. Bamboos can be divided and for those with ponds waterlilies too.

Lavenders, curry plants (Helichrysum) and cotton lavender (Santolina) should be lightly cut back. Cut them just above the fresh new shoots. This stops them getting woody and too leggy. New lawns can now be sown and repairs made to any bare patches. Apply a high nitrogen lawn fertiliser early April to encourage good growth and a weed killer if lawn weeds are a problem. Remember not to walk on newly sown lawns and do not mow until the lawn has reached 5-8cms and then only lightly. With longer days and warmer weather a close eye needs to be kept for increasing pest and diseases. Look out for root rot causing die back on established trees and shrubs and check for damage, canker on deciduous trees and blight on box and holly. An eye needs to be kept out for early infestations of caterpillars and aphids if there are mild spells and newly planted shrubs and trees may need rabbit guards put in place. Protect Delphiniums, Hostas and other new shoots from slugs and snails and watch out for downy mildew and leaf spot on winter pansies. Check that plants in pots and other containers don’t dry out and top them up with fresh compost removing old compost to a depth of a about 5cm if you can. Re-pot plants that look pot bound and a general clear up will help reduce the risks of pests and diseases. Deadhead faded tulips and daffodils as well as pansies and primulas. Pansies will often carry on flowerings well into the spring and even early summer. Happy gardening…

Sally's garden tips for April • • • • • • •

Keep on top of weeding Mulch and feed Tie in climbing and rambling roses Protect tender plants from late frosts Sow hardy annuals, new lawns and repair matures lawns if necessary Cut back lavenders and curry plants Keep an eye on pests and diseases

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With Sally Hammacott

Kingswood Voice's garden enthusiast

n POETS' CORNER The Cape Codder She waits for him though breakfast has long gone the sun is already over the yardarm it’s a late breakfast feels the summer warmth through the glass of the bay window it’s already so hot she has worn his favourite dress the red one that matches her hair it makes your breasts look like peaches but has scraped back her hair in an ode to sobriety and she is glad for he has forgot to close the shutters against the sun she wonders how much longer the sky will remain blue how long the tourists will pitch up on the sandy paths admire the garden the beaches the lighthouses the seafood shacks take the hopper to Martha’s Vineyard but mostly she wonders how long she will have to wait to feel his breath on the nape of her neck until he says like always in dulcet tones plenty of ice doll? then she’ll reach for the highball pour the vodka the cranberry juice add a wedge of lime dip her little finger raise it to her lips and suck like her life depended on it

Tina M Edwards

www.tinamedwardswriter.com Inspired by the painting Cape Cod Morning by Edward Hopper (1950) The Cape Codder is an American cocktail, the cranberries originally grown in Cape Cod; once called a Red Devil (1945)

Email: news@kingswoodvoice.co.uk





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April 2020


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Concerns over moving council services online RESIDENTS can soon access a whole range of South Gloucestershire Council services online. But the move has sparked fears the “most vulnerable” householders who do not use computers will be left “isolated”. The council insists more traditional methods, such as contacting local authority staff over the phone and in person, will still be available. About 1,100 people have already registered via the internet for the green waste bin scheme, which became the local authority’s first web-based service in

December. Others are being rolled out over the coming months. But Labour Cllr Adam Monk told thescrutiny commission his elderly dad had struggled to get to grips with the portal. He said: “We are at risk of isolating the most vulnerable in society. “I’ve always had concerns around the digital programme but now having had direct experience of somebody who is affected by the lack of contact with services, that has increased.” Conservative cabinet member for corporate resources Ben Burton told the meeting on March 4: “When we talk

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about changing the residents’ journey it’s not about forcing someone to use digital services where they don’t want to use them or where they are not appropriate for them. “It’s about looking at a large sector of the community who want to self-serve, are more comfortable using an app and perhaps they are at work and can quickly go on that and report an item or move their green waste.“It is far simpler than having to come down to Kingswood or phone up that service." He said traditional methods such as talking on the phone or dropping in to a One Stop Shop would still be available.

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April 2020




FOR April 2020 I am illustrating the winning pictures selected by the judge in our Quarterly No.1 2020 Competition. Each member is allowed to enter three pictures and in total forty pictures were entered. The judge on this occasion was Keith Hart who was new to us at Kingswood, but he was most competent and gave good advice on all the entries. In first place he selected “Porlock Salt Marsh” by Keith Sheppard. Keith told me he was attracted to this area which appeared to contain dead trees and bushes forming a stark landscape. Apparently some years ago the sea water had entered this field and all the trees had died off, leaving this derelict-looking landscape of skeletal trees and grass against a dramatic sky. In second place the judge selected a quite different picture titled ‘Hands’ by Jenny Byram. This was taken in Venice during the Festival and is just part of a much larger picture. The lady on the right was reproduced in full colour but the other figure was reduced to almost monochrome to make the contrast. The fact that the hands are placed together was the reason for the simple title of ‘Hands’. The picture placed third was by Derek

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Webber and was taken in the Tate Gallery in London. We are looking through two doorways into a gallery where we can see the attendants' knees and legs – he was sitting just out of sight of Derek’s camera. This rather amusing picture was also in Monochrome. We normally meet each Friday at 7.30 pm, but following the latest developments in the coronavirus situation, the committee have reluctantly taken the decision to suspend ALL club meetings with immediate effect. The duration of this suspension will depend on how the national situation develops. Further details will be posted on www.kingswoodps.co.uk as and when they become available.

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April 2020




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email: sbsplastering@aol.co.uk

• Roof Repairs • Chimney rebuilds • Loft Conversions & Velux Windows • Rendering & Plastering • Painting & Decorating • PVCU Fascia & Gutters

tel: 0117 3009730 or 07970 845970 www.cains.biz e: steve@cains.biz

Wigs Bristol


We have been supplying all types of wigs and hairpieces for fashion and medical purposes for 45 years. Wigs can be purchased off the peg or made to measure in hair or synthetic fibre. We stock many styles and makes.

Please book an appointment on:

0117 956 6556 www.wigsbristol.com



07540 383 870 or email


Window and Door Specialists • Supply & Fit • Fascias, Soffits and Guttering • Conservatories • Commercial & Shop Fronts • Composite Doors • Windows & Doors • Repairs & Replacement Glazing • Bi-Folding Doors • UPVC and Aluminium

tel: 07977490777

www.maynardwindows.co.uk e: maynardwindows@mail.com

Got News? Call 07540 383870

Email: news@kingswoodvoice.co.uk


BUY DIRECT FROM THE GROWER THE BEST PLANTS AT THE BEST PRICES For 2020, we have a great new selection of hanging baskets, tubs, pots and novelty baskets to suit everyone

Why not come and pay us a visit at St Aldams?


FUCHSIAS From £2.00

GERANIUMS From £2.00

SURFINIAS £1.50 each



£5.00 each or 3 for £12

Look forward to your visit. Come and find us on The Westerleigh Road between Pucklechurch village and the Westerleigh Crematorium



9AM-5 P



Profile for Kingswood Voice

Kingswood Voice April 2020  

All of your local news, views and events for Kingswood and the surrounding areas.

Kingswood Voice April 2020  

All of your local news, views and events for Kingswood and the surrounding areas.