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January 2020 January 2020


No. 56


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on Facebook on Twitter @sbristolvoice and on Instagram @southbristolvoice HOW DO I GET IN TOUCH WITH ... My MP? Karin Smyth MP By email: By post: Karin Smyth MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA By phone: 0117 953 3575 In person: Call the above number for an appointment My councillor? Post: You can write to all councillors at City Hall, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR. Christopher Davies Lib Dem,

Knowle Email: Cllr.Christopher. Phone: 07826917714 Gary Hopkins Lib Dem, Knowle (Lib Dem deputy leader) Email: Phone: 07977 512159 Lucy Whittle Labour, Windmill Hill Phone: 07392 108805 Email: Jon Wellington Labour, Windmill Hill Phone: 07392 108804 Email:

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January 2020


Eye in the sky could be used by police after muggings in park by Rebecca Day The use of drones could be enforced by police to monitor Victoria Park following a spate of muggings and attacks in the local amenity. This was one of the possible measures that police officers put forward to dozens of residents at a Victoria Park Action Group (VPAG) meeting to combat the anti-social behaviour and criminal activities which have recently been reported in the area. Greater Bedminster police officers Ben Jefferies and Colin Hitt attended the meeting to reassure residents that action was being taken and advised that a bid has been submitted to deploy a drone to monitor the park.

Drones have recently been introduced across the constabulary to police public order at events. However, this drone could be used as a “possible tactic” to track the assailants – believed to be a “very small group of youths”, involving up to five males – moving fast from the scene. Police said that they are also carrying out high visibility patrols and plain clothes operations in the park. Residents heard that there had been four reported incidents in the park between November 2224 – the first incident involved a knife being brandished and a wallet and phone taken. A second victim had their wallet stolen; another was threatened.

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Victoria Park, traditionally a very crime free area, but it has been plagued in recent months by a spate of muggings and attacks. Photo, Google Maps The fourth incident, a park user, was attacked with a strip of metal and then punched, but no injuries were caused. At the meeting, residents also reported seeing youths on bikes kicking wing mirrors off cars parked in the surrounding streets. The police confirmed that they were also aware of this problem and urged residents to call 999 if they witness a crime in progress,

as a more immediate response can be given. They advised to call 101 if the incident has already happened. Roger Whiter, a local Scout leader, attended the meeting. He said that he had experienced three separate incidents involving teens in and around the park. On one occasion, he confronted a group of about four youths who were scaling the lodge in the park. “They

hurled all sorts of abuse and then swirled around me like dogs,” Mr Whiter recalled. He said that they then proceeded to run away and “bare their bottoms”. He reported that one youth had tried to take his bicycle at Bedminster station, and he had also had his pannier bag on his bike grabbed and shook when riding through the park. Mr Whiter, who has been

involved with VPAG for around 20 years, said: “We had this about 10 years ago. It’s important that we don’t make the park a no-go zone. I’m not going to not walk through the park, which I’ve helped make a nice place.” Police said that they require specific details of those committing an offence, such as details of clothing, bicycles and other identifying features. CCTV footage or photo evidence is particularly useful if it can be obtained safely. The police officers said: “These incidents are unusual for Victoria Park. Traditionally, the area has been very crime free.” Residents were urged “not to lose faith” in the police as they have had some “positive lines of enquiry”. At the meeting, VPAG chair Shaun Hennessy suggested to restart the Parkwatch group, which was in operation 10 years ago, where there would be a presence of volunteers in the park who would wear high-vis tabards and report any incidents. Those in attendance agreed that this would be a good idea.


Mini-concert celebrates Totterdown’s very own Mozart Young and old were taken on a classical music journey last month as they explored some of Mozart’s most popular pieces, performed by world famous pianist and Knowle resident Allan Schiller. It was the first in a series of mini concerts, organised by local resident Kevin Lindegaard, and saw around 220 people,

including around 60 children, attend the event at Totterdown Baptist Church. The next concert is being held at the same venue on Saturday, January 25, 4pm and will see Allan – who is widely regarded as one of the UK’s best pianists – introduce famous works by Frederick Chopin. Each concert, which lasts

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45 minutes, also explores the different musical terminology, which is then demonstrated by Allan on the piano. Similar to Mozart, Allan was a child prodigy – at eight-yearsold, he could play Mozart’s Minuet and by 14, he made his orchestral debut at the BBC Proms, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 with Hugo

Rignold conducting the National Youth Orchestra. This year, Allan was awarded the British Empire Medal for his musical endeavours and charitable deeds. For more details about the next concert and to purchase tickets (£5 adults, £1 children), visit:

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Allan Schiller and the gorilla (Kevin Lindegaard) at the November concert, where Allan performed pieces by Mozart

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January 2020




The south Bristol streets affected by city diesel By Amanda Cameron, Local Democracy Reporter Bristol City Council has finally revealed the exact streets it wants to ban diesel cars from and charge polluting buses and taxis to enter. Many of the details are still to be finalised, such as charges and penalties, exemptions for certain groups, and other ways to alleviate the worst effects of the scheme on individuals and businesses. But at this stage, the quirks of the proposed boundaries would see homes and businesses in dozens of roads affected ADVERTISEMENT

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differently depending on which end or side of the street they live on. For example, the northern end of Greenway Bush Lane in Southville, and one side of the street in particular, would be affected by the diesel car ban while the rest of the road would escape it. Other parts of south Bristol the diesel ban on private vehicles would affect include: • Coronation Road and York Road • A3029 as far as Ashton Vale Road opposite Ashton Gate • Bath Road just past the Bath Road Bridge roundabout

• Bedminster Bridge roundabout and a short stretch of Bedminster Parade The ban zone means that people who live in south Bristol and want to drive a diesel car into north Bristol between 7am and 3pm must cross the river at the Clifton Suspension Bridge or Totterdown Bridge. They could not drive through the city without incurring a hefty fine. The Clean Air Zone (CAZ), which expands beyond the diesel ban boundary and would see older, more polluting commercial vehicles charged a daily fee, encompasses larges parts of

south Bristol. From Totterdown Bridge, the southern boundary of the CAZ runs southwest along the A4 Bath Road and follows the railway line north of Windmill Hill as far as Bedminster station. It continues southwest, cutting across Bedminster Road, Parson Street, and Hartcliffe Way before heading west along South Liberty Lane and turning north towards Cumberland Basin. On its way north, the CAZ takes in Ashton Vale and follows the North Somerset border for a short stretch before following the A370 towards the Cumberland Basin system.

Air pollution’s deadly consequences in south Bristol Up to 70 people die each year in Bristol South due to exposure to air pollution, a recent report has revealed. The study was carried out by King’s College London and looks at the combined impact of nitrogen dioxide and PM2.5 – the particulate mainly generated by wood and coal burning – on life expectancy. It revealed that across Bristol, five people die prematurely each week as a result of high exposure to these pollutants and also, a child born in 2011 could die up to six months early if exposed to air pollution over their lifetime. According to the research, the health impacts of air pollution in Bristol cost the NHS £170m a year. The report was released by UK100 – a network

of local government leaders – as Bristol mayor Marvin Rees was due to host a Clean Air Summit at City Hall on November 18. It comes just weeks after the council approved plans to ban private diesel vehicles in central Bristol. The mayor said: “We have a moral, ecological and legal duty to clean up the air we breathe. This research emphasises how vital it is that we act MAINTENANCE quickly to PROPERTY improve health and save lives in Bristol. “OurINTERIOR proposed plans for a combination of a & EXTERIOR PAINTING small area diesel ban and medium sized Clean Air FENCING • PATIOS • LANDSCAPING Zone gets us to legal air quality levels in the shortest LOGtime STORES • GUTTERING • FASCIAS possible minimising the adverse impact on our lowest income households.” ELECTRICS • DOORS • PLUMBING



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Plans for an inner-city diesel car ban and wider clean air zone (CAZ) were submitted to the government on November 6. They are still subject to refinement, public consultation and government approval, so the details could change before they are finalised and implemented by March 2021.

A map published by Bristol City Council showing the exact roads where the diesel ban and clean air zone could be enforced. To view the map in full, visit our website:


Support rallies to save the Windy More than a hundred people turned out to meeting to discuss the future of the Windmill pub after its owner announced that it could be redeveloped into flats if a buyer did not come forward. The popular local has been on the market since the spring and is currently for sale for £495k, but owner Mike Cranney has so far failed to secure a buyer. Tessa Fitzjohn, a local resident to the Windmill, organised the meeting on December 2 to rally support for saving the pub. She told the Voice: “[The turnout] was amazing – over 100 people attended. Everyone was enormously enthusiastic. People were really interested in how it would work. But we have to move very fast and make an offer very soon.” As a result of the meeting, a working party has been set up with the idea to establish a ‘community benefit society’

which would raise funds to afford the pub through community shares. The idea was inspired by a group which used the model to save Bristol Ferry Boats in 2013. Speaking to the Voice following the meeting, Mr Cranney said: “We’ve been doing our best to try and sell it, and if that’s not possible, then we only have redeveloping it as an option. “Ultimately, people would like to save it and I understand the emotion, but we need to be realistic. “I can’t just close it and wait for a buyer.” At the time the Voice went to print, Mr Cranney was due to submit an application to the council to redevelop the pub into flats. If interested in supporting the campaign to save the pub, email: savethewindy@gmail. com and join the page: facebook. com/savethewindmillbristol

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January 2020




Post Office club delivering a perfect social life by Rebecca Day Helping to tackle the plight of elderly people living in isolation is a social club in the heart of Knowle. Meeting once a month in the private function room of Snooker City in Broadwalk Shopping Centre, the Post Office Social Club offers retired members a regular chance to meet and “chit chat”. Although originally set up for former Post Office employees, it has become a club which anybody can join. There are around 500 members on its books – around 40 attend each month – with people travelling from as far as Chippenham, Nailsea and Clevedon to join the coffee mornings, which involve three games of bingo and a raffle. The club also puts on regular day trips and holidays throughout the year. This year, members enjoyed holidays to Scotland and Torquay for ‘Tinsel and Turkey’, where they

celebrated Christmas over five days. Trips were previously more far-flung, with members fondly recalling holidays to Canada and the States. But with an aging membership, the club now keeps its five-day breaks within the UK. The Post Office Club has

been running in south Bristol for over two decades and has called Snooker City its home for the last 10 years. Judy Horler, who lives off the Wells Road and is the committee member responsible for organising theatre trips and club lunches, has been part of the club

for around 18 years. She joined because her husband worked for the Post Office. Judy said: “When people say they are lonely, it’s so sad. The social club gives people a chance to meet friends and socialise outside the club. “We accommodate everyone –



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people can just walk in the doors. They don’t need to have worked for the Post Office. If we know someone is coming, we can make them feel welcome.” Rob Pool, who now lives in Chippenham but grew up in Knowle West, joined the social club when he retired in 2007 from his job as the chief inspector at the Royal Mail sorting office in Filton. He travels the 50-mile round trip to socialise with the other Post Office ‘Boy Messengers’ he worked with as a teenager. Rob says that the club is a “good organisation” for getting older people out of their homes and socialising. “Older people aren’t going out much anymore – society seems to be keeping them indoors,” he added. Tony Cox, from St Anne’s, joined the club 20 years ago as a member with his wife. He said: “We’ve enjoyed many trips – to Canada, America, Norway on a cruise, the Dutch bulb fields. There are also the

day excursions and the coffee mornings once a month. It’s really good and a nice occasion to socialise.” Each year, the club raises funds for a nominated local charity. This year, £750 was raised for Children’s Hospice South West. The club meets on the last Wednesday of each month. The next coffee morning is January 29, 10am-12pm. Those attending are welcomed to stay for lunch once the coffee morning finishes. The club can be accessed via Snooker City’s main entrance or via the snooker hall on the road as you exit the shopping centre car park on to Broad Walk. Doors are open from 9.30am. Club membership is £12 a year. However, trips and holidays incur an additional cost. Next year, the club has organised a five-day holiday to the Isle of Wight and also day trips to the National Arboretum, Stratford-on-Avon and Weymouth.


Local developments must include 'Bedminster' and 'green' By Marcus Stone A packed meeting at Windmill Hill City Farm (WHCF) discussed ideas for a community manifesto that can be presented to developers and all those involved in the Bedminster Green development. An ‘urban Eden project’, a new library and wildlife spaces were just some of the many ideas floated. Around 60 people attended the meeting on the December 5 at Windmill Hill City Farm. Steve Sayers, WHCF Chief Executive, explained at the meeting: “The City Farm is acting as a facilitator to allow better discussions, as the development is nearby and some plans have not included much ‘Bedminster’ or ‘Green’.” Ellie Freeman from Action Greater Bedminster outlined how a community manifesto would set out residents wishes in a single framework that could then be presented to developers

and other stakeholders. As well as speakers, the main format for the evening was six table-based discussions around different themes including: a place to live, an integrated community, a place to work, a place for wildlife, a place for learning arts and culture and a place of regeneration. The discussions were organised by Paul Hassan from Locality and led to many different ideas ranging from a new library, wildlife spaces through to inclusion of urban art. Simon Green, from the Circle Project said: “We’d like to see an ‘urban Eden project’ that involves food production and sustainable living in some way such as vertical growing.” Concerns were not forgotten about the development and mainly centred around the scale of proposed developments and the influx of a large number of students.




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January 2020



A nursery with the community at its heart North Street Nursery

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orth Street Nursery has just celebrated its first birthday, having opened its doors to children for the first time in November 2018, with an ambition to fill some of the childcare gap that exists in the area and build a community focused setting that people would welcome at the heart of North Street. Receiving massive community support in their first year, the children and their staff team have become regular fixtures in bright hi viz jackets up and down North Street, as the nursery delivers on its ethos and promise to ensure the children are aware of and engaged in everything their community has to offer. The nursery team believe, “Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances. A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right.” Towards those experiences, the children of all ages enjoy a busy and exciting outdoor

programme that takes in all local parks as well as bus trips to places like Bristol Zoo or Windmill Hill City Farm on a regular basis. This is all on top of what they call their “secret garden” on their large secure dedicated roof terrace. OFSTED rated North Street Nursery as Good in 2019 and went on to say, “babies and children develop a close bond with their key person. This has a positive impact on building children’s confidence to help them explore, be curious and feel safe.” It’s not a big surprise then that the 93 place nursery has continued to welcome new children and their families, with some spaces now full until September 2020, with parents taking advantage of the nursery’s unique transparent, simple pricing and an exciting, engaging approach to every element of their childcare experience. That’s not all either. The team continue to push developments and improvements that can benefit their community and environment, having achieved more than 75% recycling of all waste with nappy waste now used for energy recycling and solar panels which will hopefully be their next addition in 2020.

Got a story for South Bristol Voice? Call Becky on 07912 484405 or email


January 2020




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January 2020


n THE MAYOR Our tree ambition is good for everyone


MARVIN REES Mayor of Bristol


write this month’s column in the final days of the General Election campaign. When this edition reaches your doorstep, we will have a new government, who will face a host of urgent challenges at a local and national level as a result of a decade of austerity and previous governments’ paralysis over Brexit. Whoever is in power, we will continue to lobby government to give Bristol the sovereignty and resources we need to build the affordable homes our city need, to transform our transport system, and deliver on our commitment to becoming a carbonneutral and carbon-resilient city by 2030. One of the notable features of the election campaign was that the need to meet the challenge of the climate emergency occupied a central position in the political debate. One of the most discussed pledges was Labour’s commitment to plant 2 billion trees by 2040. While this sounds like an ambitious pledge, Bristol is already stepping up to this challenge, through our collective commitment

in the One City Plan to double the size of our tree canopy by 2046. Increasing the number of trees in our city is an important step in our fight against air pollution and climate change. Bristol’s trees remove an estimated 100 tonnes of pollutants from our air every year, and remove up to 14,000 tonnes of CO2 every year. That’s equivalent to the annual emissions of 9,000 cars. Trees also soak up 90,000 cubic meters of water each year. They are crucial to maintaining and improving our city’s biodiversity, helping us

create natural wildlife corridors across the city. That’s why I recently joined Deputy Mayor Asher Craig, over 60 pupils from Begbrook Primary Academy and volunteers from Plastic Pollution Awareness and Action Projects to plant 210 trees in one of Bristol’s well-loved local parks. This event was part of our Replant Bristol campaign, which follows on from our One Tree per Child project. We are encouraging employers and partners to donate land and provide volunteers so we can plant One Tree per Employee. In the last four years, we have already planted over 57,000 trees across Bristol. The trees we plant today will have benefits to Bristol beyond their ecological impact. They will enrich our natural environment, making our city a greener and more pleasant place to live. The children I met all shared their excitement about making a difference to their local area, how much they enjoy having green space on their doorstep, and how much they were looking forward to one day climbing and playing around the trees they planted. I want every child in the city, wherever they live in Bristol, to share in that experience.



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January 2020


How the Janes found the perfect workplace recipe by Rebecca Day Operating from a kitchen in a Knowle community centre is a bakery project with a social purpose. Jane Chong and Jane Kippax, the founders of community interest company Step and Stone, are helping to prepare young adults with learning disabilities for the world of work. Their method … baking delicious lavosh flatbreads. From weighing the dough to packaging the crunchy Middle Eastern breads, the young trainee bakers – who can join the project from age 18 – are involved in all aspects of the process. They not only develop their talents in baking, but the project also helps to build their confidence and general skills, such as teamwork and time management, so they can find employment. Since launching three years ago from Long Ashton Community Centre, the project has seen six bakers secure employment. Ten are also ready to start work. Step and Stone, which now runs from The Park in Daventry Road, Knowle, has also won a vast number of awards – the most recent being ‘Winner of Winners’ and ‘Best Initiative’ at the Crumbs Awards. The idea for Step and Stone came to fruition after the two Janes, who have children with Down’s Syndrome, met at a support group. Despite neither having experience in kitchens – Jane Kippax worked in fundraising

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Jane Chong (far left) and Jane Kippax (in red) with bakers and staff at the Step and Stone kitchen in The Park community centre, Knowle. Below, the lavosh flatbreads before packaging

and Jane Chong worked in market research – they both saw that a project, encouraging young people to bake, could have longlasting benefits. They found that while the education system is supportive of children with learning disabilities, they felt like there was a lack of opportunity in the workplace. By setting up Step and Stone, both Janes wanted to make it their mission to bridge that gap. “The key point is that only

six per cent of people with learning disabilities have paid employment – there is no reason why this should be the case as they are such hard workers,” said Jane Kippax. “They need to be shown how to do things at first, but once in paid employment, they are very dedicated employees. “We’re bridging the gap between education and the workplace.” The idea to bake lavosh was inspired by a friend who had gifted Jane Kippax’s 14-yearold daughter, who has Down’s Syndrome, a pasta roller. Besides developing young people’s skills for the workplace, there is also an emphasis on socialising and tackling isolation. Step and Stone welcomes around 40 bakers across the four days they operate. “There are no hoops to jump through,” said Jane Chong, “the only criteria is that they have to have a learning disability.” India, 26, is one of the project’s long-standing bakers

and has recently secured a job with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). “I love everything about Step and Stone,” she said. “I enjoy working with Jane and Jane and making an excellent product.” One student has gone on to work with Greggs, while another has secured a job through the project’s partnership with UWE. Step and Stone’s next venture is to launch an inclusive café. The lavosh comes in a number of different flavours – paprika and cayenne, poppy, sesame, and rosemary and sea salt – and can be purchased locally at Better Food, Hugo’s greengrocers, Deli at Sandy Park and Windmill Hill City Farm. Both Janes say that they are always on the lookout for volunteers, as well as welcoming new trainee bakers. If interested, or to find out more about Step and Stone, visit: stepandstone. co or email: welcome@

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January 2020




Why not get stuck into something new in 2020?

Join the ranks of our new youth basketball squad

Bristol Junior Hurricanes is the newest youth basketball side in south Bristol and they are looking for new players to join the team. The club, based in Hengrove, offers professionally qualified coaching to boys and girls of all ages with opportunities to train up to more senior levels to improve their skills and play in regular league matches. The youth side is run as a feeder club to Bristol Hurricanes

men’s side who have consistently improved in the NBL league since their inception five years ago. Whilst coaching is offered to for 8-18 year olds, the Hurricanes are particularly looking for 14-17 year olds boys and girls to build on a small core of talented players to develop a senior youth team to play in local league matches.


Basketball is a great alternative to rugby, football or netball and a fantastic way to keep fit, learn team bonding and appreciate mutual respect. And to debunk the popular myth: you don’t have to be tall to excel at basketball, just keen to play! If interested, contact Roger Bareham on 07748 846657, email bristoljuniorhurricanes@, or visit the club’s Facebook page, Bristol Junior Hurricanes, for more information.

The many benefits of Qigong Bristol Qigong Healing W: T: 07951 933 698

Qigong is an ancient Chinese exercise and healing technique that involves meditation, controlled breathing, self-massage and movement exercises. It is excellent for stress reduction, anxiety, prevention of illness, dealing with chronic illness, reducing heart rate and blood pressure, boosting the immune system, relieving headaches, and facilitating relaxation and mental focus. According to Five Chinese Elements, we focus on cleansing, strengthening and nourishing the organ associated with the current season. In winter we focus Qigong practice on kidneys, liver in spring, heart in summer, spleen in late summer and in autumn we work with lungs. Each season is split into

three different Qigong practices: PURGING, TONIFYING AND CIRCULATING to cleanse, nourish, circulate, refine and store QI. Qigong practices can energize organs, recycle energy, clear any stagnation and build internal power and strength. QIGONG CLASSES Holy Nativity Church - Tues 7.30 8.25pm & Fri 9 - 9.55am QIGONG WORKSHOPS Once a month on Sun 11 - 4pm. For more classes and info please visit www.bristolpilatesfitness.

The Bristol Hurricanes during their training in Hengrove


Resolve to learn Spanish in 2020 Bristol Spanish

W: T: Are you looking for a way to bring some sunshine into these drab winter months? Then come along to Bristol Spanish! Learning a language is a very rewarding experience and keeps your mind young and alert. At Bristol Spanish there are no large classrooms: my groups are small and classes are fun and friendly. This makes for a very supportive

learning environment where you will get a solid foundation in the language, as well as conversation practice from the very beginning, along with giggles all round! What better way to start the New Year?!


Spanish for beginners!

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All Pilates classes focus on releasing tension, lengthening muscles and developing core strength.

New Monday evening beginners’ group starting 13 January 2020, 6.30pm - 8pm 10 weeks; £150 Also offering •Pregnancy & Postnatal Pilates •Buggy workout •Qigong & Pilates retreats | 07951 933 698

Also daytime and evening classes, all levels See website for class timetables

Got a story for South Bristol Voice? Call Becky on 07912 484405 or email



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January 2020




Karin continues Labour’s 85 year reign in Bristol South

Karin Smyth has been re-elected as the Labour MP for Bristol South. Against a backdrop of national defeat for Labour, Ms Smyth, who has been MP for the constituency since 2015, claimed victory over Conservative candidate Richard Morgan, who she beat by 9,859 votes. The former NHS manager received 27,895 votes in total – just over half of the ballots cast. However, her 2017 majority was slashed by 6,128 votes. The voter turnout was 65.9 per cent for Bristol South – a constituency held by the Labour party since 1935. The other parliamentary candidates contesting for the seat were Andrew Brown (Liberal Democrat), Tony Dyer (Green) and Robert de Vito Boutin (Brexit Party).

It is the third occasion that Mr Dyer has stood as parliamentary candidate for Bristol South since 2015. Ms Smyth was the first of the four successful Labour candidates standing in Bristol’s inner-city constituencies to retain their seat on December 13. However, Labour’s success throughout central Bristol was not reflected nationally as the party suffered a dramatic loss against the Conservatives who secured a majority government. In her monthly column submitted to the Voice following her election, Ms Smyth said that she was “disappointed” that the Conservatives remain in government but thanked Bristol South constituents for re-electing her as MP. Ms Smyth wrote: “I’d like to thank you for re-electing me

as your Member of Parliament. Since I first became MP for Bristol South in 2015, I’ve tried to work hard to address the issues that matter to you. “I am, of course, disappointed that the Tories remain in government. But the election campaign provided a good opportunity to talk directly with people and confirmed the focus I have here in Bristol South – on education and job opportunities, health services and transport.” In her acceptance speech at the Action Indoor Sports centre in Bamfield, where the Bristol South count was held, Ms Smyth said that despite plans for the party to reinvest in schools, the NHS and a greener economy, Labour had not “gained the trust of people across the country”. She added: “Since 1935 people in Bristol South have wanted a Labour government and have supported a Labour MP to make it happen. “Two-thirds of this time Labour has been in opposition

BRISTOL SOUTH ELECTION RESULTS: • Karin Smyth, Labour: 27,895 (50.5%) • Richard Morgan, Conservative: 18,036 (32.7%) • Andrew Brown, Liberal Democrat: 4,227 (7.7%) • Tony Dyer, Green: 2,713 (4.9%) • Robert de Vito Boutin, Brexit Party: 2,325 (4.2%) and that limits what labour can achieve and doesn’t give Bristol South the progressive government that they have sought, and we are in for a very hard five years. “I will continue to speak up for Bristol South on the regional and national stage and I will work hard.” Karin Smyth MP ‘s January column can be read in full on pg. 21.

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Old age is a time when you can really fulfil your potential. B






Judith, Ambassador of the Bristol Older People’s Forum. Age 81.


To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664

January 2020




Why we are challenging perceptions of old age

Age Proud Bristol is an awareness campaign that challenges perceptions of older people in Bristol and encourages people to feel proud of their age. The World Health Organisation has described ageism as “the last form of acceptable discrimination” and according to research carried out by SunLife in 2019, 68% of over 50s in the UK say that ageism in everyday life has made them feel less valued. Age Proud Bristol aims to challenge this and encourage everyone over 50 to feel Age Proud. The campaign is run by Bristol Ageing Better (BAB) and has gathered the views of a variety of inspirational people from across Bristol about their experiences and advice regarding later life. For this article, we spoke to Judith Brown (81), Bristol Older People Forum’s Ambassador. Judith has always had an interest in campaigning, including for women’s rights, disability rights, gay rights, and more, so it is perhaps not surprising that her

Judith Brown, 81, shares her experience of old age as part of a campaign to challenge perceptions of older people

latest volunteer role is all about promoting the rights of Bristol’s older people. “You’re still the same person you always were,” says Judith. “Later life is just a new phase of the adventure and old age is a time when you can really fulfil your potential.” Judith says that when she was growing

up there were expectations placed on what women could and couldn’t do, but now she can follow her interests fully. Judith’s advice for people of any age is to “Be yourself. Don’t let anybody put you down. If there is something you feel you want to say, you should say it.” Women are often socialised to be more self-conscious of their age and physical appearance.


Road Safety Week

How Totterdown has inspired Judy’s short stories A short story collection, exploring tales of family and folklore has been published by Wells Road resident, Judy Darley. And several of the stories have been inspired by her local surroundings, including Arnos Vale Cemetery, which she used to live opposite. Sky Light Rain is Judy’s second book – her first short story collection, Remember me to the Bees, was published in 2014. Flash fiction is how the 42-year-old describes some of

Judy Darley at Arnos Vale Cemetery. Photo, James Hainsworth

Whilst a man might be described as a ‘silver fox’ when his hair turns grey, women are described in less appealing terms, suggesting that a woman’s worth is measured by her age and appearance. Judith argues that people shouldn’t feel limited by stereotypes. “You hear older women say, ‘Oh I can’t wear that dress, it’s too young.’ Rubbish! We should accept people as they are and demonstrate how wrong the stereotypes are.” Many people have outdated perceptions of what later life will look like, whereas the reality is that we are all individuals with different experiences and knowledge and that doesn’t change when we reach our 50s and beyond. This is the first in a series of three articles inspired by older people based in Bristol. Find out more about the Age Proud Bristol campaign by visiting or search #AgeProudBristol on Twitter and take part in the conversation about ageism in Bristol.

the book’s more punchy stories – an art form, usually written in less than 1,000 words, which has risen in popularity in recent years. “The stories are incredibly compressed and very short,” Judy explains. “Some stories are a paragraph long but are written in a way that allows you to fill in the gaps. A whole world can be encompassed in one story.” The book is divided into three parts – Sky, Light and Rain – with twelve stories in each section. With the theme of family woven throughout, the collection “explores overcoming fears and coming through the darkness”. “Some of the stories are a bit dark but it all works out in the end,” explains Judy. “I want the reader to emerge from this book feeling thoughtful and uplifted.” One of Judy’s short stories, Lodged, was inspired by the cellar of a house she once rented in Totterdown, which was full of the previous people’s curious belongings.

It made the perfect setting for a ghost story, Judy felt. Another story in the collection, Knotted Rope, which can be read online at knotted-rope, is told in three different voices and set within Arnos Vale Cemetery. “Not so long ago, I used to live right outside the cemetery, and I would see the nursery children and staff going in and out, holding onto this rope.” Judy, who fits in her story writing around being a freelance journalist and communications manager, said: “I’m inspired by my surroundings but also by my own curiosity … like when I overhear or see something and I try and fill in the gaps … what would make someone say or do that? “I’m intrigued about how people’s minds work and why they do the things they do.” Sky Light Right has been published by Valley Press and is available online at www.

The importance of road safety was the topic of conversation for pupils at Hillcrest Primary School, as they marked Road Safety Week. The school was supported by local solicitor firm Barcan+Kirby and the Brain Injury Group, which ran a special competition for the pupils. All students attended an assembly earlier in the week and were then invited to design a poster showing the steps which are taken to stay safe on the streets. It is the fifth year that Barcan+Kirby has supported the school in promoting road safety and running the competition, which saw two winners across each year group presented with a gift voucher and certificate.

Got a story for South Bristol Voice? Call Becky on 07912 484405 or email



January 2020


Shining stars!

South Bristol school nativity photos. Clockwise, from left, Reception with Years 1 and 2 at Wandsdyke Primary School; children at Oasis Academy Connaught in Knowle West; Luckwell Primary School’s nativity scene, Bedminster; Mary, Joseph and Wise Men at Cleve House School, Wells Road; Reception class at Bridge Learning Campus, Hartcliffe; Christmas nativity at Ashton Vale Primary; Jesus’ Christmas party at Cleve House School

To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664

January 2020


n PLANNING APPLICATIONS Knowle ward: Awaiting decision

Retention of Conservatory.

469 Wells Road, BS14 9AG Enlargement of existing basement area to form 3 bedrooms and bathroom.

Knowle ward: Decision

8 Andover Road, BS4 1AL Proposed single-storey side and rear extension.

96 Newquay Road, BS4 1DS Demolition of side extension and construct a two storey 3 bed single dwelling house to side and single storey extension to rear of existing property. Refused

5 Moss Mews, BS4 2AP

Knowle Water Tower, Talbot


Knowle and Windmill Hill

Road, BS3 2NN The removal of 6 antennas and replacing them with 6 new antennas. Refused Windmill Hill ward: Awaiting decision 22 Haverstock Road, BS4 2BZ Single story side extension to C4 dwelling. Windmill Hill ward: Decision

26 Knowle Road, BS4 2EE Proposed extension and conversion of existing outbuildings in rear garden, for uses incidental to the enjoyment of the existing dwelling. Granted subject to conditions • The status of these applications may have changed since we went to press. Check for updates at


The power of community thwarts attempt to build energy station The headteacher at a local nursery says that the school community can ‘breathe a sigh of relief’, now that a power station will not be built on its doorstep. St Philip’s Marsh Nursery, which is just over Totterdown Bridge and takes in children from the local area, would have been 86-metres from a gas-fired station if councillors had not rejected Conrad Energy’s plans at a

committee meeting back in May. The energy firm had six months from May 16 to lodge an appeal. However, the deadline has now passed and no appeal has been forthcoming from Conrad Energy. The plans sparked much controversy among the local community, with a petition opposing the development gathering more than 1,000 signatures.

A significant number of objections were also filed on the council planning website and the plans were rejected nine-to-one by city councillors on the grounds that the “perceived adverse impacts on health” would cause “unacceptable harm to the wellbeing of local people. Headteacher Simon Holmes said: “We are hugely relieved that Conrad energy has not appealed

and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. “We are very grateful to all the parents, our local councillors, Residents Against Dirty Energy (RADE) and other people and organisations who have who have lobbied and made representations on behalf of the children attending the school and everyone else who breathes the air in St Philip’s Marsh.”

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Regular events

Road, 10-11.30am.

n Shared Reading group Drop in to read and listen to a great story and poem and talk about it. Free, no pressure to read. No prep required. Every Friday at The Park, Daventry

n Filwood Chase History Society held in our Heritage Centre (free entry). View scale models of local buildings and look at our extensive collection of maps, etc. Browse among,

An enjoyable panto to kick off Christmas Review Dick Whittington at Bristol Hippodrome Theatre As a first time pantomime goer, I was unsure whether it would be for me, but it was enjoyable! The storyline was a bit thin and it sometimes felt as if they had to add extra bits, like a 10-minute acrobatic session performed by four sailors and a sea-bed version of 12 Days of Christmas to make it up to two hours, but these moments were enjoyable for sure. All of the actors were great, especially Captain Captain from CBeebies’ Swashbuckle (Jennie Dale) who played the Rat Queen. There was fantastic singing from everyone and the choreography was highly entertaining. All around us we could see happy children loving every minute of the show. My kids loved to see other children in the play dancing and being rats, giving them inspiration for the future!

The costumes and scenes were fantastic and really well thought out. Some of the jokes were crude but they went over most younger children’s heads. Although I wasn’t overwhelmed by the story, the look on mine and the younger audience members’ faces made the whole evening a lovely start to the countdown to Christmas. If you get opportunity to go and see this lively family show this season, do it. You won’t regret it! Dick Whittington is live at Bristol Hippodrome until January 5 2020. For tickets, visit: www.atgtickets. com/shows/dick-whittington/ bristol-hippodrome/ Review by Britt Andreasen Ryan

pottery/books/photographs/ coins/fossils, then, look up stored local information, on computers. The Park Community Centre, Daventry Road. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 1-5pm. For more information, call Ivor Grimsted on 07856769285 or just turn up, and ask questions! n Little Music Makers musical storytelling adventures, featuring live music and hands on activities each week. Perfect for your 18 month - 4-year-old. (Siblings under 1 can come for free!). Thursday mornings through to Christmas (closed 31/10/19). Sessions start at 9.45am or 10.50am in St Christopher’s Church Hall, Hampstead Road, BS4 3HN Get in touch to book or find out more: n Zumba classes at United Reform Church, Brislington, BS4 3LG, Monday, 10am - Zumba Gold (suitable for 50+ and Zumba beginners) £5. Monday and Thursday, 6.45pm - Zumba Fitness (Everybody welcome) £6 For more details contact Kate: zumbawithkate.bristol@gmail. com; 07988787710.

Library events Knowle Library n Reading Group, first Monday of the month, 4-5pm. Please speak to the library before attending. Photo by Dave Betts Photography


January 2020

n Baby Bounce and Rhyme, Tuesday, 11.30am & Thursday,

11.30am (term time only) n Townswomen’s Guild Knitting Group, last Tuesday of the month, 2-3.30pm. This is an independently run group. Please ask at library for contact

NIA DANCE FITNESS A fun, energising mix of dance, martial arts and yoga, with relaxation to end. Simple steps to follow, all set to brilliant tunes. Everyone welcome, beginners too. Tuesdays, 7.45-8.45pm, Southbank Club, Dean Lane (term time). £7 drop-in/book on MoveGB. T: 07434 964490. Nia with Helen PARACISE - STARTING JANUARY! A low-impact fitness class set to fabulous music, designed to improve posture, balance, mobility. Gentle on joints, no floor work. Fun and friendly class. 11.15am Tuesdays at the Southville Centre and 10.30am Fridays at The Park, Knowle. First class free! T: 07434 964490. Paracise with Helen



with Gwenna Ewing of White Space Mural Design

Inspirational, bespoke, hand-painted murals Christmas is in full swing and our homes are all decked out in sparkle and shine. But let’s face it, before we know it, the festivities will be over. The tree will be reduced to a pile of pine needles, the dusty baubles will be back in the loft and the house will feel under dressed and frankly a little bit dull. This is the time we find ourselves flicking through interior magazines and trawling Pinterest for inspiration to reinvent our homes. The new year often brings the desire for a fresh look and the market place is full of designs created for the masses but what if nothing quite fits your brief? Why compromise? How about a new idea? How about your idea? A hand-painted, bespoke mural could fill that

white space in your home, transforming your room with a unique feature wall. Gwenna, at White Space uses her 25 years of experience in design to turn your vision into reality. Her love of surface pattern and painting go hand in hand to create designs that range from florals to landscapes. Any white space can be transformed big or small, living space, social space, work space or outside space, let your imagination run wild. Whatever your idea, a bespoke hand-painted mural will transform any room into your room. Email: Instagram: @whitespacemuraldesign Facebook: @WhiteSpaceMuralDesign Website:

To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664

January 2020




My priorities for Bristol South Firstly, I’d like to thank you for re-electing me as your Member of Parliament. Since I first became MP for Bristol South in 2015, I’ve tried to work hard to address the issues that matter to you. I am, of course, disappointed that the Tories remain in government. But the election campaign provided a good opportunity to talk directly with people and confirmed the focus I have here in Bristol South – on education and job opportunities, health services and transport. None of these challenges are going away. And neither is climate change.

Parliament declared a climate emergency last year (2019), which followed Bristol’s climate emergency declaration in 2018. Climate change is not a standalone issue, but runs through all areas of life. The Labour Party recognises this and outlined a range of measures in the manifesto designed not only to tackle climate change, but to transform the way we live - covering housing, jobs and education as well as the environment. While we’re not in government to deliver these, we can and should take some of these elements forward locally. My focus on apprenticeships continues this year with another Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair at City of Bristol College’s South Bristol Skills Academy in Hengrove on 27 February 2020. We’re particularly interested in exploring apprenticeships in greener industries such as renewable energy and hope to have some local employers who offer opportunities in this area. Work starts soon on the new Advanced Construction Skills Centre in Hengrove and there’s an opportunity to weave an environmental focus into this new training hub. Local schoolchildren have been campaigning

21 Labour MP for Bristol South

for free bus travel for young people. Children in London have this thanks to a Labour move, Bristol children currently do not. The Tory Metro Mayor Tim Bowles has powers which can pave the way for this and while Manchester’s Labour Metro Mayor Andy Burnham has set the ball rolling to use these powers, our Metro Mayor has not. I will continue to push for this – along with the promised Hengrove to Long Ashton leg of the Metrobus, which disappeared off the route map until I pressed for it to be reinstated. We now need to see the buses on the road. Public transport has a key role to play in reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality, and I’m pleased to see Bristol City Council moving forward with plans to improve air quality in the city. I know that some of you are concerned around the implementation of this and I’d be interested to hear your thoughts - you can reach me using the contact details below. Twitter: @karinsmyth Facebook: KarinSmythMP Website:

n NEWS Local synchronised swimmer glides into England’s youth squad By Marcus Stone A dedicated young synchronised swimmer from Knowle has secured a place in England’s youth squad team. Thirteen-year-old Amelie Williams passed highly competitive trials to gain an invitation to train with England youth squad during the 2020 synchro swimming competition season. This is part of a two-year programme that could lead to an Olympic role with Team GB. Amelie started swimming at just 12 months old with Puddle Ducks swimming in Bristol before moving onto the Waves club. It was when going rock climbing at Hengrove leisure centre that she first saw synchronised swimming and it combined all the things she loved: swimming, music and dance. At 8-years-old she went along to one of the synchro swimming starter courses doing around 1-3 hours a week, then moved from the recreational side to the competitive side and training increased to an incredible 10-14 hours a week. As part of synchro swimming progression swimmers need to pass grades up to level 5 and Amelie has recently passed her

Synchronised swimmer Amelie Williams will be taining with England’s youth squad in 2020

silver at level 4 which enables her to do duets. The path to swimming for Team GB starts with the Beacon programme, then England Youth, before joining Team GB. Amelie took part in the Beacon programme last year and will now be swimming in the England squad in 2020. Speaking about her love for the sport, Amelie said: “One of the best things about being in synchro is how close the team is, we feel like a family of sisters. “I’m so privileged to have such an amazing supportive coach. We

are currently the UK and Scottish gold medallist for our age group, which I am very proud of. I am now looking forward to starting my training with the England youth squad in the new year.” Amelie trains with City of Bristol (CoB) Aquatics which is one of the UK’s leading synchro clubs, the largest club in the South West and the only one in Bristol. CoB Aquatics coach, Louise Skidmore explains Amelie’s achievement: “Amelie joined the 13-15-yearolds competitive squad at the beginning of this year. She trains

incredibly hard, giving 100 per cent at each training session. “Gaining a place on the England team will mean Amelie’s training will increase massively. “She will be training with 20 other girls from all over the country during weekends and school holidays to get the England team ready to compete internationally next year. “Amelie shows massive potential and I’m positive she will have a very bright future on the international stage.” Although the club uses different pools in the city including Hengrove, training has been restricted recently due Bristol South pool’s delayed opening following refurbishment, so are searching for extra pool time elsewhere until the pool opens. Anyone inspired by Amelie’s achievements and wanting to get involved can contact CoB Aquatics startersynchro@gmail. com they accept swimmers from the age of eight who have good swimming ability and flexibility.

Got a story for South Bristol Voice? Call Becky on 07912 484405 or email



January 2020



e met with developers who have been retained by the council to build housing on the Knowle and Gary Filwood side of Hopkins Airport Rd. Lib Dem The developers Knowle (BOKLOK) faced a difficult problem, as the council were announcing plans without any local consultation, which appeared to contradict the previously agreed regeneration plan... unfortunately an all-too common problem with the city council over recent years. The plans for the Filwood side beyond Salcombe Rd are substantial and may cause some discussion, but the outline plans for the Knowle side (on the site beyond the end of Ilminster Avenue) are modest and involve 30 semi-detached houses targeted at key workers. These are aimed at helping young doctors, nurses, teachers and police officers who are needed in our area, but who


sometimes struggle to afford Bristol house prices. Developers listened as we suggested relocating a new play-area, and showed more understanding than highways officers who wanted to move bus stops and hamper the main bus route from Hengrove to Knowle. We will keep lobbying. In the meantime, just around the corner, anti-social behaviour has flared up again at the bottom of Newquay Rd. Chris and I shouldered our way into a multi-agency meeting that was considering the problem. We had not been notified of the meeting despite being the local councillors for the area. As usual we found pockets of good practice from different council departments and the police, but a lack of a structured and coordinated plan. Some lack of communication was woeful. It is essential to rebuild community confidence that sensible effective action is being taken. We now have promises of the detailed plan and will vet it and communicate publicly if it is up to the job. Happy Christmas everyone.



How to contact your councillor: p2

ary and I had to fight two campaigns to stop the council closing Jubilee Pool, and as well as the obvious fact that it Chris is still open, there are Davies further encouraging Lib Dem signs. A review of Knowle pool provision has confirmed that Jubilee is needed and that it is a very cost effective way of providing swimming facilities for our part of town. In addition we have asked for modest investment in a new, more efficient and reliable boiler and improved changing facilities. These suggestions were well received by officers and consultants. There was no doubt a little concern with the pool being closed for a few days, but the good news is that there was much improved communication on the reason (asbestos exposure), an efficient repair and a notification of re-opening. Thanks to all who signed petitions that have helped to move Jubilee up the agenda. I

am an enthusiastic user of the pool myself so know how valuable it is. We have also lobbied senior council management about the need for the Redcatch Community Garden to have a secure lease on the old bowling green in the park, and for the football club, at the park in Daventry Rd, to be encouraged to continue their expanding good work by being involved in the renovation of the pavilion. The club took on run-down classrooms and toilets at their Daventry Rd base and turned them into a thriving centre from which they run 17 football teams for disabled, youth, women and able-bodied teams. They are not leaving the park but need local facilities to expand into and they have already demonstrated a great track record of delivering improvements to facilities. We are fully backing this development which is of benefit to the whole community. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful 2020.

Bristol Animal Rescue Centre

Can you run a kitty-themed fundraiser? Can you believe it, we’ve been rescuing and rehoming local cats in need for 100 years, that’s some hiss-tory! Could you help us mark this pawsome milestone? We are looking for pawtastic people to join our Purr-fect Paws Club – to run a kitty-themed fundraiser! Whether a cat-themed bake sale at work, a cat dress up ‘purr-ty’ at school to a group of ‘radi-claw fur-ends’, taking on a sponsored skydive – the possibilities to get stuck in and create your own fundraising tail are endless – all aimed at raising funds for the animals in our care, now and in the future. If you’d like to join our Purr-fect Paws Club 2020, or would just like to know a bit more, please get in touch with our fundraising team today – contact or call us on 01179 803 906, we’d love to hear from you!

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January 2020




t last month’s planning committee meeting, the plans for a seventeenstory building at St. Catherine’s Jon Place near East Wellington Street were Labour discussed. The Windmill Hill proposal was, in my view, not good enough for the area, a view shared by the council’s planning officers who recommended that the committee refuse the application. The planning committee voted to defer the decision until a later date which means it could still go ahead in its current form. My concerns centre on height, which remains unacceptable to residents of nearby Windmill Hill, design, which the officers felt was too dense, and transport. The height of the main building remained the biggest problem for residents of my ward, many of whom turned up to object at the meeting. I think that a mid-rise development would be acceptable but I cannot endorse a

Windmill Hill

seventeen-storey building so close to a residential area comprising primarily two or three storey high dwellings. The local community, through the local planning groups, have stressed repeatedly that they believe tall buildings will damage the local environment, and that mid-rise development would be most acceptable to create the density required to fulfil the city’s housing needs while enhancing the local neighbourhood. I was also concerned that this application came to planning committee ahead of the publication of the transport plan for the Bedminster Green area, much like the previous application on the Pring site, which was rejected. Producing a plan for a site of this size and density is complex but the requirements of the city and the community’s transport needs must take priority so that there is overall coherence to the site. There is to be public consultation on the transport plans not just here but in the wider community, and I do not think we should approve applications until this process has been completed.

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on and I went to December’s Victoria Park Action Group meeting to find out more about the recent spate of Lucy Whittle attacks in the park. Labour The Local Beat Windmill Hill Manager reported that there had recently been a spike in assaults in the area, and there had also been several reports of anti-social behaviour and smashed wing mirrors. Police believe this is the same group of 3-5 boys. They said several names had been put forward by members of the public, and their investigation is ongoing. There are plain clothes operations, as well as increased visible patrols, and they are also hoping to use a drone. They have been speaking to all premises with CCTV, including anyone who has cameras installed outside their home, if you have CCTV, please phone 101 if you would like to help. They asked that all members of the public report all crime on 101 as

this helps investigations, as well as allocating resources. But, if you see a crime in action please phone 999, so if there are officers nearby, they can be directed to the scene immediately. As is always the case with children, once they have been identified and arrested there will be a multi-agency approach. Family intervention and youth services will work together with the children to minimise the likelihood of repeat and escalating offending. There were several people at the meeting who worked with young people and felt that this approach was essential. The assaults are being taken very seriously, but to challenge any exaggerated fears, the police confirmed a knife had only been seen on one occasion, and the “metal bar” was a thin piece of coving. Someone at the meeting felt that it was important to keep using the park. I strongly agree. Close-knit, active communities have less crime, which is why it was great to see so many people turn out on a cold December evening.




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n THE WICKED WITCH OF KNOWLE In witch I’m a potato

Hey!” cried my girlfriend, Queenie (she is the queen of absolutely everything – annoyingly so)

“Are you gymming it?” she continued in awe. I immediately felt happy. Finally, all my early morning swims at the Jubilee was becoming noticeable. I sucked it in and did the muscleman stance. “Yeah baby” I replied: “In the pool this morning. 30 lengths. I’m glad you can see the difference.” Queenie stuttered and went a little bit red before saying “well… actually, it’s the leggings and trainers that made me think…” Of course it was. Because I look no different. Yes, I can swim further and don’t feel dizzy when I get out of the pool so I must be a little bit fitter but I’m still a potato with cocktail sticks sticking out. I am Mrs Potato-head. Push me down and my arms will fly off. I am in in denial. I believe that going swimming most mornings means I can drink

wine and eat crisps without consequence. This obviously is not true.

I met up with my gym buddy Mrs Fit. We compared our round bellies, jiggling them about despondently before rolling on the gym balls, nattering about loving bad food, as we balanced precariously on our tummies, doing easy press ups. Mrs Fit confessed: “Me and Mr Fit were lying on the bed in the spare room chatting last night, We ended up staying there, drinking two bottles of prosecco and ordering a tuna pizza.” Mrs Fit is 90% vegan, so this was very naughty. Her daughters are vegan warriors and would have been horrified by this awful act of murderous eating. I had a vision of her dialling a pizza under the


duvet, sneaking down the stairs, doing a forward roll past the living room (where the vegan warriors were camped) softly opening the front door, just before the pizzaman raised his hand to knock. She would have thrown some money at him, grabbed the murder pizza and repeated the combat manoeuvre back to the safety of that spare room where she and Mr Fit would have gorged whilst giggling at their clever deception. When I put this to her, she laughed and said yes it was pretty accurate. We splashed into the medium lane at the pool. After a few quick lengths one of my familiars called out “hey, you’re certainly getting better”. I had stopped for a breather at the deep end and he floated to a stop near me. I paused, treading water. He continued. “Yes,

Who is the Wicked Witch? She’s the one doing length after length at the Jubilee and gym-balling with Mrs Fit THIS WITCH TWEETS: @witchyofknowle

you’re like a submarine” and he drifted off on his back, giving me a cheeky wink. A submarine? Submarines are huge metal monsters that stalk our ocean floors, he compared me to a large metal sausage. Why couldn’t he have said I was a dolphin or a mermaid? I chased after him as fast as my breast-stroke would allow, head ducking and bobbing up again like a periscope and my mind doing the “blip, blip, blip” noise that all submarines make. Damn it. He was right. I was a blinking metal sausage. I am doing something drastic about this. I have signed up for boot camp this month, a new year and a new me. It happens at the Armoury Women in Brislington, every Monday morning at 6.30am for 10 weeks. Jenny Drew, the trainer, is a little bit crazy, a hard task master with a dash of kindness/pity and knows all about nutrition. No more Mrs Potato-head or Mrs Submarine. I’m going to be a fit witch. Yes I am. I really am. Well… let’s see.

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n HISTORY Dinosaurs PART 1

Trampling on established wisdom

The discovery that dinosaurs once roamed in a tropical Bristol helped upend the beliefs of Victorian England, writes Paul Breeden. But the daring doctor and geologist who made the find famous were not intending to disturb the social order – far from it


HE STORY of evolution is well known and widely accepted. A couple of hundred years ago, we started digging up the fossils of creatures unlike any we see today: we called them dinosaurs. The more recent fossils looked more and more like the animals of the current era, making it seem as though animals slowly changed their forms over time. Then Charles Darwin came along and in 1859 he tied all the evidence up in a neat theory, in his book On the Origin of Species, Darwin said that the pressures of life caused creatures to evolve in different ways. This process he called natural selection: it is the idea that a creature that is better suited to its environment is more likely to survive, and so will breed more like itself, while the less fit creatures will die before they can breed. It’s a simple idea, all right, but it’s not a simple story. Darwin’s big idea didn’t just burst on the world in 1859. Sure, it caused cultural shockwaves, and even now isn’t accepted in parts of the world where rigid religious viewpoints prevail. The story of the evolution

their betters. In short, if you were well off, it was because God wanted it that way. And so, fittingly, the Bristol story of the revolution of evolution begins with the middle classes’ desire for new housing.

What was saved? The Bible says that after God sent the Flood, only the people and animals on Noah’s Ark survived. Etching by L Friedrich, Wellcome Collection debate in Bristol is fascinating. It shows that for a century before Darwin’s book, people had been debating the evidence that was being dug up from the earth. But far from this fossil evidence with being seen as revolutionary, it was promoted as being proof for the most literal interpretation of with the Bible.

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The advancement of this new science in Bristol was for the most part a very cosy process – conducted by people with money and status, talking to each other. They didn’t want to rock any boats – they wanted to prove that God was in charge of the natural order, and there was no cause for the lower classes to challenge

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IN THE 1830s, much of Clifton was nothing but a glint in a speculator’s eye. A map of the period shows Clifton Village, Cotham and Redland as scattered settlements. There were just a few houses at the upper end of Whiteladies Road, and a small number facing the Downs. The long-overdue construction of the Floating Harbour, finished in 1809, had created a problem: it caused an almighty stink by trapping sewage and silt which would otherwise have flowed out with the tide. Clifton, safe atop a windy hill, was more or less odour-free, and became the place to live for those who could afford it. But the wealthy didn’t want their homes built with cheap bricks, though nearby Bedminster produced plenty: they wanted to ape their

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January 2020



n HISTORY Dinosaurs PART 1 fashionable cousins in Bath, where Georgian builders were throwing up terraces fronted with honey-coloured Bath stone (though they were often made of bare brick at the back). In Bristol, there were handy sources of stone exposed all over Durdham Downs. In 1834, stone was being cut in a deep quarry just to the south of the Downs, behind Belgrave Terrace and off today’s Worrall Road. The quarrymen dug up some bones – but they didn’t look like any animal they could recognise. Who would know what they were? Luckily, Bristol had the very man. Just down the hill, at the bottom of Park Street, was the Bristol Institution for the Advancement of Science, Literature and the Arts. Opened in 1823, it was also home to the city’s only museum, which was one of a handful in the country. Both the Institution and the museum were attempts to put Bristol on the map, to show that the city could match the cultural and scientific achievements of London and Edinburgh – but especially upstart rivals like the manufacturing cities of the North of England. The curator at Bristol’s museum was Samuel Stutchbury. He recognised that the bones told an important story. He was far from ignorant in the field: he was the son of a London instrument maker who had himself begun to trade in natural history specimens. At the age of 22 Samuel became an assistant in the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons in London. In those days, both surgeons and natural historians showed a lively interest in the new pastime of examining fossil specimens, which had become a fashionable pursuit for the learned classes in the 18th C. At the museum, Stutchbury learned about zoology and botany as well as practical anatomy. He began to study the bones of extinct creatures – the new field called paleontology. It was the French zoologist Baron Georges Cuvier (born 1769), who was trying to classify all living things into groups, or phyla, who first decided that some fossils should be in the same classification as living species. Cuvier proposed that some fossil creatures could still be found alive – but some

Samuel Stutchbury, curator of Bristol’s first museum and codiscoverer of the Bristol dinosaur. Picture courtesy Bristol Dinosaur Project

Georges Cuvier: The French naturalist was the first to declare that some animals had become extinct – a shocking idea to Biblical literalists. Engraving by A Tardieu, 1826, Wellcome Collection.

couldn’t. Therefore, some races of creatures once on this earth had become extinct – they were no longer to be found living anywhere. The idea of extinction rapidly caught on, but it was controversial. Hadn’t the Bible said that God created Heaven and Earth, and every living thing? As it says in Genesis chapter 1 verse 25: “And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and God saw that it was good.” So God had made everything that lived. Why shouldn’t we suppose that over time He had allowed some creatures to die out, and others to replace them? Because a few pages later, in Genesis chapter 6 verse 12, we are told: “God looked upon the earth, and it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” Sin had entered the world, and God wanted to clean it up. In one of the most famous of all Bible stories, he told Noah to build a great ship – an ark – and to bring onto it two “of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.” Then God brought his Great Flood, and only Noah and his family, and the living things they had brought on the Ark, survived. Therefore – if you take the Bible at face value – fossils that appear to reveal creatures never before seen by humans are a big problem. Cuvier had his own solution to this problem. The account in Genesis was true, but it wasn’t the whole truth. There hadn’t been one Flood, but several catastrophes of different kinds, which had wiped out one species after another.


Gideon Mantell: The man who found the very first dinosaur – though it wasn’t called that at the time. Mezzotint by WT Davey, Wellcome Collection

ince the French Revolution of 1789 – and, let’s be honest, before and since – France has been regarded by the English as the source of radical and dangerous ideas. In the scientific world, another French import that aroused the same horror this side of the Channel – evolution. Yes, far from being a concept invented by Darwin, the idea had been around in one form or

another since the dawn of Greek philosophy. But in the late 18th C, Cuvier’s great rival, JeanBaptiste Lamarck, proposed two great principles of how different species came to be. First, that all living things are on a chain of complexity, with man, being the most recent, the most advanced. Second, that when creatures use or disuse an ability, they make it more likely that ability will be passed on to the next generation. Why is this dangerous? Lamarck, after all, still believed in God. But he thought that God had created the universe and sent it ticking on its way, like a complicated watch. He didn’t need to intervene from time to time to create new species out of nothing. But for many, a God that distant, who didn’t intervene in the world, was almost no God at all.


o a young man like Samuel Stutchbury the 1820s were an exciting time. Like many young scientists, he wanted to discover the wonders of the natural world, probably without worrying too much whether a bishop would approve of his conclusions. While he was living in London, before his move to Bristol, he began to meet ships landing from afar, to see if they had specimens for the surgeons’ museum. He was astute at recognising creatures that scientists had not seen before. When Gideon Mantell, a doctor and geologist, brought in some fossilised teeth which he was convinced were from an long extinct creature, but other scientists had said were from a fish or a rhinoceros, it was Stutchbury who recognised that they were similar to the teeth of the modern iguana – just 20 times larger. It was another firm pointer that extinct creatures were similar to those around today – but they differed in major ways. Following Stutchbury’s vital input, Mantell named his discovery Iguanodon. Eventually, other scientists were to accept that it wasn’t a fish, or a mammal, or a rhino. It was, in fact, the second dinosaur, after Megalosaurus had been discovered the previous year. The dinosaur that Stutchbury was to identify in Bristol in 1834 was the fourth. But that name

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n HISTORY Dinosaurs PART 1 was still many years away from being coined. In 1825, Samuel Stutchbury’s curiosity took him to the other side of the world when he won a place as ship’s zoologist on an expedition to the South Seas (see right). On his return in 1827 he made a reputation by naming almost 200 new species – then came the chance to take over in 1831 as curator at the Bristol Philosophical Institution. He grabbed it. So, back to the bones. When in 1834 the Durdham Downs quarrymen brought in their fossils, did Stutchbury confidently identify them and take the glory for himself? No, he did not. Like a true scientist, he decided he needed expertise that he did not himself possess. But who did he call? A bodysnatcher. NEXT MONTH: The bodysnatcher of Brislington, with his daring Parisian waistcoat, makes his contribution to the story of the Bristol dinosaur


Iguanadon: The second dinosaur to be discovered, named after Samuel Stutchbury realised that its fossil teeth were just like a modern iguana’s – only 20 times as large. This 19th C drawing by Jan Smit is now thought inaccurate – iguanodon doesn’t have a ‘thumb’. Picture:, Creative Commons

SAMUEL Stutchbury sailed for Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands in 1825 – six years before Charles Darwin made his famous voyage around the world in the Beagle in 1831. Both were employed as natural scientists, and were eager to make all the observations they could of new animals, birds, and fish. Neither ignored the humble species like coral and snails; both, too, looked for evidence of how the world changed over time, as shown in the rise and fall of volcanoes and the movement of rock strata. There was one major difference, however. The Beagle was on a mission of scientific discovery, and was captained by a scientist, Robert Fitzroy, who was later to more or less invent the weather forecast. Stutchbury’s voyage, though, was a money-making one – hunting for pearls. Investors willingly put their money into a well-funded voyage utilising two ships, the Sir George Osborne and the Rollo, and the latest equipment, including a diving bell. Stutchbury was appointed zoologist and surgeon to the expedition. He was told to look out for unknown species, mainly those that might be traded, such as cuttlefish “of immense size … whose tentacles are of of enormous extent”. Unlike Darwin, Stutchbury paid his way. He advised on the pearl harvest, on acquiring cargoes of arrowroot, coconut and valuable shells. But like Darwin, he also managed to gather a lifetime’s worth of experiences that would influence him for the rest of his life. His observations of corals, for example, were later quoted by Darwin himself – Stutchbury observed that coral could thrive at a much greater depth than had been thought, 130ft (40m) instead of 30ft (9m). Like Darwin, he spent years collating and drawing conclusions from the samples he collected. His collection of barnacles, which is still in Bristol museum, was used by Darwin in his studies. Unlike Darwin, Stutchbury was to return to the South Pacific. But the reputation he acquired in Sydney was, sadly, not what he deserved – as we will find out next month.


When the extraordinary happens. /BristolFostering

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January 2020





from Tim Wickstead, Bedminster Quaker Meeting

n tables in every Quaker Meeting House sit copies of Quaker Faith and Practice. This book is an attempt to express truth through the vital personal and corporate experience of Friends. Largely composed of extracts from Friends’ writings, it is described by former BBC religious affairs correspondent, Rosemary Harthill, as ‘a treasure-chest of psychological and spiritual wisdom’. Now, once in a generation, its 10th

revision since 1738 is underway. It is a bold challenge to take a hard look at ourselves, to springclean outdated clutter and listen deeply for new leadings and growing points, seeking insights from younger and more diverse people. Are we a faith fit for the 21st Century? We’ve seen growth recently at Bedminster Meeting, where adults have been led in a workshop by our children’s group to

consider responses to the climate emergency. How can we support each other tenderly in potentially difficult conversations when we’ve all made different life choices based on differing incomes and circumstances? It gives huge cause for hope in 2020 to witness the direct simplicity of young people when discussing sustainability, without needing complicated language or witty asides. ‘Every new age

is inconceivable beforehand, afterwards, inevitable,’ said the poet Marge Piercy.

Regular Services

Pastor: Matthew Norris 07967 199995 Sunday 10.30am Sunday Service; Wednesday 6pm Kids Klub; Thursday 7pm Youth club.

Henwood 0117 983 3924 • bristol. Sunday Mass 9am & 5pm Tues, Weds, Fri Mass 10am Sat Exposition 9.30am Benediction 10.15am Mass 10.30am Confession 11am

Sunday 10am Family Service; Wednesday 10am Family Communion

n Bedminster Church of Christ

298 St John’s Lane BS3 5AY Minister: Jason Snethen 07795 560990 Sunday 10am Bible Hour for all ages; 11am Worship; 5pm Worship; Tuesday 7.30pm Bible study; Thursday 10am Coffee morning; Friday 3.45-5pm After-school; 7-9.30pm Youth group.

n Bedminster Quaker Meeting House Wedmore Vale BS3 5HXClerk Gillian Smith 0117963 4712 Sunday Worship 10.45am; 2nd & 4th Sunday Children’s meeting; 2nd Sunday Shared lunch.

n Church of the Nazarene

n Holy Nativity Church Wells Road, Knowle BS4 2AG Fr Steve Hawkins 07834 462054 Facebook: Holy Nativity Knowle Sunday 10am Parish Mass; Friday 10.30am Weekday Mass.

n Knowle Methodist Church

Redcatch Road, Knowle BS4 2EP Rev Sally Spencer uk Sunday 10.30am Worship and Junior Church (Minnows for pre-school children).

n St Gerard Majella

Talbot Road, Knowle BS4 2NP Parish Priest Fr George

Broad Walk, Knowle BS4 2RD

n St Martin’s Wells Road, Knowle S4

2NG Rev Becky Waring 0117 977 6275 Facebook: stmartinschurchknowle Sunday 8.30am Holy Communion; 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays 10.30am Holy Communion; 2nd Sunday 9.30am Rise and Shine: informal service, breakfast; 6pm Holy Communion; 4th Sunday 10.30am Family Communion.

n St Michael & All Angels Vivian Street, Windmill Hill BS3 4LW Rev Andrew Doarks 0117 977 6132

Photo, Google Maps

n Totterdown Baptist Church

Wells Road BS4 2AD Sunday 10.30am Morning Service; 2nd Sunday All-age Service; 6.30pm Evening Service (entrance Sydenham Road).

n Totterdown Methodist Church

Bushy Park, Totterdown BS4 2AD Rev Sally Spencer uk Sunday Family Worship 10.30am; 1st Sunday Sunday School.

n Victoria Park Baptist Church Sylvia Avenue BS3 5DA 0117 977 2484

Sunday 10.30am Service with groups for all ages; coffee 11.30am. 2nd Sunday Parade Service; 3rd Sunday Communion.

Christmas at your local churches Bedminster Church of Christ

Christingle service, 6.00pm

298 St John’s Lane, BS3 5AY SUNDAY DECEMBER 22 Carol service, 5pm TUESDAY DECEMBER 24 Christmas Eve family devotional, 7.30pm WEDNESDAY JANUARY 1 New Year’s Day service, 10.30am with refreshments to follow

Totterdown Methodist Church

Church of the Nazarene

Victoria Park Baptist Church

Broad Walk, Knowle BS4 2RD CHRISTMAS EVE Advent Spiral: A journey with the nativity, 3.30pm CHRISTMAS DAY Christmas Day service, 10.30am

Knowle Methodist Church Redcatch Road, Knowle BS4 2EP

SUNDAY DECEMBER 22 Christmas communion service, 10.30am SUNDAY DECEMBER 22 Carol service followed by refreshments, 6pm TUESDAY DECEMBER 24 Crib service, 4.30pm WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 25

Bushy Park, Totterdown BS4 2AD TUESDAY DECEMBER 24 Crib service, 5pm WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 25 Christmas Day service, led by Robert Wallace, 10.30am

Christmas Day celebrations led by Rev Sally Spencer, 10am

St Gerard Majella

Talbot Road, Knowle BS4 TUESDAY DECEMBER 24 Vigil mass of Christmas, children are invited to come dressed as biblical characters, 6m WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 25 Midnight mass of the nativity of the Lord with carols, 12am Christmas Day mass with carols, 10am

THURSDAY DECEMBER 26 Mass feast of St Stephen, 10am FRIDAY DECEMBER 27 Mass Feast of St John, 10am SATURDAY DECEMBER 28 Mass Feast of the Holy Innocents, 10am SUNDAY DECEMBER 29 Mass Feast of the Holy Family, 9am & 5pm

St Peters Methodist Church Allison Road, Brislington, BS4 4NZ TUESDAY DECEMBER 24

Sylvia Avenue BS3 5DA SUNDAY DECEMBER 22 Morning carol service, 10.30am SUNDAY DECEMBER 22 Carols by candlelight, 6.307.30pm MONDAY DECEMBER 24 Time for friendship and calm before the big day, 2-4pm TUESDAY DECEMBER 25 Christmas morning service (bring your favourite gift) SUNDAY DECEMBER 29 Christmas communion service, 10.30am

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January 2020





When selection logic leaves fans baffled MARTIN POWELL says good performances against Huddersfield and Fulham should have been a pointer to more success ... but Millwall proved everyone wrong


o relax, when I don’t have much else to do, I like to play a bit of “football manager”. I’m not talking here about anything involving a screen or a games console. That version seems to involve a lot of thumb twiddling in front of some graphs and charts. Pretty soon you can buy the Real Madrid front line, put them in the Bristol City team and next thing you know you can beat Accrington Stanley 9-0 at Wembley Stadium. No, my version dates back to the 1970s before the internet was invented. It involves sitting quietly thinking about the last few Bristol City games, the players available in the squad and picking the side for the next game. Sometimes it is tough. But when the team put in a great performance against Huddersfield - who just last season were in the Premier League - scoring five goals, it was easy to just pick the same players. When those players then put in a fantastic performance at third placed

Fulham, also in the Premier League last year, to clinch three points it was a no-brainer to stick with them again. A rainy night against Millwall, who are a competent but pretty average Championship team proved me, and the real football manager Lee Johnson, wrong. Many Bristol City fans probably thought that after those two great performances City had finally found a side that can romp through the Championship. Sadly, it is more complicated than that. After 80 minutes of lacklustre passing the team suddenly remembered what they had been doing for the last couple of games and there was an exciting finale, but too little too late and the game was lost 1-2. Hopefully, lessons will be learned. In my view this team play best when there is a lot more movement. They are speedy and skilful but you don’t do that standing still. Also, they need to remember that the object is to score goals. When we have a free kick just inside the opposition

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The Millwall game was a disappointment for City fans half it should always be played a living, nobody fires you for forward – not sideways to a getting it wrong in my version. player in no better position. Millwall’s second goal proved the point. They basically just lumped it into the box for their Martin’s shorts tall centre-half Jake Cooper to City’s FA Cup game against get his head on it. City had half a Shrewsbury will kick off at dozen free kicks where they could 12.31 on Saturday January 4. have done the same – instead That is the oddest time ever they passed it around causing no for a kick off and it is part of a danger. campaign by charity Heads Up Thankfully the fans aren’t to get us all to “take a minute” required to pick the team and to think about our mental everyone will have an opinion. health. A worthy campaign, In January the calculation will I’m sure, but let’s not think too inevitably change again as there long about the sanity of going are likely to be new signings and out in the bitter chill of January maybe a player or two will leave. to watch a game involving That is the fun of the old Shrewsbury in a competition version of football manager. It City haven’t got to the final in is constantly changing and you for more than 100 years. never quite master it. Thankfully, unlike those who do this for

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Griffin Electrical Established 1984




• Rewiring • Minor alterations • Security Lighting & Alarms

All Garden Works Undertaken All Foliage Removed – Roots Destroyed Patios Laid – Slabbing – Decking Block Paving – Graveling – Wood Chippings Fencing – All Clearance Jobs Undertaken General Building – Garden Walls etc Drives & Patios Jetwashed & Resealed

SPECIAL RATES FOR OAPS I work even cheaper if you supply the tea! |


01275 832830 07831 534766

For a FREE quote call 07960 681 921

NICEIC Approved Contractor  Member of



ALSO•Pigeons •Moles •Squirrels •Gulls •Bed-bugs •Ants •Fleas •Flies •Moths •Wasps




Taps, Washers Toilets, Cisterns Leaks, Blockages Tanks, Overflows Lead Pipes, Stopcocks….etc… OAP DISCOUNTS and NO VAT


956 4475 RECORDS


LOCAL PLUMBER • TAPS • WASHERS Sash window specialist


• Renovation • Draughtproofing • Double glazing • Repairs • Painting


07736 229727

0117 9564912 0117 **NO VAT**


We can fit double glazing to your sash windows! SnugSash WASTE DISPOSAL

Garden, Clearance House, Garden, Office Clearance House,House, Garden, OfficeOffice Clearance


Wigs Bristol

House, Garden, Office Clearance - all Plus all other Plus All Your Other Waste Removal Needs too! House, Garden, Office Clearance -- Plus other House, Garden, Office Clearance Plus all other Plus Your Other Waste Removal Needs too! Plus All All Your Other Waste Removal Needs too! On-average Average cheaper than a skip. On cheaper than aa skip. On Average cheaper than skip. removal On average cheaper waste removal --Average On cheaper than aa skip wastewaste removal On average cheaper than than skipa skip

Tel: 07592 003 Tel: 07592 506 003003 Tel: 07592 506 Tel: 07592 506506 003 1/4 Load 1/4 £89 1/4 Load Load £89 £89 Half Half £139 Half Load Load Load £139£139 3/4 Load 3/4 £179 3/4 Load Load £179£179 Full Load Full £199 Full Load Load £199£199


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

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South Bristol Voice Totterdown - January 2020  

South Bristol Voice Totterdown - January 2020