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southbristolvoice March 2018 No. 34

We Sell and Let Property Like Yours

Refreshes the parts social media cannot reach

FREE EVERY MONTH in Totterdown, Knowle and Windmill Hill WIN INSIDE PLUS


First the big stink, then a big shake SOUTH Bristol was set abuzz by two incidents that had the whole area mystified – first a terrible smell, and then, days later, the earth shook. Both were completely unconnected, of course. But while the earthquake of February 17 was quickly explained, the big stink of February 7 was not. The Voice was alerted to reports on Facebook on the evening of February 7 that a heavy smell of rotten eggs could be sensed over a wide area, from Hartcliffe, through Knowle and Totterdown to Brislington. Taking advice from Wales & West Utilities, the Voice posted warnings that it could be a major gas leak. Several teams of gas engineers Continued on page 3

FREE cake or pudding at the Park Centre Page 4

Votes for us!

• Renewed calls for parking zone Page 3

• Why Ashley felt he had to suffer Page 4

• Fears for low-rated Jubilee pool Page 5 • A new secondary school for Knowle ? Page 7 Totterdown Centre latest Page 14 STOP PRESS Children at Hillcrest primary drew cheers when the whole school marched through Totterdown to celebrate the centenary of votes for women. MORE PICTURES: page 36

AS THE Voice went to press, the council released its Local Plan Review, with several major proposals for South Bristol. Extracts are on pages 24-25

We’re truly local & proudly independent…



2 Paul Breeden Editor & publisher 07811 766072 Ruth Drury Sales executive 07590 527664 Editorial team: Beccy Golding, Alex Morss, Martin Powell & The Wicked Witch. Deliveries: Greg Champion


TOO MANY HURDLES IF THE council really thinks that Residents Parking Schemes are an effective way of managing our roadspace, it had better come up with a better method for introducing them. When Marvin Rees was elected mayor in 2016, he said no RPS schemes would be introduced unless there was convincing local backing. Fair enough. But it turns out that meeting council guidance to decide whether enough residents do want parking restrictions looks pretty well impossible. Councillors ae supposed to provide convincing proof that a majority of residents in an area

You can find South Bristol Voice on Facebook and Twitter southbristolvoice Twitter: @sbristolvoice Next month’s deadline for editorial and advertising is March 14th want an RPS. But they mustn’t ask directly, “Do you want an RPS or not?” That sounds crazy, but the council apparently doesn’t want this “informal” consultation confused with a referendum. In fact, councillors are supposed to undertake two stages of consultation, gathering opinions and informing residents of all the costs and benefits of RPS. This could take over a year, councillors are warned. If a need for RPS is proved, – and funding can be found – two further stages of consultation by council officials will follow. The final stage, issuing and consulting on a traffic regulation order, or TRO, can take 18 months. Not a quick fix, then.



ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT GETTING AN ELECTRIC CAR? Did you know that grants are available to fit a charging point at your home? Subject to a survey of your electrical system, the installation of an electric vehicle charging point could be cheaper than you think. Call us today on 0117 972 1745 to arrange a FREE initial consultation.

Also, allow us to explain the benefits of • SOLAR PANELS • ENERGY EFFICIENT LIGHTING Email: 247 Redcatch Road, Bristol BS4 2HQ Tel: 0117 972 1745

March 2018

n LEARN more about the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol’s most famous land mark, with Knowle and Totterdown Local History Society. A talk, entitled My First Love, My Darling, by Gordon Young, is followed by two of Gordon’s local short films. It’s at Redcatch community centre, Redcatch Road, Knowle, at 7.30pm on Friday March 9. Members £1.50, visitors £3. • knowleandtotterdownhistory. n KNOWLE Constitutional Club on Wells Road is now open on Thursdays from 7.30-11pm. Membership is £25/year or non-members can pay £1 a night. A pub quiz takes place at 8.30pm on Thursday March 1.




n BRIEFLY n MATTIE Reynolds, the Knowle teenager who brought home several gold medal from the World Award Games in Canada last August, can be seen on TV this month. The BBC’s Inside Out West at 7.30pm on March 12 will feature Mattie and the challenges his short stature bring him in everyday life.

March 2018

More fundraising events to help fix the roof including a Bangers and Mash Night on March 8 and a jumble sale on March 10 from 2-5pm. The committee meet at the club on Thursdays and would like to hear from local community groups who may want to use the club for meetings. • Facebook: Knowle Constitutional Club n SPARKE Evans park, the small open space near Arnos Vale and next to the New Cut, has a new Friends group. members have already organised a litter pick which collected a large quantity of rubbish. More litter picks and events are planned. • Facebook: Friends of Sparke Evans Park n WINNERS of the Valentines competitions in the February edition of South Bristol Voice have been drawn from our virtual hat. Claire McFadden of Knowle won the meal and gift from Frankie Loves Ava and dinewithi. Winner of a meal for two from Desi was Leanne Morgan of Totterdown.

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: A surgery will be held on Friday March 2, 16 and 30. Call 0117 953 3575 for an appointment. My councillor? Post: You can write to all councillors at Brunel House, St George’s Road, Bristol BS1 5UY Christopher Davies Lib Dem, Knowle

Email: Cllr.Christopher.Davies@ Gary Hopkins Lib Dem, Knowle (Lib Dem leader) Email: Phone: 0117 985 1491 or 07977 512159 Lucy Whittle Labour, Windmill Hill Phone: 07392 108805 Email: Jon Wellington Labour, Windmill Hill Phone: 07392 108804 Email:

USEFUL NUMBERS Bristol City Council   0117 922 2000 Waste, roads 0117 922 2100 Pest control and dog wardens 0117 922 2500 Council tax 0117 922 2900 Housing benefit 0117 922 2300 Social services  0117 922 2900

Police Inquiries 101 Emergency 999 Fire   Emergency 999 Inquiries  0117 926 2061 NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUMS Windmill Hill meeting Wednesday Feburary 28, 7pm, Victoria Park Baptist church, Sylvia Avenune.

EDITOR’S NOTE: South Bristol 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 strive to conform to the NUJ Code of Conduct for journalists: • Feedback is welcomed: call editor Paul Breeden on 07811 766072 or email All stories and pictures are copyright of South Bristol Voice (unless otherwise stated) and may not be reproduced without permission in this or any other plane of the multiverse. South Bristol Voice Ltd | 18 Lilymead Avenue, Bristol BS4 2BX

To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664

First the big stink, then the big shake Continued from page 1 were called out and could find no evidence of a gas escape, however. The smell eventually spread over much of the city and has not been successfully explained. The most likely theory is that it was manure on a farm. One report said a Dundry farm caught fire, spreading the smell, but the fire service had no reports of a blaze in the area. The earthquake at 2.30pm on February 17 was more easily

traced. It was a 4.4 magnitude quake centred near Neath, South Wales, said the British Geological Survey. It was a big quake by UK standards, felt as far away as Liverpool. Houses shook and Bristolians asked each other what was going on. “I was in my loft and the whole house was shaking, very weird feeling,” posted one woman on BS4 Connect on Facebook. “My wall and my bed started

shaking – was really freaky!” said another. Emergency services in Bristol made several visits after complaints of damage but no significant damage was found. With typical Bristol humour, pictures were posted of an upset garden chair and a tea light slightly askew. The British Geological Survey said the UK experiences a similar quake about every four years. The severest symptoms noted were “strong shaking”.

Clamour grows for resident parking zone in Totterdown CALLS to set up a resident parking scheme in Totterdown have widened, with more people saying restrictions are needed now. Many residents from Totterdown to Windmill Hill and Knowle report commuters arriving in their roads in the morning, leaving their cars in South Bristol and then walking to work. A parking scheme would give residents a permit to park in their street for a fee of around £50 a year. There is a sliding scale on which low-emissions cars are free while second vehicles cost £96 and a third £192 a year. The permits don’t guarantee there will be a space, but they do mean non-residents can’t park in a residents’ bay. It had been assumed that calls for RPS would only grow when the arena was built or development started in earnest at Temple Meads, but it appears many residents are fed up already. One Totterdown mum, heavily pregnant and with a baby to carry, said she had driven around lower Totterdown for 30 minutes before giving up and parking on a yellow line. “I got another parking ticket. Between the commuters, mosque attendees and pub frequenters, the residents have no chance,” she wrote on an online petition. The petition states: “Parking during the day throughout the week and at weekends is becoming very difficult for residents of Totterdown

Frustrating: Residents capture rogue parking in Totterdown anywhere near the Wells Road. This is because commuters and shoppers use our area as a free car park. Often, if you move your car in the morning, especially during rush hour, there is nowhere to park remotely near your house when you come back.” The petition started among residents of Bellevue Road but its appeal has clearly spread. It has 37 signatures at a recent count. There are many hurdles before RPS can be brought in. Local councillors are supposed to gauge support in each area, but Cllr Jon Wellington describes the difficulties in his Voice column on page 35. Councillors are given no funds to conduct a proper survey and, bizarrely, they have been told not to ask residents directly if they want an RPS or not. Councillors are expected to “confirm the number of households wanting an RPS” and “prove there is consensus for a new RPS from all ward councillors”.

Cllr Wellington said that half the calls he gets from residents are about parking, but adds: “There is nothing immediate I can do about this, and all I can do is share their frustrations.” He wrote: “Unfortunately, the council’s view on new RPSs is that there has to be an overwhelming demand for one, and that local councillors need to lead a consultation with local residents. The consultation has to be conducted on a professional level that is way beyond the time and expertise available to us.” The University of Bristol has offered money towards a parking scheme as a spin-off from its £300m new campus at Temple Meads. But any action is clearly a long way off. • Your councillors: Page 35 • Petition:

New forum for Windmill Hill A NEW public forum for Windmill Hill gets under way on Wednesday February 28. It will be hosted at by councillors Jon Wellington and Lucy Whittle at Victoria Park Baptist church on the corner of Sylvia Avenue and St Johns Lane. Cllr Wellington said he wants to draw attention to St Lukes Road, where the speed of drivers, weight of traffic, pedestrian and cyclist safety and the narrow bridge, all need to be discussed. The Labour councillors issued a statement saying: “Why do we need this? Windmill Hill is a great area with many thriving local groups, individuals and organisations. “It’s larger than you think, running all the way from Bath Road across to Marksbury Road, takes in several fabulous parks and open spaces, has some major roads running through it and some large planning decisions being made on areas close to the ward boundaries. The councillors want to bring you together on common themes to help decide local priorities.” The meeting could help influence where spin-off money from developers is spent – known as Section 106 or CIL funding. Knowle councillors Chris Davies and Gary Hopkins recently held a similar meeting. Councillors have been forced to host their own forums after the council stopped funding neighbourhood meetings in 2017. You can email Jon and Lucy at

Got a story or any other inquiry? Call Paul on 07811 766072 or email



n NEWS Women offered an antidote to ‘mansplaining’ PROFESSIONAL women can hear about research which shows how their careers may be hindered by the different ways men and women communicate. A seminar is being held at the Spielman centre in Arnos Vale cemetery on March 6 “for any woman who has ever been mansplained to, interrupted, got an eye roll for asking a question, been generally misunderstood, and not always heard at work.” It’s run by Jane Woods, author of a confidence boosting course for women, RenewYou, and managing director of Changing People, a business dedicated to gender equality. The two-hour session costs £49.50. It’s followed by another event on April 17 on women’s use of language and body tics that may be holding them back. •

Broadwalk plan A PUBLIC meeting should be held to discuss plans to build 300 homes on top of the Broadwalk shopping centre, councillors said. Cllrs Gary Hopkins and Chris Davies met representatives of Moorfields, owners of the Knowle centre, on February 15. The plans are at an early stage and any meeting is likely to be some months away. The old library and the garage in Redcatch Road would be the first part of the scheme to be redeveloped, with work targeted to start in September 2019.

March 2018


Ashley sets challenges to make his life uncomfortable

A STUDENT from Knowle has set himself the most uncomfortable challenges he can think of to broaden his life experiences and raise money for charity. Ashley Webster, from Marston Road, has already endured having his body hair pulled off while outdoors on a freezing winter’s day. He’s cycled from Bristol to Bath – always an energetic feat, but much more difficult on a unicycle! But it’s the tasks that are socially awkward that are especially difficult – such as his decision to stop five people in Castle Park and pay them a compliment. “I said to one woman passing, ‘That looks like a nice warm coat, where did you get it?’ and she just looked at me!” said Ashley. The challenge he is dreading most is to stand up in the student library at UWE – normally a deathly-silent room full with more than 100 students – and tell a bad joke. Ashley told the Voice how his idea to stretch his horizons came about: “My 25th birthday is coming up on April 1 and I was thinking what I could do that’s a bit different. I made a list of 25 things I have never done – some of them I didn’t want to do! The whole list is about seeing how far I can go outside my comfort zone.” Ashley is raising money for Pencils of Promise, a US charity

which believes education is the best way to change the world, and has funded 400 primary schools in countries from South East Asia to Central America. He chose the cause after visiting Thailand last year to help teach sports at a primary school. It was a life-changing experience – he is studying event management at UWE, but now he’s thinking of how he can use his qualification in the field of international development. If you’d like to support Ashley’s appeal go to • Ashley-Webster6

March 2018

Ow, ow, ow! Ashley submits to having his body hair removed for charity on a freezing cold day outside Tesco in Totterdown

ASHLEY’S CHALLENGES Some of Ashley’s 25 tasks • Give free roses on Valentine’s Day dressed as Cupid; • Answer yes to each question for 24 hours; • Cycle 220 miles from Bristol to Lands End; • Compliment five strangers; • DJ a hip-hop set at a fancy dress party; • Volunteer at a soup kitchen.


Action plan plea from supporters of Jubilee pool THE FRIENDS of Knowle’s Jubilee Pool have spoken out against plans which seem to indicate it will not stay open for longer than five years. The council’s Sport and Active Recreation Facility strategy suggests that the pool will not merit future investment once the current contract with operator Parkwood Leisure ends in 2022. Consultation on the strategy ended on February 20. The document sparked anger in Knowle, coming less than a year after a huge campaign to save it when its £60,000 council subsidy was axed last September. The council strategy says: “The impact of a potential future closure of Jubilee would be mitigated by the opening of the proposed new pool in Keynsham with most of the demand being met by this newer and larger pool within the catchment of existing users of the Jubilee Pool.” The study also rated Jubilee worst of all Bristol’s pools for facilities, access and parking, scoring only two out of five. A spokesperson for the Friends said: “Over 6,000 users signed the petition to keep our pool open last year, demonstrating how important this facility is to our community. We want to ensure that it is not threatened with closure again.


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Eco home open

a large wooden deck. It’s been designed with the help of Knowle West Media Centre to show how low-energy homes can be built cheaply in the community. It’s open to visitors every Thursday, 2-6.30pm. •

AN ECO-HOME in Knowle is open to visitors. The We Can Make test home beside Filwood Community Centre on Barnstaple Road has walls made of straw bales, triple-glazed windows and

“Jubilee Pool serves so many protected groups for whom there are no viable alternative swimming solutions. It is senseless to suggest that people can travel to Hengrove or Keynsham if it closes.” The Friends now plan to hold a public meeting in April or May to discuss the pool’s future. They want to draw up a joint action plan between Parkwood and the council to address maintenance issues and develop “a sustainable strategy”. On the Save Jubilee Pool Facebook page, one swimmer noted that there is a note on a broken bench in the changing rooms saying a new bench has been ordered – but the note has been there for two years. Others noted that several broken showers have not been fixed. Bristol Parkwood Leisure said: “We PILATES fitness remain firmly committed to the successful operation of Jubilee pool, which is being run by our partner Lex Leisure, a community interest company. The Lex team continues to promote the pool and gym and we encourage the community to use the facilities. “We are aware of some outstanding maintenance issues and these will be addressed as a priority. The gym will also be redecorated.” • Facebook: Save Jubilee Pool Bristol

Landlords may have to get a licence to rent out a home SHARED homes that are rented out in parts of South Bristol could become part of a licensing scheme in a drive to raise standards. Bristol City Council is consulting on proposals to licence landlords who rent out houses or flats that are let to three or more people who aren’t related and who share facilities like kitchens or bathrooms. Larger homes, known as HMOs or houses in multiple occupation, already have to be licensed by law. The new rule would cover

Windmill Hill ward, which includes Totterdown and parts of Knowle, and Southville ward, as well as 10 other wards near the city centre. The council says licensing in Easton has been successful in driving up standards. Landlords would have to pay a fee for a five-year licence and could be forced to make improvements to their homes. To have your say on the idea, fill in the online survey, emailing or call 0117 922 2066. •



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March 2018





Bristol’s arena planning is branded ‘a shambles’

Climbdown from year-long road closure

SOUTH Bristol looks increasingly unlikely to benefit from the jobs and investment that would be brought by siting the Bristol arena at Temple Meads. Despite calls from South Bristol politicians for the plan to be kept on the table, signs are growing that the arena will be built at the Brabazon hangar in Filton. YTL, the Malaysian firm which owns Wessex Water, has offered to build the arena in Filton without public money. Mayor Marvin Rees has ordered a review into which

option is best and a decision is expected in April. When quizzed about the Arena Island site on a visit to Windmill Hill last month, the mayor said it could be used for a conference centre or five-star hotel. Meanwhile, Cardiff unveiled plans for a second arena for the Welsh capital – a 15,000 seat venue to be started in two years. Property consultant Tim Davies, head of South West and Wales for Colliers International, said the Cardiff decision exposed the “shambles” in Bristol “where there is still no arena after over a

A THREATENED road closure near Victoria Park has been scaled back after protests. Monmouth Street, a narrow street off St John’s Lane, was set to be closed along almost half its length to allow developer SJL Property to build nine houses on a former car sales plot. The new homes would mostly be facing St John’s Lane, but because that road is so busy and congested, planners allowed the

Most people support 20mph zones: survey

Lower speed limit is saving Bristol lives and money, says UWE study

A REVIEW will start in the spring into whether any of Bristol’s 20mph speed limits need to be changed, after an academic study found the lower limits had been a success. A report by the University of the West of England found that speeds on 100 roads surveyed reduced by an average of 2.7 mph to between 19mph and 26mph. UWE says the changes, made in 2014 and 2015, have prevented 4.53 fatalities, 11.3 serious injuries and 159.3 slight injuries each year. The accidents avoided contribute to an estimated saving of £15 million a year. This is five times more than the one-off cost of the new restrictions of £2.8m. Walking and cycling across Bristol has increased, both



among children travelling to school and commuting. The introduction of 20mph speed limits in Bristol offers a model for other towns and cities, say the UWE researchers. Cllr Mhairi Threlfall, Bristol city council’s cabinet member for transport, said: “The results from this report are a positive indication that lower speeds are making it safer to get around in

decade of inertia and lack of decision.” Bristol South Labour MP Karin Smyth, a long-term backer of putting the arena next to Temple Meads, told the Voice: “I’m keen that the need to rebalance the city and the social and economic benefits for Bristol South are taken into account when considering the best site for the arena. “Filton remains inaccessible for many people living in Bristol South, meaning that they will not be able to share in the wealth of job and apprenticeship

Bristol. What we need to establish is where 20mph appears to be working and where it may not be as effective.” The change enjoys majority support according to YouGov surveys – 62 per cent for residential roads and 72 per cent for busy streets. Strangely, many Bristolians think that 20mph limits aren’t supported by a majority of the city, even though

opportunities that the arena would bring, or indeed, access the cultural offer at the city’s arena. “If the move goes ahead then we need clear, focused plans for alternative investment that delivers these benefits.” Lib Dem leader Gary Hopkins said that YTL had already hired much of the senior talent which would be needed to build an arena. Barra Mac Ruairi was in charge of the arena and other major projects for the council until he left last May for a job at YTL. the polls show otherwise. There is also a widespread feeling that the new limits are not enforced by police, or observed by other drivers. Almost 40 per cent thought there were too many 20mph streets. Overall, in the Inner South zone, which includes South Bristol, only 12 per cent of residents feel drivers have cut their speed on local main roads. Across the rest of the city, only 19-25 per cent think speeds have reduced on main roads. However, between 77 and 88 per cent back the lower limit in their own road. Councillors will lead an eight-week review of 20mph zones in their areas. Any changes to speed limits would take several months. Cllr Jon Wellington told the Voice he would “strongly oppose” the removal of any 20mph zones in his ward. • analysis


HERE are 1.3 million pet rabbits in the UK, making them the country’s third most popular pet. They are often classed as exotic species due to their unique health requirements and as such it is always wise to seek out a rabbit savvy vet for your pet. For instance, unlike cats and dogs, rabbits’ teeth grow constantly and unless the rabbit is fed a high fibre diet (predominantly grass and hay) to help them grind them down, their teeth will keep growing and develop spurs that dig into the soft tissue in the mouth. This causes pain and a rabbit will often

no longer want to eat certain types of food, or any food at all. Dental disease in rabbits can also do more complex things like damage the tear duct or nasal passages of the rabbit. This is just one of the reasons why specialist treatment is often sought for rabbits by their owners. It is important to see a vet that understands the complex disease processes that can occur in these seemingly uncomplicated pets. Rabbits also need lots of space. Without good mobility they can develop skeletal problems, obesity and sores on their feet. Even

though it is a common way of keeping rabbits, a conventional hutch is not enough. Rabbits should always be housed in pairs in a minimum of 6ft x 2ft to provide enough space for them to make at least three hops and stretch right out. They should also be able to stand on their back legs without their ears touching the roof. Rabbits need lots of exercise and, ideally, their house should be attached to a minimum of an 8ft run. Highcroft Veterinary Group’s exotic species department provides specialist care for rabbits and other exotic species and we are proud to

Sonya Miles BVSc CertAVP MRCVS Exotic Species Veterinary Surgeon Whitchurch Veterinary Surgery be one of only a handful of practices in the UK to have been awarded Gold Status by the Rabbit Welfare Association and Fund.

To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664

developer to use Monmouth Street for access. It would have meant closing the street to the depth of the old car plot for about a year. Resident John French said the closure would cause huge problems. Neighbours would have nowhere to park and they would face disruption from lorries turning in the narrow road, where all of the houses open directly on to the pavement.

After intervention by Labour Cllr Jon Wellington, the council has suggested a compromise plan. The developer appears to have agreed to close only the end of the street, obstructing just one house, allowing half of the road’s width to remain open along the rest of the street. Mr French said this was still not good enough. SJL should open the street at both ends and put up one-way signs, he said.

Could Knowle be given a new secondary school after all? A NEW secondary school for Knowle is back on the agenda – a year after proposals by Bristol Grammar school were rejected by the Department for Education. The Voice understands the new proposal is at an early stage but it is being explored by council officials and in Whitehall. The need for new secondary places in South Bristol is not disputed – there could be a shortage of space for Year 7 pupils as soon as next year. Cllr Gary Hopkins told the Voice: “There’s a need in Knowle, and that’s what we are pushing for. We desperately need secondary school places and that’s been backed up by education officials.” He wouldn’t reveal the name of the education provider which is behind the idea. Cllr Hopkins, Lib Dem member for Knowle, accepts that the new school could probably not be ready by September 2019, but believes that the quicker plans are laid the better. “The need is fairly urgent but it gets more urgent as time goes on,” he said. Bristol Grammar School had broad local support for their proposal for a 1,000-pupil secondary school in Knowle. They agreed not to site it at the Park centre, which would have displaced a host of small businesses and community activities. The Park was part of Merrywood secondary school until it closed in 2000. The shortfall in school places

Oasis John Williams: Expected to be site of a new school. Now it seems Knowle could get one too in South Bristol was meant to be taken up by the Oasis academy chain. The London-based Christian education group was given approval for two new schools last spring, at the same time Bristol Grammar was told its plan had been refused. Oasis was given the green light to build a new secondary, Oasis South Bristol, next to its existing John Williams academy in Hengrove. It would have six entry forms, and an eventual total of 900 pupils. It is supposed to open in September 2019, but it’s not clear if that plan is on track. Another new school, Oasis Temple Quarter, could be built somewhere in the St Philip’s area, to serve both East and South Bristol. It was originally supposed to open in September 2018, but that looks unlikely, as no site has been identified. As well as a secondary school, Bristol Grammar had proposed a new primary school for Knowle – a factor which ruffled feathers among the area’s existing primary schools, where standards have risen steeply in recent years. The Voice had received no comment from the council at the time of going to press.

Kickstart to spring season of movies THE BRISTOL Film Festival, which shows films in locations appropriate to the movie, kicks its spring season into action in South Bristol on March 1 at Fowlers motorcycle showroom. The bike racing documentary On Any Sunday features Steve McQueen. Other nearby screenings include the Underground Cinema at Redcliffe Caves from March 9-11. The historic tunnels are transformed into a military bunker for screenings of cult hits including Pulp Fiction, Mulholland Drive, Labyrinth and Do The Right Thing. There are also morning screenings of vintage horrorthrillers Cape Fear and Peeping Tom. Other locations include Bristol Cathedral and Avery’s wine cellars. •

What do you want your glasses to say about you? Find your own personal style in the

2018 Collection 182a Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol BS4 2AL Telephone: 0117 977 6330 Book at

Got a story or any other inquiry? Call Paul on 07811 766072 or email

March 2018



n NEWS Plan for bike hangars in the balance

March 2018


n NEWS Alzheimer café

ANYONE with an interest in supporting people with Alzheimer’s is invited to help out at South Bristol’s Alzheimers Café. Held

KNOWLE councillors were due to meet council officials just after the Voice went to press to discuss controversial plans to construct two bike storage units in Somerset Road. Cllrs Chris Davies and Gary Hopkins were to meet officers from the city’s Cycling Ambition Fund on February 20. Petitions for and against the bike hangars have been sent to the council. Opponents believe they will take up valuable parking space and do little to increase the number of people cycling. Those in favour of the hangars – which would take up the space of two cars, and store six cycles each – say it is important to encourage people out of their cars in every way possible. The latest suggested locations for the hangars are near 70-72 Somerset Road and 1 Harrowdene Road.

monthly at Monica Wills House in Bedminster, it is a gathering for people with dementia and their families, friends and carers. There are talks, refreshments and music. The volunteers

greet café guests, act as friendly hosts at café tables, and staff an information stall. The next event is from 2-4pm on March 26. To find out more email Wendy.

Hundreds of opportunities for South Bristol jobseekers HUNDREDS of young job seekers from across South Bristol and beyond are expected to attend a jobs and apprenticeship fair arranged with the support of MP Karin Smyth. South Bristol Skills Academy in Hengrove will open its doors from 12 noon-5.30pm on Thursday March 8. Employers present will include Kier Construction, Bristol Airport, Greene King, Marriott Hotels and Bristol Water among others. “Improving prospects for young people living in my

constituency is one of my key priorities,” said Karin. “Quality apprenticeships mean you can earn while learn. They can open up new opportunities.” Apprenticeships are available to people aged 16 or older with a minimum of 5 GCSEs. They combine paid work with training and last between one and five years. They offer a minimum apprenticeship wage of £3.70 an hour to those under the age of 20 and National Minimum Wage for older apprentices (between £5.90 and £7.83 depending on age).

The Labour MP first organised a jobs fair in 2017. It attracted 30 exhibitors and over 400 young people, many of whom went on to undertake apprenticeships. “My apprenticeship gave me the inspiration I need for a great career,” said apprentice Casey Abrams, from City of Bristol College. “I feel motivated to train to become a business administration assessor so that I can help others achieve their aspirations, just like I did.” • Your MP: Page 46

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Council tax set to rise 5%; no extra hike for richest THE CITY council was due to set its budget on February 20 – just after the Voice went to press. The ruling Labour group was backing £34.5 million of savings and a five per cent increase in council tax – the maximum allowed without a referendum of all the city’s voters. The left-wing Labour group Momentum wants council tax doubled for owners of the most valuable Band H properties. This would hike their council tax bill from £3,600 to £10,800. Momentum would also raise parking charges, introduce a congestion charge and bring in a tourist tax, altogether saving

almost £26m, it claimed. Mayor Marvin Rees does not favour a referendum, perhaps calculating it would be hard to win, as affluent voters are the most likely to turn out in local polls. The Lib Dems say they could invest an extra £6m in libraries, £6m in primary schools and £1.9

A SKEWED SYSTEM MOST political parties blame Government grant cuts for the huge deficit faced by Bristol. But the council tax system itself is skewed. If Bristol agrees a five per cent rise, the council tax bill for an average Band D property in the

in social care. They propose axing £50m in council borrowing which they say is unneeded and will saddle the council with years of expensive debt payments. The Greens want to see a congestion charge, scrap free parking for councillors and introduce a tourist tax – an idea city would rise by £77 to £1,876. Yet in affluent Westminster – where the council rakes in huge amounts in business rates – even the wealthiest citizens don’t pay this much. The top Band H council tax in Westminster is £1,376 – for a property worth millions of pounds.

they share with Momentum. The Greens also back a hike in council tax for the better off – though it’s not clear by how much. The Conservatives, in contrast, want to impose council tax on all working households, cut £810,000 from the public relations budget and close the city’s office in Brussels, saving £151,000. With £5m raised from council tax, the cuts to libraries, parks and community grants could be halted, it says. Traditionally, the budget meeting is full of noise and fury, but few, if any, of the opposition amendments to the budget are accepted.

Library cuts: Is the council considering all the options to save more branches? THE FUTURE of Bristol’s library network is in the balance with the council’s Labour leadership denying that any decision has been made which effectively condemns 17 of the 27 libraries. Cuts proposed last year to shut all but 10 of the libraries are on hold and a review, intended to save as many branches a possible, is due to report some time in the spring. The city’s Lib Dems claim Labour is not considering all the options. They want the council to look at spreading its library staff throughout the branch network, with volunteers to support them. This could save most of the libraries, they say. Lib Dem leader Gary Hopkins claimed that the council is only seriously considering a different plan – to keep all the staff in the 10 saved branches, and look at using volunteers in the rest. This won’t work in areas such as Marksbury Road – one of the libraries at threat – where few volunteers are likely to come

Marksbury Road: Under threat forward, he said. In affluent areas, enough volunteers may come forward to run libraries on their own, but at Marksbury Road there is “not a chance – it would close,” he said. “We are saying, you have to have the professional staff using the volunteers in a wider network and you can keep a lot more open,” said Cllr Hopkins, who represents Knowle. Another Lib Dem councillor, Arthur Negus, who has led the party’s fight for the libraries, was excluded from a meeting with

savings plan put forward last government advisers who were year. Bedminster and probably briefing council leaders on new Knowle and Hartcliffe would be ways of running the libraries. saved, but Marksbury Road, Deputy mayor Asher Craig Stockwood, Wick Road, Filwood, said the review is looking at Bishopsworth, and Whitchurch options including an in-house branches would probably close. council managed structure, Sarah Murch, chair of the shared community ownership Friends of Marksbury Road models and third party provision. library, said: “We have put our “Alongside this review the trust in the mayor and his fellow council is also using this time to councillors to look after our public conduct its own investigation assets. Once they are out of public into supporting a ‘core’ service control, they are lost forever. with wider library provision “As to whether volunteers across the city such as communitycould be used to prop up the run libraries, libraries run by service, we need the views of volunteers or shared or colibrary staff on this. They are the located services with city partners. The results of these experts on how a library works, reviews are not expected until and management and councillors spring 2018,” she told the Voice. should listen to their advice. Cllr Craig would not say if the “We urge the council to resist Lib Dem claim – that the review political pressure to close libraries, is only looking at using paid staff turn them into alternative PROPERTY MAINTENANCE in 10 libraries – was correct. “No business models or hand them to decisions have been reached and the community. Our free access to INTERIOR & EXTERIOR PAINTING we continue to explore a range of books, information and computers FENCING • is PATIOS • LANDSCAPING options,” she said. in danger of being taken away Most of South Bristol’s to save a relatively small LOG STORESforever • GUTTERING • FASCIAS libraries would close under the amount of money.”



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Could a new foundation help pay for and protect parks after £3m cutbacks? VOLUNTEERS and fundraisers look likely to have a much greater role in keeping Bristol’s parks flourishing after the latest round of council cuts. Plans to hold more events in parks, add more cafés and paid-for attractions and increase parking charges will be too little to plug a gap of £3 million a year in the parks budget. One idea that looks likely to fall by the wayside, however, is advertising in parks. Officials had proposed sponsored adverts on council-owned open spaces. But there was huge opposition to the idea in a public consultation which ended in January, and a source indicated to the Voice that the plan could be dropped. Advertising might have raised only £50,000 a year – a drop in

WHAT IS A PARK FOUNDATION? THE OUTLINE described by Bristol Parks Forum: A Parks Foundation would be an independent body with charitable status and a board of trustees. Funds would be raised through public donations (including legacies) but also by seeking corporate support accessing social responsibility budgets. In addition the Foundation would set up a trading arm to manage and run activities in parks, such as cafés, the ocean compared to the £3m a year the council has to save. Deputy mayor Asher Craig told the Voice last year that she was looking into passing control

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with the profits being passed to the charity. Public engagement would be a key priority and the Foundation would work with Park Groups;

other organisations and businesses to encourage and facilitate volunteering in parks. Funds raised could be for specific projects or to raise maintenance standards above those that could be achieved by relying solely on the reduced budgets available from BCC. The Foundation would not take on ownership or management of the parks, they would remain with BCC. It would carry out activities that are outside BCC’s current role and would seek to employ a small number of paid staff supported by volunteers.

of Bristol’s parks to a charitable trust. She was talking to the National Trust, she said, and was exploring whether a trust could attract funds in a way that the council could not. Now the Bristol Parks Forum, the influential body which unites parks volunteers all over the city, has revealed that it is backing a watered-down version of this idea. Instead of passing ownership of parks to a new charity, it wants to see a Parks Foundation set up. This would cost £195,000 to set up and would work closely with the Parks Forum. The council would still own and maintain all of Bristol’s parks, but the foundation would raise money to pay for improvements and for higher standards of maintenance.

Cllr Craig told the Voice she supported the plan. “I am very much aware of the great value that parks bring to people,” she said. “The council has been working alongside the Parks Forum, friends groups and other key stakeholders to find creative ways to support the management and protection of our parks and green spaces. I welcome and fully support the proposal to establish a Parks Foundation for Bristol which will provide a means to raise money, hold funds for park benefit, hold assets and be a deposit for bequests as well as acting as an administrator for parks grants.” The council may also apply for part of a £2m fund called Rethinking Parks, funded by Lottery money.

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n NEWS NEW POLICY ON TALL BUILDINGS SPECULATION is mounting as to what Bristol’s new policy on inner-city development will mean for the south of the city. Mayor Marvin Rees has said since he was elected almost two years ago that he wants more high-density housing schemes to meet his target of building 2,000 homes a year by 2020 – a goal he

now looks likely to beat. A new policy, called the Urban Living supplementary planning document, is due to be released imminently and will give more clues as to what will be allowed, for example in Bedminster Green. In an early version of the guidance, Mr Rees is quoted as saying: “I want Bristol’s skyline to grow. Years of low level buildings and a reluctance to build up in an already congested city is a policy I


am keen to change. Tall buildings built in the right way in the right places and for the right reasons communicate ambition and energy.” What this will mean in practice is unclear. Documents released so far talk about allowing five to eight storey buildings in the city centre, and three to five storeys in the ‘inner’ area next to the city centre – which would include Bedminster and the Bath Road corridor. Yet it’s clear that planners are

BEDMINSTER GREEN already contemplating much taller buildings than this in the ‘inner’ area. Developers have told the Voice that the council is encouraging tall buildings. Schemes which have reached an advanced stage of discussions with planners include Urbis’s scheme for an 18-storey tower at Bedminster Green, a 20+ storey tower nearby, and London firm Hadley’s plan for 18 storeys next to Totterdown bridge on Bath Road.

Rollo’s smaller flats plan is still attracting objections Land ‘should be probed for contamination’ OBJECTIONS are continuing to pile up for the first planing application to be submitted for Bedminster Green – Rollo Homes’ scheme for 183 one-and two-bedroom flats. Rollo has removed one storey from its earlier 10-storey plan to help protect views for people living on Windmill Hill. Neighbours continue to object, however, along with several official bodies. Altogether 161 objections had been registered to the revised plan, most of them by people living in Bedminster or Windmill Hill. A further three comments gave neutral views. The council’s landscape team said impacts would be reduced if another floor was taken off the nine-storey blocks. “This would reduce the looming presence of the proposed buildings … and preserve views of the horizon from the Windmill Hill viewpoints. An opportunity seems to have been missed to add to the neighbourhood rather than dominate it,” the landscape official stated. Environmental officials objected too, pointing out that Rollo has not done a thorough check of the site to see if it is contaminated. The plot on Malago Road was the site of the Pring & St Hill steelworks, and parts of it were used to store chemicals. An ‘intrusive investigation’ is needed,

and “without such a report the applicants do not know if the scheme is economically viable as there is no knowledge of how much (if required) remediation will cost,” said the council’s contaminated land environmental protection team. The police commented that the plan makes no mention of the security standard for the new blocks, or how the buildings will reduce the impact or fear of crime. Meanwhile, residents made scores of objections, mainly citing the scale of the plans. One resident of Malago Road said: “The proposed buildings are much too high and will completely overlook the gardens, houses and flats on the opposite side of Malago Road, not allowing any privacy. A development more in the scale of four to five storeys would be much more appropriate to the area.” Another resident of Malago Road added: “If the building of

these flats goes ahead I will have no light all year round, the building will overshadow my flat completely and I’ll have to have the lights on all year round resulting in an increase in my electricity bill. I have seasonal affective disorder so the building of these flats would seriously affect my health.” Steve Sayers, chief executive of Windmill Hill City Farm, also fielded an objection. He said: “This proposal is not of a scale or type that seems appropriate. It takes insufficient account of the wider impact of the Bedminster Green area that needs to be designed to create a neighbourhood, not a series of tower blocks. “I am concerned that areas of public realm are being squeezed between developments and will be sub-standard. Opportunities to open up the Malago to create a green corridor are being missed.” Rollo Homes was not available for comment.

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March 2018

March 2018




Bristol’s cider shop is best in nation – again

Helping children meet their missing parent when families split up

THE BEST cider shop in the UK – and probably the whole world – is in Bristol, and is owned by a Totterdown resident. Pete Snowman is celebrating along with his staff after the Bristol Cider Shop was named Independent Cider Retailer of the Year 2018 at the Drinks Retailing Awards. It’s the second time the team have lifted the trophy – at first, in 2015, for their original shop at Christmas Steps, and now for a new store at Wapping Wharf. Owner Pete Snowman was handed the award at London’s Dorchester Hotel by Martin Green, editor of Drinks Retailing News. Pete said “We’re really chuffed. There’s loads of competition for the awards so we didn’t expect to win again. It’s really nice to be recognised for all the hard work we’ve put into the new shop.”

Big-brand cider can contain as little as 35 per cent juice, Pete told the Voice. But the Cider Shop prides itself on selling only cider made within 50 miles of Bristol, from pure juice. The Wapping Wharf store is proving a hit not only with Bristolians, but with “cider tourists”, who visit the city wanting to try the best in cider, said Pete. “When people try real cider they are amazed at the flavour and the pedigree, and the range of different tastes and styles.” Pete was sitting in a pub drinking West Country cider in 2010 when he realised there was no shop in the city that sold a range of local ciders. “There’s an obvious demand for proper cider,” he said. People like the fact it is a simple, pure product with minimal packaging, which hasn’t travelled far.

Bristol Neuroscience Festival 2018 22nd – 24th March FREE Event Science Festival with exhibitions, Brain Art and talks Wills Memorial Building Explore hands-on activities lead by scientists, come and talk to scientists about their research, enjoy the ‘Best of Bristol Neuroscience’ lectures, investigate the ‘Evolution of the brain’ and ‘Brain Art’ exhibitions and much more…

Public Lecture by Prof Paul Howard-Jones Victoria Rooms, 23rd March 2018, 18:30-20:00 For more information visit: For enquires email:

Pete Snowman with Martin Green of Drinks Retailing News, Darren Broadhurst of sponsor Aston Manor and comedian Kerry Godliman

Dating event for older people proves to be a hit A DATING event for older people from South Bristol was so successful that it’s going to be repeated – and it may become a regular event. An evening for over-55s who are single and want to socialise was so popular that it was heavily oversubscribed. The event, hosted by the St Monica Trust at Mezzaluna restaurant in Bedminster saw 27 older people getting to know each other over a buffet supper. It’s not thought that any romances were sparked on the night – but many of those who attended said they’d like to see the event repeated. The next dating evening organised by St Monica’s community development team is expected to be towards the end of March. No date was available as the Voice went to press because Mezzaluna is being renovated. Many older people lose their spouses to illness or separation and often find it hard to make new acquaintances, whether for friendship or romance. The St Monica’s evenings are deliberately informal – there is no pressure to exchange addresses, or do anything more than socialise. But the popularity of the first event, held in November, has

So popular there was a waiting list – now it’s repeating showed that there are lots of older people in South Bristol who want to meet new faces. “It went really, really well,” said St Monica’s community development worker Dan Lewin. “It proved to us that there is the interest and the need for events like this.” About a third of those attending were men, which ended fears that only women would attend. “There were a lot of nerves when people arrived but as soon as people started eating and chatting, that seemed to dissipate,” said Dan. “By the end, people had had a really good evening. They had met new people, and that was the real idea. There’s no pressure on people to find a new partner.” The Voice will put details of the next dating event online as soon as they are available, but it’s likely to be on an evening in late March. The cost for a buffet meal and tea or coffee will be £5, and the Mezzaluna bar will be open. To find out more, call St Monica’s on 0117 305 2365.

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Centre offers a safe place to meet for separated families A PLACE where separated parents can be reunited with their children is appealing for more help. The South Bristol Child Contact Centre helps up to 10 families every weekend. It allows a parent – most often a father – who hasn’t seen his children for a while to meet them in a supported environment. The group meets in a church hall in Bedminster every Saturday afternoon. It’s been running successfully for 25 years and depends entirely on volunteers – and now some new blood is needed to make sure it can keep up the good work. Supervisor Christine Inman said that helping out at the centre can be very rewarding. “When you see a child step into the hall for the first time they may be really nervous, but when they see their dad or their mum at the other end of the room and they start running towards them … honestly, it brings a lump to

your throat, it’s great,” she said. The centre is open 2-4pm every Saturday. Volunteers receive training in helping the families to cope with what is often an emotional situation. There are plenty of games for children to play with their parents and refreshments are on sale. Sometimes the parents meet each other with their children and sometimes they stay in separate rooms while the child is taken to meet the other parent. There is always a team leader on hand. Any parent who seems under the influence of drugs or alcohol is asked to leave. Volunteers are asked to be available on a Saturday afternoon every few weeks. They can help the families or just help serve tea. Families are usually referred to the centre by their solicitor or by the courts, but they can make contact themselves. The centre has an answerphone on 0117 329 3957 and the office is open on Tuesday and Friday mornings, or you can email The South Bristol centre is a registered charity and a member of the National Association of Child Contact Centres. •


Got a lot of bottle? The park needs your help REDCATCH community garden is making plans for 2018 – and to hep construct an attractive new feature, they want your empty wine bottles! Plans are being made for a new raised bed in the Knowle park, made in the style of famous Spanish architect Gaudi, out of empty wine bottles. It will be part of a new Health & Wellbeing garden that everyone of all abilities can enjoy. “We’re asking for help to collect enough bottles to build it – hopefully, lots of people will want to get involved!” said spokesperson Tina Badley. “Bottles can be dropped off at the garden, or if that’s difficult, save a few up and we’ll be happy to come and pick them up. It will

Recycled: How the new raised bed made of bottles could look be nice to know you’ve done your bit to contribute to the finished garden feature.” Roots Café has reopened after a winter break and is now open 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday. As well as homemade cakes, the menu will expand as the garden’s polytunnels start to turn out more produce. And in an effort to cut down on packaging, the café will now refill water bottles for customers. • Facebook: Redcatch Community Garden


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March 2018

March 2018




Part of Totterdown Centre heads for auction – but will the sale be halted?

Mud challenge to adults who help brain-damaged kids

THE FUTURE of the Totterdown Centre looks uncertain as the Voice went to press – with an auction for part of the building scheduled for February 27. Meanwhile an attempt is being made to get the whole building registered as an Asset of Community Value with Bristol City Council. If successful, this could put a stop to any sale [see panel below]. Jon and Mary Ross, the Knowle couple who bought 142 and 144 Wells Road in August 2017, have decided that too much work is needed to achieve their ambitions for the building and have put their section to sell. Their part of the building – mainly two shopfronts, including the old Chinese takeaway – is being auctioned by Maggs & Allen at the County Cricket ground in Bishopston,

CHILDREN with neurological problems which inhibit their movement are getting tailormade help from a South Bristol non-profit organisation. Conductive Education Bristol holds weekly sessions for children, teenagers and adults too at its base in Bedminster Down. Skilled practitioners help children with cerebral palsy and other conditions learn new movements and gain confidence, with the aim of helping them live more independently. Skills such as being able to balance while sitting, and learning to eat and drink, can make an enormous difference to brain-damaged children. From small beginnings with five families in 2014, the group has grown and now its members help 17 families across Bristol and North Somerset, with more on a waiting list. CE Bristol’s founder, Natalie Walker, and supporters aim to draw attention to the group’s good work – and raise vital funds


Eyesore: The shops have been empty for years but are now being sold with a guide price of £140,000. Jon and Mary are hanging on to a flat they own above the shops, although they say this is only to avoid evicting the tenant. Meanwhile emergency work has been taking place at 138

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Wells Road, the part of the centre next to Firfield Street, to remove a parapet wall and waterproof a flat roof. The work has been organised by Vera Harhat, owner of the Floriography flower business which is based in the courtyard behind the centre. Vera is also a director of the Totterdown Centre management company, which was set up in 1981 with the aim of keeping the large building for community use. Currently the Bristol Women’s Workshop is continuing its woodwork courses for women on an upper floor of the building. Floriography trades from a cellar at the rear, while the Healing Courtyard – the space behind the former takeaway – has been transformed into a

PROVING IT’S AN ASSET ANYONE wanting to see the Totterdown Centre kept for community use is invited to write to the council to support the nomination to make it an Asset of Community Value (ACV). If the building becomes an ACV, it can’t be sold if a community group wants to buy it. However, the group must the come up with the money within six months. Evidence of how the building has been used by the community, as well as hopes of how it could be used in future, can be sent to The centre has housed shops, cafés, an indoor market, and many community classes and workshops since it opened in 1981. It was

THE TWO shopfronts at 142 and 144 Wells Road are due to be auctioned on February 27. Toby Richards, director at auctioneers Maggs & Allen, told the Voice there had been a “steady” interest in the property from prospective buyers. If it looks likely to be made into an Asset of Community Value, a provision for that will have to be made in the sales contract, he said. But in any case the building is being marketed for community use, he said. “We are not expecting anyone to convert it to flats anything like that,” he said. It’s thought developers would be ready to offer £2-3 million for the entire building if they were allowed to create a commercial development of flats and shops. floral garden with sitting areas and a covered space for community activities such as an upcoming week of events in the days around International Women’s Day on March 8. The courtyard also hosts lunches, teas and candlelit suppers served by Fanny Tingle. A crowdfunder to raise funds towards buying 142 and 148 has pledges of £2,805. • seen as a vital asset for local people after hundreds of homes and shops were bulldozed in the 1960s and 70s for a flyover which was never built. “We want people to write in to tell their stories of how this [building] has been used for creating a community, but really importantly, do they see a future vision for what it could be?” said Vera Harhat. Crucial to the request for ACV will be evidence that the centre has been used recently for community activities. ACV status is often sought to prevent community buildings such as pubs being sold off for housing. The council aims to make a decision by March 19.

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Make pedal pals CHILDREN who can’t wait to get on two wheels can try out new courses at the Bristol Family Cycling Centre in Hengrove. Children aged 8+ who would rather learn to ride without younger children around can

Small steps: The Conductive Education group helps children learn new skills to help them live more independently

– by taking part in the Bristol Tough Mudder event on May 19. The event is a 5km obstacle course on Clifton Down that requires teamwork and endless grit to complete. One parent said: “CE Bristol has been such a support to my daughter and our family. The

sessions have enabled Amelie to be more independent in self-care and given her the opportunity to make friends. Amelie looks forward to her weekly session and has shown great progress.” Another said the group helps with “patiently teaching all the small skills that together make a big difference, seeing that Finn is trying to achieve something when others overlook it.” Meanwhile, children from Conductive Education will be holding their own mini obstacle event on April 3. If you’d like to support the group, details are on the web link: •

Lottery cash helps elderly LOTTERY funding is supporting activities for older people in South Bristol – including a unique boat-building course. All Aboard is a charity based on the harbourside which runs water sports for all ages and disabilities. Now, thanks to a share of £800,000 given to Bristol charities by the National Lottery, it is setting up a boat-building course for people across the generations. Also benefiting is Wellspring Healthy Living Centre, which helps older people in Bedminster and elsewhere to rediscover their love of cooking and fresh food. Other groups across the city have been helped to win grants by an umbrella group, Bristol Aging Better. They include Oasis Talking Therapies, which works with older people from ethnic minorities. • •


book a session on March 27 and April 6. Bikeability courses for 9-11-year-olds teach road skills, starting on March 26 or April 5. Children of all ages can attend regular drop-in learn to ride sessions. The centre, in Bamfield, has a traffic-free cycle track. • familycyclingcentre

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March 2018

March 2018


Please keep letters as short as possible, LETTERS and provide your postal address.


A new chapter in the story of Bedminster

There’s no need for the mayor to set an illegal budget IN YOUR last issue you quote Bristol mayor Marvin Rees on the issue of whether it would be possible to set a no-cuts budget for Bristol. Once again mayor Rees has misrepresented the Bristol and District Anti-Cuts Alliance (BADACA). He claims it would be impossible to set an illegal budget: however, this is not what we are calling for. Bristol City council has around £80 million in general reserves and over £200m in ‘usable’ reserves, as well as the power to borrow cheaply. By using some of this money it would be entirely possible to set a legal and balanced budget without cuts. This would protect jobs and services while a

Please report anything suspicious as we investigate reports of theft and burglary

To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664

ELCOME to this month’s column and, as always, your beat team have been working hard in the local area. This month we have seen 20 reports of theft in the Windmill Hill/Totterdown area. Ten of these reports have been reported as theft from a motor vehicle and they are scattered across the area. Some areas affected are Cemetery Road, Ravenhill Road and Vivian Street. Six of these reports have been classed as theft of a motor vehicle, again this is scattered across the Windmill Hill and Totterdown area. The other four

reports are again across the area: some of these could be theft from person and theft from shops. With regards to theft, you can protect your property by registering all your gear on this website: It’s a great tool and will really help us to identify property should the unfortunate happen. Please be aware of keeping your belongings on you where possible or indeed hiding valuables out of sight. We have also received 15 reports of burglaries in the area. Some of the roads affected are Redcatch Road, Melbury Road and Wells Road in Knowle and the Nutgrove Avenue, Hill Avenue and Oxford Street areas of Windmill Hill and Totterdown. The burglary reports are a mixture of non-dwelling (eg shed break-ins), dwelling (houses) and attempted burglary. In order for us to deal with issues effectively, please do report anything that you find suspicious. It is much better for us to check this out and hopefully prevent something from happening, than not to know about it. Please ensure that you secure your sheds and outbuildings with proper locks

Write to or to 18 Lilymead Avenue, BS4 2BX

January. The axe still hangs over 17 of the city’s libraries. Tens of millions of pounds more cuts will be put forward in the council budget later this month. How much worse does it have to get before our mayor and council will take a stand? Tom Baldwin Bristol and District Anti-Cuts Alliance

Where are the park fairies? I WONDER if some dog owners believe in fairies? I have a dog myself and I always pick up his deposits. But judging from the amount of poo I encounter every morning in the park, it looks to me as if a sizeable number of dog owners would rather leave this task to someone else. Who do they think performs this duty on their behalf? Are they under the delusion that the council patrols our park picking up unwanted poo? I can tell you it doesn’t. So it must be fairies, or



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powerful mass campaign could be built against Tory austerity. Bristol council used reserves in its last budget, as did a majority of councils. Surely it is better to do this as part of a clear strategy of fighting cuts and standing up for local residents? This approach is not only being put forward by BADACA, it is now also being urged on Rees by elected bodies of his own Labour party. Unfortunately he has ignored these resolutions and continues to cut, claiming he has no choice. He is clearly not stupid, so either he is not listening to his own members or he is being deliberately dishonest. We are not asking him to “ignore austerity” as he says, we are asking him to fight it and not to ignore his constituents. The alternative is far worse. The Community Links service for people with disabilities or dementia is being cut. There are reports of human excrement in our parks since the closure of public toilets at the end of


similarly kind-hearted citizens of noble intent. Disgusted, Totterdown

New target for the Litter Police I THINK I have stumbled on a way to help fill up the council coffers. Does any reader know the contact number for the Litter Police? You know, the ones that follow you round Broadmead, then nab you if so much as a sweetie wrapper falls out of your pocket. If so, I can contact them and assemble a team at the top of my road on a Tuesday, so as to follow the recycle team down it. If successful it may be this scheme could be rolled out district or even city wide. I’m sure the extra revenue would be well received. Who knows, there may be some left over to buy a spade and wheelbarrow so Marvin can make a start on his underground tunnel. Bob, Kensal Road, Bedminster

With PCSO Richard Higbey Broadbury Road police station

Don’t make it easy for burglars by leaving a window open and security devices. Why not consider a particular style of gardening? Certain plants and trees can provide excellent protection against intruders.


HIS month in Knowle we have also been dealing with continued problems involving motorists ignoring no

entry signs at the Bayham Road junction with Sylvia Avenue. Drivers have been seen ignoring the no entry sign and turning on to Bayham Road with apparent disregard for others’ safety. Road signs are there for a reason, regardless of how much time it may shave off your journey. This is a gentle reminder that we are active in the area and we can deal with this offence by means of ticket and/or a fine. We have also seen some poor parking on the junction of Redcatch Road and Bayham Road, as well as on the junction of Redcatch Road and St Agnes Walk. I believe we have had this issue before. I appreciate that on-street parking is limited, however please do be mindful of how close to junctions you are parking, and please tuck yourself in against the curb to avoid any obstructions to the highway. The last thing we want is a situation where emergency vehicles are unable to get through quickly. Until next time, PCSO Richard Higbey • your-area

Got a story or any other inquiry? Call Paul on 07811 766072 or email

March 2018




Woman told to give up all her assets after admitting fraud A KNOWLE woman has been given a suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay back almost £9,000 after she defrauded the legal firm she worked for of £42,000. Melanie Dix, 56, of Salcombe Road, was given an £8,844 confiscation order at Bristol Crown Court on February 15. This includes her car and amounts to all her available assets – though it is far less than the sum she stole. The court was told Dix had abused her position of trust by overpaying herself to the tune of £42,000 at Elm Legal Services, a North Bristol will-writing firm. She was practice manager for the firm, responsible for looking after the company’s business accounts, including weekly payment of call centre staff. She was given a 20-month prison sentence suspended for two years at an earlier court hearing on August 16, 2017. She is required to pay the order within three months or will face a further six-month jail sentence. The court was told that Dix had defrauded the company between 2013-2016. She admitted an offence of fraud by abuse of position of trust.

Home charge: Now available electrical firm, Trimby Electrical, based in Redcatch Road, Knowle, to offer home installations of charging points. This equipment offers much faster charging than a standard three-pin socket.

So far there are only a handful of public charging points – see panel. But Southville service station on Coronation Road has planning permission to install a charger on its forecourt. Public consultation will influence where new charging stations are installed in the West of England using £7.1 million of public funds by 2020. Bristol is to install new chargers in Victoria Street, Brunswick Square and Stuart Street, Redfield, during March. A survey for anyone to complete, whether you have an electric vehicle or not, is at

ELECTRIC CAR CHARGING POINTS IN SOUTH BRISTOL • Knowle West Media Centre, Leinster Avenue • Redpoint Climbing Centre, Winterstoke Road • Tobacco Factory, Raleigh Road • City Motors, Castle Court, St Philip’s Causeway • Long Ashton Park & Ride • Create Centre, Smeaton Road • Templegate car park, Temple Gate • South Bristol Skills Academy, Hengrove Park • Brislington Park & Ride Map of all charging points at

Don’t let waste site tip glass all weekend, plead residents Bristol Waste wants major extension of working hours A TIDE of objections has swept towards Bristol Waste, which has asked the council if it can open its recycling centre in Albert Road late at night and at weekends. Managers want to vary the planning permission for the site so that glass and other recyclables can be tipped from 7am to 9pm on weekdays and from 7am to 5pm on weekends and bank holidays. A baling machine could be in use until 11pm on weekdays. The hours are less than were requested in an earlier application last year. But the reaction from Totterdown – where hundreds of homes on the hillside are within easy earshot of the plant – has been furious, with 55 objections sent to the council. One resident of Paintworks, the Bath Road development only a short distance from the waste site, wrote: “This is not a small extension, but in fact is an additional 52 hours per week. This is a very significant increase and will have a large effect upon

Albert Road: The site sorts glass and other recycling the level of noise in the area I live.” Bristol Waste says it wants the extra working hours only to allow it to catch up during busy periods, such as after Christmas. It says the extra work will mean an average of only two extra vehicle movements a week. But residents fear that, if new working hours are granted, there will be nothing to stop the site working to its limits. Cllr Jon Wellington told the Voice that he wants the plant to have the flexibility to cope with extra work, but doesn’t believe it should be given blanket permission to work such long hours. A noise assessment carried out for the council found that the impact of outside glass tipping was rated as “clearly perceptible” but not “highly perceptible” –




Where would you like to plug in and charge up? PEOPLE are being asked where they would like to see new charging points in Bristol for electric cars. So far only about one in 300 cars on the UK roads is a plug-in electric vehicle. But as battery technology improves and the range of the vehicles increases they are becoming more popular. The latest Nissan Leaf, for example, has a claimed range of 235 miles (though a What Car test put the real range in cold weather at 108 miles). By the end of 2017, almost three per cent of new car sales were electric. Rising interest in plug-in cars has already led one South Bristol

March 2018

PHOTO: Google

meaning it doesn’t break guidelines. Community group Tresa called the request for a blanket extension of opening hours “baffling and disingenuous”. “If granted permission this blanket coverage will start a dangerous precedent for the rest of the industrial area to use this as a norm,” wrote Tresa director Linn Waite, who lives on Stanley Hill. Hundreds of new homes are expected to be built on Bath Road, on the opposite side of the New Cut, and they will be affected by the extra noise, Tresa says. Ms Waite suggested the site should only be allowed to work from 9am on bank holidays and 8am on Saturdays. It should also be allowed to work on only 12 Saturdays a year.

To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664


EMBERS of a South Bristol church are flying to India next month in the latest of their visits to help people in one of the country’s poorest regions. Brendan Bassett, minister of Victoria Park Baptist church, will lead the party travelling to the city of Tenali in Andhra Pradesh. But it’s fair to say the trip will probably mean most to church member Beverley Chapman, who has been on aid trips to Tenali several times but will be making the journey for the first time without her husband Rod, who died suddenly in January last year. The trio, including one other churchgoer, will be visiting the many Christian churches around the city and also giving money and practical help to Christians and non-Christians alike. Beverley explained that the Bristol party are paying their own fares and every penny they raise will be spent on local projects such as digging wells and

LOCAL HERO: Rod Chapman, Beverley’s late husband, became a well-known face in Tenali on his last visit. After a visit to a city barber, the owners put his face on billboards all over the city. Right, Beverley and Rod

Labour of love to help poorest providing help to people such as HIV sufferers and widows, who are sometime shunned in rural areas. Under the guide of local priest Jean Paul Pinapati, they will visit

COMEDY, CURRY AND MUSIC THE VOICE is supporting an evening of music and comedy to help raise funds for the Dalit Women’s Mission in Tenali. Called the Comedy, Curry and Music Shebang, it’s on Saturday March 17 at Redcatch community centre, Knowle. There’s a first-rate line-up of comedians – Matthew Baylis, Matt Bragg, Bently Browning, Dan May and Ian MacDonald – with music from Hurry up Harry. (You can check Harry out at soundcloud. com/hurry-up-harry). All the profits will go to the


schools, villages and an orphanage. She’s also looking forward to seeing what has been achieved with money she sent to Tenali in memory of Rod – she’s hoping it will have funded a well Chapman. Tickets are just £10 – which includes curry and handmade Indian treats from Sebastien Brochot services and Desi – from Ruth on 07590 527664. Bring your own alcohol.

charity in India – not a penny will be spent on airfares. The costs of the evening have been covered by generous South Bristol sponsors advertising on this page. The evening is organised by Ruth Drury, the Voice’s sales manager and daughter of Beverley

• COMEDY & CURRY has been generously supported by: Desi restaurant; ER&B printers, Broad Walk; The Oxford, Oxford Street; with raffle prizes from Aardman Animation, Yae Rae Flay, Incredible Brewing Co, Moa Design Jewellery, Susan Taylor Design, Raw Soap Co, Happy Biscuit Co, Wisteria Workshop, SS Great Britain, The Victoria Park, Fox & West, Park Bakery, Bemmie, Wookey Hole, Rachel Heaton, Sausagenius, Caspar, Floriography, South Bristol Voice, We The Curious, Fit4Less.


for a school with no access to water. “It’s a very humbling experience to go there,” said Bev, who travelled to India on similar trips with Rod in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012. “The people are so amazing: you realise how much you have got and what they haven’t got.” Bev and Rod did not see their trips as a one-way charity exercise – they believed that they were given just as much in return by the Indian people. In rural areas old habits die hard, and people with leprosy or HIV can be shunned as unlucky. That is why it is so important that people go to visit them, said Beverley. “Someone said to me, why don’t you just send the money over there?” she said. “But for them to know that someone has taken the time to go there and be with them means as much as getting the cash.”


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Got a story or any other inquiry? Call Paul on 07811 766072 or email

March 2018




March 2018




Time to get growing your front garden DO YOU need a bit of motivation to get out in the garden this year? Spring may not have sprung yet but preparations are under way for this year’s BS4 Good Gardens award – the community scheme that encourages whole streets to brighten up their front gardens. It’s now in its fourth year, organised by Ruth Drury. Every year, hundreds of people take part, and around 50 streets appoint judges to seek out the best gardens. The judges don’t have to restrict themselves to one award – they have lots of stickers to hand out, so they can reward people for all kinds of efforts, from gardening by children, to floral displays, or novel bits of landscaping, or just a welltended window box. The first step is to nominate your street. Just look for BS4 Good Gardens on Facebook, where nominations are open from March 1 to April 1. Once

Sponsors of BS4 Good Gardens 2018 include:


01179 780 350 @cleverleybuildersltd Leigh House, Whitchurch Lane, Bristol BS13 7TA

Every year hundreds of South Bristol gardens are judged in the awards again, some very generous local businesses have stepped in to pay the costs of the awards – meaning there is no need for an entry fee. There will as usual be big prizes for the overall winners – to be announced later. The sponsors are led by Greenwoods estate agents of

Wells Road, Totterdown, and Owen IT Solutions, based at the Park Centre in Daventry Road, Knowle. Also supporting BS4 Good Gardens 2018 are Matthews estate agents, Puddle Ducks, Cleverley Builders, Simon Sparkes, Julie Osborn, Claire

All of the churches in Knowle and Totterdown will be joining together for a Walk of Witness on Good Friday at 11.30am, starting at Totterdown Methodist Church and finishing at St Martin’s with hot cross buns for everyone. There’s also a Churches Together service of readings, meditation and hymns on Holy Tuesday, March 27, at Knowle Methodist church at 7pm.

ST MARTIN’S CHURCH, Wells Road Palm Sunday, March 25 10.30am Family Communion; 6pm Holy Communion, with Reading of the Passion Holy Monday, March 26 7pm Holy Communion; 7.30pm Taize service Holy Wednesday, March 28 7pm Holy Communion; 7.45pm Stations of the Cross Maundy Thursday, March 29 6pm Family Agape meal leading to 7.30pm Holy Communion including washing of feet, stripping of the altar, and The Watch Good Friday, March 30 10am All age service with activities for children; 2pm Last Hour and Good Friday liturgy Holy Saturday, March 31 8pm Service of Light and Holy Communion Easter Sunday, April 1 8.30am Holy Communion; 10.30am Family Communion TOTTERDOWN METHODIST CHURCH, Bushy Park Maundy Thursday 7pm Passover meal and Holy Communion

Good Friday 10.30am Good Friday Reflections followed by Walk of Witness Easter Sunday 10.30am Worship with Holy Communion KNOWLE METHODIST CHURCH, Redcatch Road Maundy Thursday 2.30-4.30pm Easter play and activity for all the family Good Friday 10am Good Friday Reflection Easter Sunday 8am Holy Communion followed by Breakfast; 10.30am Worship for Easter Day HOLY NATIVITY, Wells Road Palm Sunday 10am Sung Mass with procession and Passion Gospel Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday 7.30pm Said Mass Maundy Thursday 7.30pm Sung Mass of the Last Supper Good Friday 10.30am Stations of the Cross; 2pm The Liturgy of the Cross Holy Saturday 8pm Easter Vigil; Sung Mass with full ceremonials

Kennedy and Brislington WI. The judging will take place from June 18-July 15. If you’d like to help out, you could be a judge for your street, which will also involve posting a leaflet to each home in your road. You can get in touch through: • Facebook: BS4 Good Gardens

TOTTERDOWN’S Iain MacDougall is halfway through his self-imposed two years of running – and he’s already beaten some of his goals. Iain was featured in the Voice last year after he decided to set himself a challenge to lose weight and raise £10,000 in memory of his brother and his sister, who both died before their time. His idea was to run a 5k and a 10k in the first year, followed by a half marathon and then a full marathon in 2018. The first 5k was the Ready Steady Glow event at Ashton Court, held at night to the glow of neon lights. “It was a great feeling to actually complete my 1st ever event and at 36 mins I was very pleased,” said Iain. Next up was a 10k run, a virtual event in aid of Stand Up 2 Cancer, completed in 1 hour 26 minutes – “fairly slow but I was over the moon.” To up the stakes, next Iain tried an inflatable 10k, complete with inflatable obstacles. Despite this, he shaved his time down to 1 hour 20 minutes. After the 10k he

Easter Services The churches in Knowle and Totterdown would love to welcome you to any of our special Easter services.

Easter Sunday 10am Sung Mass TOTTERDOWN BAPTIST CHURCH, Wells Road Palm Sunday 10.30am Morning service; 6.30pm Informal Evening service Maundy Thursday 7pm Supper with Communion Good Friday 10.30am Service of Reflection for all ages Easter Sunday 10.30am Morning Celebration Service; 6.30pm Informal Evening Service with Lord’s Supper CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE, Broad Walk Maundy Thursday 6pm Footwashing and Communion Service Good Friday 10am Easter Sunday 10.30am Victory Sunday Family Service ST GERARD MAJELLA RC CHURCH, Talbot Hill Services not available at time of going to press. Please consult

To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664


Iain’s keeping his vow to run for two years did another 5k virtual race with a Harry Potter theme – “I may be 38 but am a child when it comes to all things Potter,” he said. By the summer of 2017 it dawned on Iain that he could think about a half marathon. A friend signed up for the Great

Celebrate Easter at your local church

CHURCH OF CHRIST – Jesus is Alive! St John’s Lane Easter Sunday, April 1 10am Service; 11am Breaking of bread; 2-4pm Easter Gospel Trail, Victoria Park, for children under 12; 5pm Evening Devotions. Easter Week holiday club, April 2-4 10am-12 noon. For children 4-12. Registration at 9.45am. Details: Jason 07795 560990. ST MICHAEL’S, Windmill Hill BS3 4LW Palm Sunday, March 25 10am Service with Archdeacon Christine Froude Maundy Thursday, March 29 7.30pm Fish and Chip Supper, with Communion. Good Friday, March 30 10am Stations of the Cross with Hot Cross Buns Easter Sunday, April 1 10am Easter Day Service with the rev Nick Williams VICTORIA PARK BAPTIST CHURCH, Sylvia Avenue Palm Sunday, March 25 10.30am Family Service Maundy Thursday, March 29 7.30pm Communion and Vigil Good Friday, March 30 10.30am Good Friday Service Easter Sunday, April 1 10.30am Family Service

Iain MacDougall: Long ordeal West Run in Exeter and talked him in to doing the same. “I couldn’t actually believe I had signed up,” he said. “By the time the race actually came around I had only managed to complete eight miles – five miles short of the actual distance. The race started well – Iain beat his personal best 5k and 10k

times. But at seven miles, his left foot began to hurt and he thought about stopping. “I decided against it and carried on, it did slow me down but in the end I crossed that finish line in a time of 2 hours 46 minutes! Probably seems slow to most, but I was a very happy man.” Iain’s injured foot put a brake on the running – plus he married his partner Mary in November. Now he is back in the swing, having completed another virtual 10k in January. He is training for an event such as a Tough Mudder or the Commando Challenge at Lympstone, followed by a full marathon near the end of 2018. He’s also hoping that South West football clubs such as Bristol City and Rovers will contribute some signed merchandise to help raise funds. Iain is collecting money for HospisCare in Exeter and the ICU department at Derriford Hospital in Barnstaple, North Devon. If you’d like to help, go to • Crowdfunding.justgiving. com/2yrsrunning


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Got a story or any other inquiry? Call Paul on 07811 766072 or email

March 2018



Wills, Trusts + Probate


March 2018


Anna Molter, Senior Associate Solicitor at Barcan+Kirby, explains the benefits of planning for the future now.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) enables you to appoint someone to act on your behalf should you lose the mental or physical ability to make your own decisions. It can also give this person specific instructions on important matters such as selling your house or arranging your care.

How do I make an LPA? Like a Will, an LPA is made with the help of a solicitor. There are two kinds of LPA – one for Health and Care Decisions, and another for Financial Decisions. The nature of an LPA is to be flexible according to your needs, so you can choose how much control to give your attorney when you draw yours up.

Making an LPA is arguably as important as writing your Will. In the same way that a Will appoints executors to handle your affairs after you pass away, a Lasting Power of Attorney appoints an attorney to make decisions on your behalf while you’re still alive if you can’t do so yourself.

When should I make one? The short answer is “now”. An LPA can only be made while you have mental capacity.

What if I don’t have one? With no LPA, if you lose mental capacity in the future then your family would have to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your deputy. This would give them some control over your affairs.

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A Lasting Power of Attorney appoints an attorney to make decisions on your behalf while you’re still alive. In my experience however, having an LPA in the first place is usually less complicated and less expensive, and it gives you control over who may handle your affairs. Barcan+Kirby has six offices across Bristol and Gloucestershire and a team of solicitors experienced in all areas of Wills, trusts and probate. Professional advice, simply stated.

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There’s lots you can do to make wildlife comfortable in your garden this spring, says Alex Morss E MAY be a few weeks off barbecue season, but right now South Bristol’s gardens are a hotpot of wild hanky panky. I’m talking about the birds and the bees, as well as bold urban mammals such as the busy fox, and especially the amorous amphibians. With spring beckoning them to get busy, here are some easy and fun garden upgrades you can do to welcome our wild, preoccupied friends.


Why should I get an LPA?



Do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?



This firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. No: 568743.

To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664

YOU’LL enjoy a chorus and a show if you stick up new bird boxes soon. The law says it’s too late now to clean out old boxes. Plenty of garden bird species are checking out potential nesting sites and early broods such as long-tailed tits, robins, blackbirds and herons are already off the starting blocks. Various bird box designs and positions will suit different species, so think which bird species are regular visitors to your garden, or likely new ones you could appeal to, then look up the right box type, hole size and location on the links below. For example, 25mm holes for blue, coal and marsh tits; 28mm for great tits, tree sparrows; 32mm for house sparrows and nut hatches, 45mm for starlings. Check these websites for more: • advice/how-you-can-help-birds/ nestboxes/nestboxes-for-smallbirds/ • default/files/basicallyboxespart1.pdf It’s all about location with birds, so attract them by making your garden and nest box into a des res, adding nuts and seeds in bird feeders nearby, and vegetation cover to provide perches and extra safety. These will in turn attract insects for them to eat. Remember to position all these goodies away from prowling cats.


IT’S A good time to tart up your pond with new plants that will

On your doorstep: You could see a smooth newt, left, a long-tailed tit or a Southern Hawker dragonfly

Provide a welcome in spring benefit pond life, or create a new pond to attract spring visitors. Amphibians are getting jiggy about now, so avoid dredging, as there is likely to be mating and spawn. Newts like to lay their tiny eggs on emerging vegetation, so try introducing a couple of aquatic and marginal natives such as water mint, water forget-me-not, water avens, brooklime and the gorgeous golden marsh marigold – also adored by pollinators. We have both frogs and toads in our district, so you may find the newts eat some of the frog spawn, but that’s perfectly natural. We have two of Britain’s three native newts species – the smooth and palmate newt. Sadly, the magnificent and highlyprotected great crested newt seems to be absent, but tell us if you know of any! It survives in a handful of places in Bristol. Newts only use a pond for breeding and live the rest of the time within a few hundred metres of water, so good wilder gardens and alleys with lots of insect food and hiding places are vital. You could reasonably expect to attract zooming, egg-laying visits to your pond from spectacular local dragonflies and damselflies such as the Southern Hawker, Emperor, Banded, Azure, Blue-Tailed, Large Red and Common Darter. Birds will also benefit from a shallow pond margin, as will foxes – vixens will be pregnant now and give birth to cubs in March and April. Also, our

popular local hedgehog population will be awakening from hibernation once night temperatures rise above 5C, and will need copious amounts to drink. If you can’t manage a pond, then a shallow plant pot

tray, regularly topped up with rainwater, would help quench the thirsty. Job done. Sit back and enjoy the spring spectacle! • Next issue: The best spring flower ideas for a garden pollinator

Got a story or any other inquiry? Call Paul on 07811 766072 or email

March 2018



n STOP PRESS • More high-rise homes • Homes on St Philip’s Marsh • Western Harbour redeveloped • 2,200 homes in central Bedminster • Brislington Park & Ride to make way for homes • Building on Green Belt at Ashton Vale AN HOUR before the Voice was due to go to press, the council published its Local Plan Review with several major proposals for South Bristol. What follows is extracted from the Local Plan as it affects South Bristol. The council’s numbering is retained. Comments can be made until April 13. The proposal can be seen at • Proposal CDS 2: Extended Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone BRISTOL Temple Quarter is being developed for a wide range of uses in a new city quarter. This will include new and affordable homes, offices and flexible workspaces, education, leisure and complementary retail development. Temple Meads Station will be redeveloped as a modern transport interchange and a welcoming arrival point to the city. The Temple Quarter approach will be extended into the St Philip’s Marsh riverfront and adjoining parts of Bedminster and Redcliffe which form part of the extended Enterprise Zone. Proposal CDS 3: St. Philip’s Marsh DESIGNATE St Philip’s Marsh as an area of redevelopment and change. The approach would allow for development for new uses and could include mixed uses, including new homes. Development will ensure that the total number of jobs in the area will be increased. Higher intensity employment uses including offices/flexible work space will be supported where these are targeted to provide for

start-up business and small to medium sized enterprises, and for businesses needing a location close to the city centre. 3.1.17 Planned flood defences will ensure that flood risks in the area are mitigated. The greenway along the River Avon frontage will be improved and enhanced. 3.1.18 Part of the area along Albert Road beside the River Avon is within the extended Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. Western Harbour – Development at Cumberland Basin THE replacement of the present network of aging and outdated roads and bridges and their replacement with a simpler new system will unlock additional development potential around Cumberland Basin. The development of new homes will be expected to deliver affordable housing and be supported by a complementary mix of uses, services and infrastructure. Any development will be expected to make efficient use of land and will have regard to the area’s important heritage assets. 3.1.20 The present Cumberland Basin road system was constructed in the 1960s. As the infrastructure gets older and becomes more costly to maintain than it would be to replace, there is an opportunity to remodel the road system in a way that enables the more efficient use of land and the development of a new city quarter. 3.1.21 Cumberland Basin is a prominent location with open spaces and significant heritage assets and has a key role in enabling important views to and from the Avon Gorge and Clifton Suspension Bridge. Development in the area will take account of these important characteristics. The maritime industry area at the historic Underfall Yard will continue to be retained and enhanced for those uses (Bristol Central Area Plan Policy BCAP8). 3.1.22 The potential for new development in the Cumberland Basin area also extends across the River Avon New Cut, which could enable enhanced pedestrian and cycle access to the south. 3.3 South Bristol 3.3.1 THE present local plan strategy identifies South Bristol as a priority focus for development and comprehensive regeneration, including new homes, workspace and supporting infrastructure, with major regeneration particularly focused on the area


at Knowle West and at Hengrove Park, Hartcliffe Campus and Whitchurch Park. 3.3.3 South Bristol will remain a priority focus for development and regeneration under the new spatial strategy. Existing infrastructure priorities that have not yet been delivered will carry forward into the revised local plan, with the addition of new areas of focus for the delivery of new homes. Central Bedminster – Focus for new homes 3.3.5 THE presence of underused land to the east of the town centre and the area’s location close to Bristol City Centre and Bristol Temple Quarter creates the potential for central Bedminster to become a focus for urban living. 3.3.7 To the southwest of the town centre, and also served by strategic public transport routes, is a smaller cluster of development opportunities focused around Parson Street Station. At present, the form of existing development is generally at a low density and the public realm is dominated by traffic. There is an opportunity to capitalise on the accessible location through the redevelopment of key sites around Bedminster Down Road, West Street and Winterstoke Road to deliver new homes. In conjunction with measures to calm or reduce the impact of traffic through the area this could do much to regenerate the area. Proposal CDS 7: Central Bedminster and Parson Street CENTRAL Bedminster and Parson Street will be a focus for urban living which may have the potential for around 2,200 new homes, including affordable homes. Tall buildings in the right setting and of the right design may be appropriate in these areas as part of the overall approach to development. 3.3.8 This will include the redevelopment of some industrial and warehousing land in the Whitehouse Lane area, improvements to connections between East Street, Dalby Avenue and Bedminster Station and an improved environment around Parson Street Station. Brislington – Focus for urban living 3.3.9 THERE may be an opportunity for a focus for urban living along parts of the Bath Road corridor where existing development allocations are located alongside areas of under used land with potential for development of new homes and an

improved urban form. Proposal CDS 8: Brislington Further opportunities for new homes may be realised through the redevelopment of vacant or underused industrial and warehousing land around the A4 Bath Road. Opportunities will also be explored to secure the redevelopment of underused land in the central Brislington area. Development in these areas may have the potential for development of around 350 new and affordable homes. Proposal CDS 9: New neighbourhood - Bath Road, Brislington – 750 homes IN accordance with the West of England Joint Spatial Plan which identifies the area as a Strategic Development Location, this area will be developed as a new neighbourhood. It is proposed that 40% of the new homes should be in the form of affordable housing. The existing allotments on Bath Road are not proposed for development and will be retained in allotment use. The Green Belt boundary will be amended to facilitate this proposal. 3.3.12 The Brislington Park & Ride will be relocated to land near Hicks Gate Roundabout. This proposal for the development of at least 750 new homes will require a small change to the Green Belt boundary. 3.3.14 More details of the development of this area will be included in the further local plan community engagement and consultation later this year. Hengrove and Knowle West 3.3.15 The present local plan strategy identifies a focus for major regeneration at Knowle West and at Hengrove Park. Major infrastructure that has been delivered in the area under the present strategy includes the South Bristol Link road, South Bristol Community Hospital, South Bristol Skills Academy, Hengrove Park Leisure Centre and Filwood Green Business Park. Hengrove Park, Hartcliffe campus and Whitchurch Park 3.3.16 With the completion of major infrastructure in the area, a new spatial framework is being prepared to guide the delivery of new homes at Hengrove Park and the Hartcliffe campus. Knowle West 3.3.17 The Knowle West Regeneration Framework comprises a series of proposed improvements to the area. The

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March 2018


overall aims of these proposals are to provide better employment and housing opportunities for local residents, greatly improve the facilities available to the community and improve access to and from Knowle West and the rest of the city. 3.3.18 Knowle West has a number of sites that have been allocated in the current local plan for development of new homes and mixed uses. These include sites at Filwood Broadway and the Inns Court, Novers Hill and Airport Road areas. Bringing these sites forward for development will continue to be a priority. Changes to Green Belt at South West Bristol 3.3.19 The construction of the new MetroBus route and the South Bristol Link (Colliter’s Way) has changed the character of the South West edge of the city. The Green Belt previously provided an uninterrupted connection from the very edge of the built up area into the wider countryside. 3.3.20 The new link road and part of the MetroBus system has the effect of separating the area to the east from the rest of the Green Belt. The transport infrastructure acts as a boundary. In order for the Green Belt to serve its purposes it is no longer necessary for it cover all areas to the east of the link road. The boundary can therefore be amended through this plan review. Proposal CDS 10: Revised Green Belt boundary at south west Bristol IT IS proposed to remove land at south west Bristol from the Green Belt. Important open areas will be safeguarded and some potential sites for development will be identified. To maintain their undeveloped status it is proposed that Ashton Vale town green, Bedminster Down common and its surroundings and Highridge Common are designated as Specially Protected Local Green Space. Existing allotments will be retained. It is proposed that land north of Ashton Vale town green, to the west of The Pavilions and west of Elsbert Drive are considered as potential development locations. 3.3.22 More detailed proposals for development allocations and protection of open space will form part of the further community engagement and consultation later this year. 4.2 Urban living 4.2.1 As Bristol continues to

change and grow, the city is rediscovering and reinventing the benefits of its compact urban form with efficient and effective use of land. There is an opportunity to develop new thinking on how we can make best use of our limited land supply to successfully deliver higher density development to meet our need for new homes. 4.2.2 From 1954 to 1990, the population living within the council’s boundaries fell by 60,000 people. Through the 2000s, the renewed trend for urban living saw population decline in Bristol go into reverse and by 2014 the community had returned to the size it had once been six decades ago. 4.2.3 The growing population and the urban living trend are themes the council wishes to develop. Urban living reflects Bristol’s dynamic and ambitious urban character. Building more densely and higher helps to secure growth in an inclusive and responsible way. It provides the basis for strong centres and communities and by contributing to a compact, well connected urban area will support the delivery of mass transit systems to meet transport needs. Proposal ULH 3: Urban living – making efficient use of land to meet our needs NEW developments will be expected to reflect Bristol’s urban character by delivering high quality, liveable residential developments at higher densities. In order to achieve efficient use of land across the city the new local plan will be clear that new development can introduce new types of design, scale and form into its location. Development proposals should make the most efficient use of land by developing land to the fullest amount consistent with creating a liveable environment. This will include promoting the replacement of or building over low-density uses and extending buildings upwards by using airspace above them. Developments which fail to make efficient use of land will not be permitted. Within an overall approach to urban living, the more intensive forms of development will be expected on suitable sites in and around: • Bristol City Centre, including Temple Quarter and adjoining areas to the east; • The city’s town, district and local centres; and


BRISTOL’S LOCAL PLAN REVIEW • Locations with good accessibility to public transport routes and corridors. The council is consulting on a supporting planning document Urban Living: Making Successful Places at Higher Densities - which will show how successful liveable places are created through optimising densities. Proposal ULH 4: Tall buildings THE local plan will encourage high quality tall buildings in the right places and of the right design. Tall buildings may be appropriate in the locations for more intensive forms of development described in Proposal ULH 3 or at other locations where the urban form would support this form of development. The design and siting of tall buildings will be guided by the approaches set out in Urban Living – Making Successful Places at Higher Densities which will include detailed guidance for the consideration of development proposals. 4.2.7 Proposal ULH 3 promotes urban living and encourages the development of buildings taller than the existing context as part of the approach to securing the new homes we need. Proposal ULH 4 deals with the tallest buildings – those of 10 storeys (30 metres) or more. 4.2.8 Tall buildings have an important role to play in helping Bristol accommodate its expected growth as well as communicating ambition, energy and innovation. They can contribute to urban living objectives, make efficient use of land to deliver homes, jobs and mixed communities. 4.2.9 Tall buildings have the potential to enhance the appearance and character of areas and to deliver regeneration. Because of their prominence, development of tall buildings will be guided by the approaches set out in Urban Living – Making Successful Places at Higher Densities. Local plan policies and the new guidance will ensure that the city’s heritage and natural assets are conserved as its skyline grows and evolves. Student accommodation (A statement from the council) A NEW approach to managing student housing developments is being considered. Additional measures are also proposed to protect existing communities close to the new Temple Meads campus. The

revised Local Plan proposes enhanced controls for Housing in Multiple Occupation (HMO) developments to ensure harmful concentrations of student accommodation do not occur. The proposals also mean that planning permission would be required for all HMOs in the parts of Bristol where housing pressures are highest. Cllr Nicola Beech, Cabinet Member for Spatial Planning and City Design, said: “The surge in student numbers is bringing significant economic and social benefits. Many students fall in love with Bristol and make a life here and the level of higher education investment in Bristol is a big vote of confidence. “At the same time, we know concentrations of student accommodation can displace or prevent genuinely balanced communities from flourishing. These changes to the Local Plan would give us extra controls to manage the expansion of student housing in Bristol, and in places like Temple Quarter, we would be able to give extra protection to family homes in areas such as Totterdown and Arnos Vale.” Both universities anticipate further rises in student numbers in coming years; the University of Bristol’s proposed new campus at Temple Quarter will initially cater for 3,500 students. It is expected that most of the needs can be met from existing planning permissions and from development on the University of Bristol’s existing residential sites, its city centre precinct and at the proposed new campus. The need for further new purpose built accommodation elsewhere is likely to be more limited. It is proposed that the following new criteria for assessing the impacts of HMOs are applied: • Proportion of HMOs - it is suggested that no more than 10% of the housing stock in any given area should be occupied as HMOs; • Sandwich effect – due to the likely intensity of impact, new HMOs will not be permitted where this would result in any residential property being directly between two HMOs; • Proximity to any purpose built student accommodation would also be taken into account. • There was no space available to include any of the illustrations or maps from the Local Plan Review, which can be seen at •

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n PLANNING APPLICATIONS 70 Camberley Road BS4 1SZ Erection of new porch. Granted subject to conditions Land adjacent to 162 Bath Road, Totterdown Details in relation to condition 2 (SUDS) and 3 (Noise assessment) of permission 14/06245/F: Construction of two 2-bedroom flats in a three storey building. Granted 18 Ketch Road BS3 5DQ Removal of two-storey rear extension and erection of singlestorey rear extension. Granted subject to conditions 1 Cotswold Road North BS3 4NL Change of use of joinery workshop to live/work residential unit. Withdrawn 68A Queenshill Road BS4 2XQ First floor side extension to provide additional bedroom. Withdrawn 56 Redcatch Road BS4 2EY Raising level of roof. Withdrawn

March 2018


25 Bushy Park BS4 2EG Alterations including removal of external staircase and small conservatory and installation of decking and railing. Granted subject to conditions Ground floor flat, 12 Quantock Road BS3 4PF Side and rear extension. Granted subject to conditions Oasis Academy Marksbury Road BS4 5EY Details in relation to condition 11 (Fire hydrants) of permission 16/02933/M: reserved matters sought for access, appearance, layout, scale and landscaping following permission 12/05581/P: Erection of 75 new dwellings and car park associated with the existing commercial unit. (Major application). Granted 13 Leinster Avenue BS4 1NH Erection of two 2-bedroom flats. Refused 346 Wells Road, Knowle BS4 2QL Detached single storey

Knowle, Totterdown, Windmill Hill annex in rear garden. Granted subject to conditions 5 Haverstock Road, Knowle BS4 2DA Rear dormer extension and insertion of front dormer window. Pending consideration


£750 ALL IN

Glenrosa, 279 Wells Road, Knowle BS4 2PP Dropped kerb for vehicular access. Pending consideration

20 Bayham Road, Knowle BS4 2DY Single storey rear kitchen extension. Granted subject to conditions

426 Wells Road Knowle BS14 9AF New doorway to front and creation of annexe within building. Pending consideration

243 Redcatch Road BS4 2HQ Conversion of former used tool shop into 2-bedroom flat and construction of single storey rear extension. Granted subject to conditions Open space, Glyn Vale Details in relation to conditions 2 (Construction management plan), 3 (Highway works), 4 (Tree protection ) and 6 (Further details) of permission 17/03959/ FB: Improvements to walking and cycling route, comprising: widening approximately 120m of 2.0m wide path to 3.0m; approximately 315m of new 3.0m path; new intelligent LED lighting operating at standard brightness until 19:00 then dimmed to 30% level until 22:00 and then switched off until 05:30 the following day. Installation of 2 new k-frame barriers at 2 entrance points. Pending consideration

251 St John’s Lane BS3 5AT Single storey rear extension to extend beyond the rear by 6m, of maximum height 3.95m with eaves a maximum 3m high. Pending consideration



40 Ravenhill Road BS3 5BP Loft conversion. Pending consideration

51 Stoneleigh Road, Knowle BS4 2RH Single-storey rear extension. Pending consideration

Telecoms Installation, Knowle Water Tower, Talbot Road Replacement of three antennas with three upgraded antennas on existing support poles. Pending consideration


40 Ravenhill Road BS3 5BP Demolition of garage, construction of side extension. Pending consideration

15 Hill Avenue BS3 4SH Three storey rear extension and loft conversion. Pending consideration 8 Beckington Road BS3 5EB Demolition of garage and construction of two storey side extension with Juliet balcony, and raised decking to the rear. Pending consideration

38 Greenleaze BS4 2TL Details in relation to conditions 2 (Further details) and 3 (Photovoltaic panels) of permission 17/02026/F: demolish six garages adjacent to 38 Greenleaze and form two flats. Pending consideration 8 Lynton Road BS3 5LX Two bedroom house. Pending consideration 26 Fraser Street BS3 4LY Conversion of single dwelling to two 1-bedroom flats. Pending consideration 58 Kensal Road BS3 4QU Single storey rear extension. Pending consideration 22 Rookery Road BS4 2DS Two storey side extension. Pending consideration 23 Fitzgerald Road BS3 5DG Rear dormer roof extension with three rooflights to front roof slope. Pending consideration 22 Melbury Road BS4 2RP Non-material amendment following the grant of planning permission 17/01772/H: single storey, rear extension and replacement garage. Amendment sought: further extension of approved extension to avoid drainage (1m further). Refused 34 Merioneth Street BS3 4SL Demolition of single storey, rear extension and erection of single storey side return and rear extension. Pending consideration • The status of these applications may have changed since we went to press. Check for updates at

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March 2018





Sometimes the fan is better known than the act. Beccy Golding meets Bristol’s most famous gig-goer


ALL, wild-haired and most often seen right at the front at music events, Big Jeff is a bit of a Bristol legend, well known by gig-goers and performers alike. For many years he went to seven gigs a week. He’s had a song written about him (by a performer called Beans on Toast); Este from Haim is alleged to have tried to propose to him; and his knowledge of the Bristol music scene is so vast that he’s asked to front his own events, such as last August’s day-long music takeover of the Arnolfini. There’s even a Big Jeff Appreciation Society on Facebook with nearly 2,000 members. Jeffrey John’s first visit to Bristol was to Ashton Court Festival in 1995, when he was 12. On the main stage were Skunk Anansie – “a black femalefronted hard rock band, with a huge voice and stage presence – they changed my perception of what is possible in music. It was like a big switch in my head.” Growing up, music was all around him. On car journeys there was “a random assortment – Annie Lennox, The Beatles, ZZ Top, Grace Jones – I was exposed to a really wide range.” He grew up in Horsley, Gloucestershire, in the heart of the Cotswolds. In the early 2000s Jeff spent a year in Guildford, Surrey studying drums at a music school where celebrity tutors included Kirsty MacColl and Hugh Cornwell. In 2002 Jeff moved to South Bristol, first living in Southville for three years, and then in Totterdown. “I feel pretty settled,” he says. Jeff did a three-year course in popular music at Access to Music, whose studio was used in the 1990s by iconic Bristol acts such as Portishead and Roni Size. The studios, now on a trading estate in Hengrove, have been converted into a training facility. It was a hands-on course – he formed a band, The Recluses. “I put on a few shows – the most

Big Jeff: Bristol’s super-fan, he’s seen thousands of gigs and found fame

A gig ain’t a gig if it don’t have the Big Jeff approval stamp memorable was the college endof-year gig at the Thekla – an A&R guy from Sony was invited. I had black and white facepaint, doused in tomato ketchup, doing ‘drone rap’. They lasted 10 seconds before walking out!” But the few years before he started the course had not been so great. “When I turned 20 it was possibly the hardest year I’ve ever lived. I had appendicitis. I was in intensive care – in a coma for three days.” Then, only a few months later, a close family friend died of an aneurism. His death “cast a huge black cloud.” Jeff’s course at ATM was a way to escape. “I developed a rap split-personality – Manic F! I free-styled all the lyrics – I couldn’t remember what I wrote.” He used the rapping as a way of telling his story. “When I moved to Totterdown I was wasting my life, staying up late and going out too much. My parents said ‘Right, you’re going to do something useful’.” Jeff worked for Art + Power – an arts disability group (which sadly closed last year). He volunteered

at Windmill Hill City Farm for a couple of years too. “I really like it there – if I feel I need to escape my flat and haven’t had breakfast yet, it’s the perfect place. And it reminds me of where I grew up. It has an amazing calming effect.” Jeff is now involved with Art in Motion, led by artist Colin Higginson, at Spike Island. “Through that we’ve gone on many different adventures,” which include an exhibition in Cork visited by 100,000 people, and working with Biggerhouse Film on their project for ‘neurodiverse’ filmmakers. An exhibition at Spike Island in March will look at “things in our own flats which make us who we are.” He’s also working with Bristol museum on an exhibition in the summer, on Bristol music. Jeff has made a couple of short films with Joff Winterhart, author and drummer with Bucky. “My strangest adventure last year was when [one of these films] was screened at the Edinburgh Film Festival. I’m used to hanging around with musicians, but A list actors is something else

– I was starstruck! Toby Jones, Richard E Grant, Kevin Bacon… it was awkward with a capital A! “This last year, in terms of achievement… tick, tick, tick… and still adding! I never thought I’d do filmmaking, I was an ambassador for Independent Venue Week, and I curated a show and DJ-ed at The Exchange in Old Market.” Jeff has also DJ-ed at Big Jeff’s Mosh Pit at the Thunderbolt, at Green Man Festival and is a regular on Harriet Robinson’s Bristol Music Show for BCFM. The Louisiana at Wapping Road is an important venue to Jeff. “They’ve helped me a lot with my mental health (though they might not know it).” When he first came to Bristol he would “turn up at the Louis, stare at the posters. Johnny the doorman would say hello, and I wouldn’t know how to react, but gradually he broke me down. I ended up hanging around, gradually making friends.” Jeff tells me the Louis has a new stamp (for when people pay). “It says ‘Big Jeff Approved’! I asked Jeff more about what makes him tick. “Mental health has always affected me. My parents had me statemented for school but not officially diagnosed – they feared the negative impact, but we knew I was on the autistic spectrum. A couple of years ago, in my early 30s, I got an official diagnosis. They said I had borderline autistm/Asperger’s. I felt a little bit of relief. I’ve had a lot of support for talking about it.” The name Big Jeff is one he coined himself. He’s become something of a phenomenon – he’s been in films, on posters, and has been interviewed many times. I ask him how he feels about this. Jeff shrugs. “It is what it is. It’s slightly exploited sometimes, slightly uncomfortable, but it is overwhelmingly positive. And I use social media to my advantage. “What I have learned from my parents is to keep my feet on the ground, to ‘stick a pin in your over-inflated self!’ I know how lucky I’ve been to be brought up in a family that’s really supportive and want to see me happy – not everyone does.” What does music mean to you? “It means everything really. It sums up so many emotions. A world without sound would be so boring, wouldn’t it?” • Facebook: Jeffrey Johns

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March 2018



n MOTHER’S DAY SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Servicing Bristol for over 3 decades

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Making Sunday special for our mothers


S USUAL, we are encouraging you to keep     it local this Mothering Sunday, March 11. There’s no need to go far afield when you can find top quality cards, gifts, flowers, chocolates and everything else to make the day complete, right on your doorstep. Your mother is an individual, and she deserves something special on her special day of the year – something made with love by a local business, not a last-minute gift that arrived by courier from a vast warehouse.


For Stunning Heritage Windows and Doors Visit Crystal Clear

142 Wells Road (down the alley), Wells Road BS4 2AG 0117 329 2720 • Facebook: Floriography by Vera Fallacy and The Totterdown Healing Courtyard • ALREADY a landmark on Wells Road in Totterdown, Floriography has a name as a different kind of flower shop. Vera, Alice and Amber have created a floral courtyard and flower shop out of some little-used space behind the Totterdown Centre. Flowers are ethically -sourced and only bought as they are needed – which means there’s no waste and prices are very reasonable! Floriography make bouquets, displays and floral gifts for all occasions. Mother’s Day is certain to be very busy, and once the stock is gone, it’s gone, so make your inquiry early! There are two special offers on Mother’s Day. Flowers are 10

per cent off if ordered before March 5. And for a Mother’s Day treat, a ‘high tea lunch’ is being offered in the courtyard by Fanny Tingle for £6.50 (£3.50 for children). To add a large jar of scented flowers, with a personalised message ready at your table, is an extra £12. This event must be booked.

Frankie Loves Ava

152 Wells Road, Totterdown BS4 2AG 07920 886053 • Facebook: Frankielovesava and dinewithi • FRANKIE Loves Ava is two destinations in one – there’s the gift shop, run by Sharon Lowick, where you’ll find all kinds of gift ideas; and the Cellar dining room, run by Tim Owen. You’ll be spoiled for choice if you visit Frankie’s for a present for your mum; there’s everyting from inexpensive candles to upcycled ornaments and lights, plus greetings cards. The Cellar will be offering a special Mother’s Day lunch on March 11. Tim will be offering a sumptuous two courses for £25, which includes a gift for mum. After Mother’s day, the Cellar will be offering regular Sunday roasts at lunchtime. The price will be £20, and you can bring your own alcohol. On Sunday afternoons High Tea will also be served. This will be a real treat, at £12 for tea and a lovely selection of homemade cakes and sandwiches. Vouchers for High Tea are now on sale – another gift idea for mum!

WIN A LOVELY SUNDAY LUNCH AND FLOWERS FOR YOUR MUM IF YOU want to treat your mum this Mothering Sunday, you could give her something very special if you enter our competition. The Cellar dining rooms at Frankie Loves Ava have donated lunch for one lucky mother on Sunday March 11: a very special three-course lunch cooked by chef Tim Owen, known for his pop-up suppers under the name dinewithi. Mum will also receive a special gift from Frankie Loves Ava – PLUS a lovely bouquet worth £25 from Floriography. To win, just tell us: What was Mothering Sunday called in the 16th century? Send your answers to paul@, or by post to 18 Lilymead Avenue BS4 2BX, by March 6.

THE TRADITION of Mothering Sunday as we know it is quite recent. It started as a religious event, celebrated by both Catholics and Protestants on the fourth Sunday of Lent – usually three weeks before Easter Sunday. In the 16th century it was known as Laetare Sunday, when people would visit their ‘mother church’ – the church where they were baptised. Later the custom

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changed, and on Laetare Sunday servants were given the day off to visit their families. The modern custom of a holiday to celebrate motherhood began in 1914 in the US, held on the second Sunday in May. Gradually, the British Mothering Sunday also became a day when mothers were rewarded, rather than a religious festival. But it has kept its original date, linked to Easter.

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March 2018



March 2018





MARVIN REES Mayor of Bristol

We’re starting to rebuild the city with new investment


XCITING news now that work has started on the demolition of the former Royal Mail sorting office next to Temple Meads, which has long been an eyesore at the gateway of our city. Contractors will spend the next three or four months making the site ready for demolition in early summer. This is to make way for the new University of Bristol Enterprise Campus, which will be one of the landmark developments in the regeneration of the Temple Quarter district. I also welcomed the announcement in February that we had been successful in two bids for funding for housing delivery in Southmead and Lockleaze, as part of the Government’s housing infrastructure fund. Bristol faces a huge demand for homes, so I

am delighted that the Government has recognised this. The funding will play a part in helping us meet our ambitious target to deliver 2,000 new homes, including 800 affordable homes, per year by 2020. This £9.686 million investment will facilitate more than 1,000 new homes. We’ve managed to secure funding of £6.686m for the Unlocking Lockleaze Development project. This investment in sustainable transport infrastructure will support the delivery of more than 800 new homes, helping us to create communities and not just houses. A further £3m will go to proposed Arnside and Glencoyne Square Regeneration.

This funding will help build 300 new homes and provide improvements to the shopping area, green spaces and drainage systems. Bristol is benefiting from significant investment in its landscape and infrastructure. Even though in the long run this will have a positive impact on our communities, these ambitious plans can cause short term inconvenience. Unfortunately it is inevitable we will need roadworks to make these changes, so we have launched a new campaign to help ease the frustrations across the city. The Active Roadworks scheme will give people access to up-to-date information about roadworks. This new campaign is all about working together with utility companies to minimise disruption and frustration where we can. We want to make it easier to find more information about closures or roadworks on social media and elsewhere, so you know why you are diverted from your usual journeys. Our annual Homelessness Awareness Week, from February 24-March 3, helps to raise awareness of homelessness. Events taking place across the city are intended to get people talking and thinking about how they can make a difference. To find out more, head to the Bristol Homeless Forum website. •

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March 2018



n COLUMNS In witch I think about death


NE OF the best things about owning a dog is other doggy walkers. I do like people, well, most of them. One, who I will call Delightful, is a joy. I love his stories and awful jokes. When I saw him in the park the other day he was one dog down. A gorgeous beady-eyed terrier had been put down a few hours before; he had gone to the vet for an op but was full of cancer so they did not wake him up. Delightful was very matter of fact about it, his dog had a great life and yes he would be missed but death is inevitable and that was not a bad way to go. Posh Boy wandered over with his super-obedient dog. He is not really very posh, but he walks fast, stands tall and talks with an air of righteousness that I like. Posh was

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brought up on a farm and hardened to death; if a dog got old or sick, out came the gun, with little sentiment. But city life has softened him and Posh was surprised by Delightful’s matter-of-fact attitude. He marched on, shaking his head sadly. Delightful’s Dad had also died recently. He too had reached a grand old age, was sick for a week and then died – again, not a bad way to pop off. A letter was found, it said “If you are reading this, I’ve obviously croaked it,” and described what he would like for his funeral: “Look for the cheapest, or a two-forone deal.” It also thanked Delightful and his sister for all they had done

for him – the letter was perfect and is something everyone should do. Yes, we are all going to die and don’t really want to think about it. Funerals are changing, and some are a bit odd. I went to one recently in an Anglican church which was filmed! What the hell? When would you get the family over to watch Uncle Dead’s funeral video over a bowl of popcorn? The other thing I noticed was the silence – the deathly, no pun intended, hush when a relative has bravely spoken from the pulpit and is walking back to their pew with just the click of their heels echoing after them. I had to sit on my hands as I really wanted to applaud their courage but I would have been on my own. At another funeral (it is the season for them), we were all in our respectful black outfits except for one lady in bright red. She got some tutting glances but when I spoke to her later I discovered that

Down on the Farm News from Windmill Hill City Farm with Beccy Golding

she had worn red deliberately as the man who died had loved classy women with a dash of naughty. We chinked glasses and toasted Naughty’s memory and her bravery against old fashioned etiquette. I am not planning to die yet, but you never know what is round that dark corner so I am thinking about my funeral. I am going to use the video idea but instead of filming the mourners (just wrong) I will make a film of my own and have it projected onto a tree (I’m being whisked down the yellow brick road and planted in the dark watery woodland at Arnos Vale cemetery). I will look stern but beautiful (filtered lens), seated with a large glass of wine in one hand and Scrappy Little Dog on my knee. I will look down and give my own eulogy starting with “Oh dear, I must be dead” followed by loud cackling laughter and telling people what I really thought of them. Perfect.


Café culture


S WELL as the usual homemade, home-grown food, there are two fun events at the farm café in March. On March 8 the café hosts Pop Up Poultry with Kate’s Kitchen. With canapes, threecourse supper and cabaret entertainment, it promises to be a night of feasting, fun and frivolity with local and free-range food, and locally-sourced performance. Arrive at 7.30pm for eggstastic canapes followed by a night of feathery fun and free-range roaming chicken. Tickets are £35. Later in the month the café will be taking part in the first

British Dal Festival from March 19-25. Throughout the week, the café will be offering a signature dal dish as part of the dal trail. The café now has its own shiny new website and Instagram account! Check out • • kates-kitchen-presents-pop-uppoultry •

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a challenge and take part in the Bristol 10K or Bristol marathon? Or if you’re a keen baker, how about organising a baking challenge or cake sale at work? Quiz nights can be a fun way to get your friends together, or if you’re an adrenaline junkie how about taking on a sky dive? We are only able to keep our

Animals like Amos will benefit from the new look for our pet charity doors open thanks to kind individuals like you who want to support our life-changing work. Every single penny makes a difference to animals like Amos (pictured) who is currently looking for a home. Head to fundraise-for-us, give us a call on 0117 9803901 or email – we’d love to hear from you! We’ll send you a fundraising pack, and help you every step of the way.

Free range: All things chicken will be on the menu at the Pop Up Poultry evening

Nature watch

THERE is a new bird-cam in the farmyard that feeds into a big screen in the farm’s new interaction centre. Go and see nesting birds live!

New life on the farm

BLOSSOMS and new shoots are popping up in the community gardens now and it won’t be long until the pitter-patter of new born lambs – due at the end of March, followed swiftly by goat kids. Pop in for a tickle and check the farm’s Facebook page for cute photos as the new babies arrive!

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March 2018

BELLE Benfield is a sensory herbalist and practising artist working in Bristol and Cornwall. On March 10 she will be running a Herbal First Aid course at the farm. Learn to make herbal tinctures, welcome the spring by studying the plant medicine that’s growing right under your nose, and make your own balm to take home with you. 10.30am-

3.30pm, £65 (plus £3.49 booking fee). Book on the farm website.

In the club

THE WILD Outdoors Club will be running an Easter holiday session on Thursday March 29, 10am-12 noon. There will be craft and nature activities, and games for ages six and up. £10 per child. Book online.

Go wild in the city

POP IT in your diary now – this year’s Wild Outdoors Day is on Saturday April 21, 11am-5pm. Last year’s event was a massive success with a great range of outdoor activities and entertainment for all ages.

Did you know?

• THE FARM is free to visit and is open seven days a week • You can become a member of the farm for only £10 per year. It’s a great and affordable way for you and your family to support an important local resource. And you get 10 per cent discount in the café too!

To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664

Got a story or any other inquiry? Call Paul on 07811 766072 or email

March 2018






IFE as a Knowle  councillor is never dull and over recent weeks I have been spending a lot of Gary time dealing with Hopkins education. I have Lib Dem been a governor at Knowle the Knowle Park schools for 15 years and was glad to play a major part in the merger some years ago, which I believe was vital for the subsequent huge improvement. Governors were never keen on the academy model but with services and value for money from the local authority declining due to government policy, the school is now cautiously moving towards a cooperative arrangement with other Bristol primary schools. Neighbouring Ilminster Avenue primary was one that benefited from academisation. Previously one of the lowest ranked schools in the country, it has rocketed upwards and is now in the top 10 per cent in the

How to contact your councillor: p2


nation for overall performance. ETWEEN site development. The rate could Ilminster Ave specialist nursery me writing be ratcheted up, as the sector is was failing a year or two ago and this article now booming and the amount is falling pupil numbers led to and it being £4 million plus a year. This serious financial problems. Late delivered to your income was simply not declared in the day the council put in a door, Bristol in the mayor’s five-year financial great leadership team with staff city council plan, a shocking oversight. Chris seconded from other schools. The will have held its The second slush fund was Davies results were great, and pupils budget-setting the “double capital contingency”. Lib Dem flooded back, but I was contacted meeting. Two or Before too many eyes glaze over, Knowle by parents and governors when three years ago we the mayor was proposing to use BCC’s failure to deal with the exposed a mayoral “slush” fund £10m a year to cover overspends historic debt threatened progress. with massively underestimated on capital projects. Firstly, most A high-level meeting followed income projections for the projects already contain a fund to lobbying from yours truly and coming year. We eventually got cover cost increases, and the others, and a good plan is now in that corrected. We identified council has £20m reserves. place. a further slush fund last year Secondly, providing an easy out Finally, everyone thought that and pointed out that borrowing leads to overspending, as our secondary education in Knowle need not be so high, as capital experience has taught us. was killed for good when Labour projects spending overall always With the funds identified we closed Merrywood but hope was slipped, and we showed how the are proposing to save the raised a year ago when Bristol saving could be used to protect libraries, parks, home adaptions Grammar proposed a new allsome services. Our amendment for the disabled, schools in South through school. The secondary was supported by other parties Bristol and revive Bristol’s flood element had strong support from but voted down by Labour protection plan. Chris and I, though some parts of councillors with accusations of us Let us see if Labour use their the bid were not handled well. It being irresponsible. majority to vote these down seems our lobbying of government This year we uncovered two again. We are showing that, may yet produce results as a more mayoral slush funds. The contrary to what the mayor says, secondary school in Knowle is first is Community Infrastructure there are better options than his Right at Home is oneRight of the most atUK’s Home is one of the now being pursued again. Levy money, which is the levyUK’s on mostslash and burn. trusted care companies. trusted Our carelocal companies. 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March 2018




HEN my phone rings, there is a 50 per cent chance that the resident on the Jon other end is calling Wellington about parking – Labour more specifically Windmill Hill that they have not been able to find a parking space near to their home. Unfortunately, there is nothing immediate I can do about this, and all I can do is share their frustrations. What could be done is to set up a residents parking zone (RPZ). More and more people are demanding this, and I know of a few petitions that have been set up locally to gather support. Unfortunately, the council’s view on new RPZs is that there has to be an overwhelming demand for one, and that local councillors (that’s me and Lucy) need to lead a consultation with residents. The consultation has to be conducted on a professional level that is way beyond the time and


Windmill Hill

expertise available to us, people with work and family commitments in addition to our council duties which we complete in our spare time. There are no additional staff or resources available due to budget cuts. We have also been told that even if, having completed an 18-month long consultation and convinced officers that there is an overwhelming local demand, there is currently no money available to set up such a scheme. Several other councillors across the city are facing similar demands and a similar dilemma. However, we have had commitments from the University of Bristol that it would be willing to fund the costs of consulting on setting up an RPZ if their campus at Temple Meads goes ahead. There was a similar commitment from the arena team, though the future of the arena is currently uncertain. I will be ensuring that these promises are honoured and I will be demanding this, along with other concessions, when plans are submitted.


 How to contact your councillor: p2

NE OF the council committees I sit on is the public safety and protection Lucy committee. Whittle Working with Labour disabled people’s Windmill Hill organisations and the taxi trade, we have maintained the requirement to have a 100 per cent wheelchairaccessible hackney carriage fleet as well as extending accessibility wider than just wheelchair use. I strongly believe that the more accessible we make all areas of life, the easier it is for everyone. So when ramps are built for people using wheelchairs, they also help parents with push chairs, cyclists, and people with a wide range of vulnerabilities and mobility issues. This principle holds true in many areas of public life. So I was delighted to view one of the new electric taxis that should soon be coming to Bristol.

They look like the traditional black London cab but are slightly larger. They have a built-in ramp and steps, a seat that swivels out, grab rails, and several other features for people with a wide range of impairments. I am also excited that these handsome-looking taxis are electric. They can run on electric power alone but also have a small petrol engine to extend the range, so drivers will never get stuck taking a long distance fare. These taxis will massively reduce CO2 emissions, as well as the particulates that are so damaging to our air quality and Bristolians’ health. The committee has agreed that any new hackney carriage licences that are issued (up to the agreed cap), must be for ultra low emission vehicles. We are working with the trade to further incentivise the use of electric vehicles, such as waiving licensing fees for three years, and supporting new charging points. As more electric taxis join the fleet, they will become an integral part of our cleaner air strategy.


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Got a story or any other inquiry? Call Paul on 07811 766072 or email

March 2018





Events mark 100 years since the start of liberation IN THE 100th year since women were first given the vote in the UK, International Women’s Day is a bigger celebration than usual in Bristol. Close to home, the Healing Courtyard in Totterdown is holding a Celebrating Women You Love Week from March 5 to March 11. “We would like you to bring in or send us your creative expressions of women you love,” said Vera Harthat, creator of the courtyard and owner of adjacent flower shop Floriography. Events being planned include poetry, art, storytelling and music. Send contributions of photos, quotes, music and memories to On International Womens Day, March 8, the courtyard will have an hour of Poetry to Celebrate Women from 12 noon-1pm, with food on offer including chip butties. From 7-9pm there will be an evening of storytelling, with food from Fanny Tingle and BYO drinks. Tickets are £10 in advance. Meanwhile Bristol Women’s Voice is celebrating International Women’s Day with a programme of free events at City Hall on Saturday March 3. A women’s guided history walk with Naomi Paxton will take participants up Park Street and around the Triangle to visit key sites of women’s history. Performances from musicians will showcase women’s musical talents. Inclusive singing, dance, creative writing, photography, a textiles exhibition and theatre workshops will celebrate the creativity of Bristol’s women. The following week Bristol Women’s Literature Festival takes place at the Watershed. Highlights include another Windmill Hill author, Professor Marie Mulvey-Roberts, talking about 200 years of Frankenstein, the 18th C classic by Mary Shelley. • •

March 2018


T’S 100 years since one of the greatest steps forward in equality in the UK. February 6, 1918, was the date some women were allowed to vote for the first time in parliamentary elections. It was the culmination of decades of campaigning – mainly peaceful efforts by women known as Suffragists. By the early 1900s a majority of MPs backed votes for women, but the ruling Liberals refused, and some women turned to direct action such as setting fire to empty buildings and post boxes, and going on hunger strike when they were imprisoned. To mark the centenary, Windmill Hill author Jane Duffus has written The Women Who Built Bristol, a celebration of women who played a vital role in the story of our city. Here are some of the women with a link to South Bristol – and one resident of Bristol Castle we couldn’t resist including. We kick off with an excerpt from Jane’s introduction to her book.


Left, head teacher Gina Lewis shepherds children over School Road, as TV crews captured the action


Children made their own banners and costumes

Windmill Hill author Jane Duffus has written a book containing 200 stories of women who helped shape Bristol. They include an engineer, doctors, politicians and a woman in a workhouse; also a princess, an architect and a suffragette. Pages 37-40

To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664



Meet some of the women who got us where we are today


Hillcrest primary school in Totterdown decided to mark the centenary of the women winning the vote. Everyone took to the streets, waving banners and chanting slogans, in a procession down Wells Road


NTIL the 1900s, women were unable to participate in public life or to influence government and they were denied access to any of the men-only business, political and cultural institutions that ran Bristol. But that didn’t stop women from quietly supporting vulnerable women and girls who were trapped by poverty, illiteracy, poor health, poor education and so on. Outside of London, Bristol saw the highest volume of suffrage activity in the United Kingdom. In the years following the establishment of the Clifton Anti-Slavery Campaign in 1840, several Bristol women signed the first-ever women’s suffrage petition in 1866, and the Bristol suffrage society was only the fifth to be established in the UK. During the 1880s, Bristol women were noisily-active strike supporters and worked on campaigns leading to the creation of an organisation called Promotion of Trades Unions Among Women in

‘I was able to drop acid into the postboxes without being suspected because I was in my cap and apron’

A new book, The Women Who Built Bristol, tells the stories of 250 of the city’s ‘sheroes’

Jessie Stephen: After starting work as a maid at the age of 14, she quickly joined the front line of the women’s campaign for votes; the start of a life spent battling for equality

To buy a copy of The Women Who Built Bristol go to • bristol womens voice. bigcartel. com 1889. These were not women to be messed with. Whether gentle peacekeeper or militant agitator, every single woman profiled in this book was a shero who deserves to be remembered well. They are all an inspiration to us today. • Jane Duffus is a trustee of Bristol Women’s Voice and has worked as a journalist and editor for national magazines and publishers. Jane set up the award-winning all-female What The Frock! Comedy project in 2012 to challenge an industry that knowingly overlooks female talent. She’s also a long-distance runner. Jane is on Twitter: @Bristol_Jane JESSIE STEPHEN 1893-1979 Suffragette, politician and Bedminster resident UFFRAGIST, trades unionist, politician, pacifist, lifelong women’s rights campaigner. Even at the age of 85, Jessie Stephen was attending up to three women’s rights meetings each week. The woman was unbreakable. Born in 1893 in Glasgow to a socialist family, Jessie was the eldest of 11 children. Although


hoping to become a teacher, she was obliged to leave school at the age of 14 and go into domestic service when her father lost his job. And it was as a maid in 1912 that she received her first taste of activism by organising maidservants in Glasgow into the Scottish Federation of Domestic Workers. Jessie would knock on the back doors of the wealthy homes in Glasgow and enlist her sister maidservants to fight against exploitation. By the age of 16, she was also vice chair of the Independent Labour Party in Glasgow, as well as a militant member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU). While wearing her maid’s uniform, Jessie blended into the bustling street scene, putting her in an easy position to join the WSPU in their campaign to destroy the contents of letterboxes in protest at their voices not being heard. “I was able to drop acid into the postal pillar boxes without being suspected because I walked down from where I was employed in my cap and apron … nobody would ever suspect me,” she recalled. “As the women passed a

pillar box they dropped in a lighted match or a wee drop of acid. Who would have suspected those timid downstairs maids of doing such a thing?” When Jessie heard that one of the WSPU’s leaders, Sylvia Pankhurst, was heading to Glasgow to set up a branch of the Workers’ Suffrage Federation, she made it her business to be introduced to the famous suffragette and was rewarded with an invitation to work with Sylvia in London. Working in the front line of the suffragette movement, Jessie managed to avoid imprisonment despite her involvement with schemes such as smuggling Emmeline Pankhurst past a police blockade to speak at a rally. “Police, five deep, had surrounded St Andrew’s Hall in Glasgow. They were on the roof and posted at every door and window. The objective was to prevent Emily [sic] Pankhurst from addressing a packed meeting,” wrote the Bristol Evening Post, who interviewed Jessie in 1978. “The meeting Continued overleaf

Got a story or any other inquiry? Call Paul on 07811 766072 or email

March 2018





canvassing via open-air meetings Britain who were the driving was a way to reach the working force that led to the vote. But women who might feel those who thought equality intimidated by attending more would come with the vote were formal political meetings in halls. wrong.” She wanted to reach “women Jessie’s many roles included who are so poverty stricken that organiser of the Bermondsey they have not the necessary Independent Labour Party, clothes to go out in… This secretary of the National group is larger than Federation of Women many suppose”. Workers and vice She was chair of the Ministry adamant that the of Reconstruction. impression that In 1922, she was the suffrage the elected Labour movement and its councillor for successors were Bermondsey and largely middle-class worked to improve was a “distortion”, public health in the Blue plaque at Jessie’s stressing that there borough. She was still home, Chessel Street were “a tremendous only 29. number of workingJessie remained class women”. However, just as committed to improving the lot Jessie herself is excluded from of domestic staff, and was the the vast majority of suffrage General Secretary of the histories, so are many of her Domestic and Hotel Workers’ working-class sisters. It was only Union. At the 1923 Domestic via her subsequent work with the Service Inquiry, Jessie declared trades unions that the scale of that a number of employers were Jessie’s work as a suffragette committing a breach of contract came to light. In 1978, she stated: by supplying inferior food and “It was the working women of providing “bedrooms in which they would not house their pet dogs.” Four years later in 1927, Jessie – now area organiser of the Clerical and Administrative Workers’ Union – was fighting the corner of office workers. At a meeting at Bristol’s Grand Hotel on Broad Street (now the Mercure Grand), the Western Established family firm with 25 years experience Daily Press reported Jessie as saying: “If the average citizen knew of the appalling conditions which exist in many offices in the city he would be disgusted. In the centre of the city some of the offices were not much better than pig sties.” WITH T H By 1930, Jessie was still going ADVERTIS strong for domestic workers. At the Spring Conference of London H Senior Citizens Special Labour Women, she asserted: “A H Garden Clearance — Regular or one-off maid has artistic perceptions and H Patios H Fencing H Tree Work H Turfing aspirations just the same as anyone else, and a mistress has H Hedgecutting H Planting (Shrubs etc) no right to give her inferior sticks H Organic manure delivered — Also applied of furniture or a damp room in H Professional and guaranteed work the basement, or a lumber room at the top of the house. A girl, H Brick & Blocklaying too, needs a certain amount of liberty and recreation. She wants to dance and sing and kick up a row occasionally.” CALL JOE FOR A FREE QUOTE Her work would take her all over the globe. During 1926, Jessie undertook a tour of the United States to explain the trades union position to workers there. Once back in the UK, Jessie

Continued from page 37 began with the police confident that they had reached their objective. Then Jessie announced, ‘Ladies! Our leader!’ And out of the wings stepped Emily [sic]. They had smuggled her past the police in the laundry basket where she remained on stage all day as the police searched for her.” Although Emmeline attempted to call a halt to all suffragette activities once war was declared in 1914, Jessie was reluctant to stop. She left the WSPU and went to work full-time with Sylvia’s East London Workers’ Suffrage Federation. The constant police surveillance failed to ruffle Jessie’s feathers and she shrugged off the attendance of officers at her rallies saying: “Detectives attended all meetings and took shorthand notes of the speeches … One of them always approached the speaker to ask for one’s name and address and permanent place of abode.” Jessie believed that mass


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widened her talents. As well as establishing herself as a freelance journalist, she also set up a secretarial agency and joined the National Union of Clerks in 1938. By 1944, she was appointed the first female area union organiser of the National Clerical and Administrative Workers’ Union for South Wales and the West of England, and it was this role that brought her to Bristol where she would become the first-ever woman president of the Trades Union Council. Jessie was elected as a city councillor of Bristol in 1952 and used this as an opportunity to speak widely and loudly about birth control. In 1978, Jessie received the MBE for her trades union work. However, she died of pneumonia and heart failure at Bristol’s General Hospital on 12 June 1979, aged 86. Jessie’s last address on Chessel Street is honoured with a blue plaque. HANNAH WILTSHIRE 1833-1855. Inmate of the Bedminster workhouse URING the year 1855, rumours of murder and cover-up were circulating in the small North Somerset village of Walton in Gordano. The allegations were that in Bedminster Union Workhouse, a 22-year-old female inmate who suffered from epilepsy had been murdered. The victim’s name was Hannah Wiltshire. Within a few months of entering the workhouse, Hannah died a violent, neglected death after an altercation with the woman in charge of the workhouse dining room, Mrs Cavil. Her premature death caused local public outrage in the media at the time, instigated by her pauper aunt, Ann Howe. Ann was Hannah’s only guardian before she had to enter the workhouse. Ann was illiterate and the homeless daughter of impoverished farm labourers. However, this did not stop her from attempting to expose how Hannah had died, which was through neglect and medical negligence. With the help of friends in the community, Ann embarked on a letter-writing campaign to the local newspapers for justice. The accusation being that the Poor Law Guardians of the Workhouse had concealed the true extent of neglect that existed within the walls of Bedminster Union Workhouse. To add to her distress, Ann


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March 2018



Public outrage: One of several letters to the Bristol Mercury protesting at the neglect which led to the workhouse death of Hannah Wiltshire was not convinced that Hannah’s body was even in the coffin, because she was not given the chance to view her niece’s body before she was buried in the local churchyard. Her suspicions were valid because the Workhouse Guardians had the right, under law, to hand over dead bodies to medical schools for dissection if a body remained uncollected by family or friends, leading to a financial gain for the workhouse. Bedminster Poor Law Union Workhouse was built at Flax Burton during 1837 and 1838, to the south of Bristol. The design was based on Victorian prison plans and originally was intended to house 300 inmates. Part of the building remains to this day and has been converted for office use. The “young, old, feeble minded [sic] and invalids” were mixed together. Due to public pressure, an inquest opened on October 11, 1855 in the village schoolhouse situated next to St Paul’s Church, Walton in Gordano. The coroner agreed that Hannah’s coffin should be opened for inspection, with the jury and those who knew her to be present. The coffin was exhumed on the day of the inquest and when it was opened the female body inside was recognisable as the deceased Hannah Wiltshire. The local surgeon who carried out the autopsy stated that although her skull had not been fractured, there was a sign of a bleed under her skull. Surprisingly the workhouse doctor, Mr Massey, as well as the master and matron of the workhouse, were not required to be present at the inquest. Many pauper witnesses were

called. A key witness, Mary Jane Tyler, gave evidence of what she had seen. “Mrs Cavil struck her three blows under the right ear, and then got up; deceased then had a fit and got up, and attempted to put her hands into the fire [Hannah had been attempting to warm water on the fire], but was prevented; she then again lay down in the fits … and then Sexa Marshall [a pauper nurse] and other persons took her into the Infirmary and put her to bed; on the following Monday morning I saw deceased lying dead in the Infirmary; the doctor [Mr Massey] was at the union on Saturday, and might, perhaps have seen her … but I do not think so, neither the master nor the matron of the house was present at the time, but hearing the alarm they inquired about it afterwards.” After hearing all the evidence, the jurors took only 15 minutes to return the following verdict: “That the deceased’s death was caused by apoplexy, but that sufficient care was not taken by the authorities of the Bedminster Union Workhouse to separate the deceased from the other inmates of the establishment, knowing, as they did, the very peculiar liabilities of the deceased to fit, upon being thwarted. The jury are also of the opinion of the peculiar circumstances under which the deceased on this occasion, came by her death. This verdict was dissented from by one or two jurors, who were for one of ‘Manslaughter’”. Following the verdict, a public outcry ensued which resulted in numerous letters of complaint and dissatisfaction directed to the Board of Guardians. The



writers were outraged that a unanimous verdict of manslaughter was not reached and they demanded a public inquiry. Instead the Board of Guardians agreed to hold an inquiry in private, behind closed doors. The life and nature of Hannah’s death illustrates the typical treatment imposed upon the vulnerable poor living in England during the mid-19th century. Yet, despite class-based medical discrimination towards the treatment of epileptics in Victorian England, Ann and her supporters succeeded in provoking a legal obligation for accountability from the Guardians of Bedminster Union Workhouse. By Rosemary Caldicott, historian and author of books including The Life and Death of Hannah Wiltshire ELIZA STEELE Born 1867. Cobbler, Bedminster HEN bootmaker Walter Steele died in 1924, his widow Eliza Steele picked up the reins and continued the family business as a bootmaker and cobbler at 248 North Street, Southville. After all, what choice did she have? Walter’s death left Eliza a widow with five daughters to support, and it was not uncommon for widows and fatherless children to end up in the workhouses. Nevertheless, Eliza persisted for the sake of her daughters and as the head of a family of six she must have worked all hours of the day to avoid that dreaded fate. Although the elder daughters Alice, Edith and Kate were just about old enough to work (as a music teacher, milliner and domestic servant respectively), there were still two


younger mouths to feed. Young Gertrude and Ivy remained at school and were entirely dependent on Eliza to look after them. Local trade directories show that the Steel family’s boot business operated from North Street until at least 1934, and this is testament to Eliza’s plucky determination to persevere for the sake of her young female family in the face of unimaginably hard times. EVELINE DEW BLACKER 1884-1956. Architect of Bristol’s suburbs, including Knowle Park VELINE Dew Blacker was born on 28 July 1884 at 5 Unity Street in the centre of Bristol. In 1905, Eveline was articled to the eminent architect George Oatley (who later designed the Wills Memorial building). Eveline completed her articles in 1909, and in the same year passed the Intermediate Examination of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). In fact, she was placed 31st out of 152 candidates, of which she was the only woman. In the 1901 census, only six women in England and Wales described themselves as architects, compared with 10,775 men. And by 1905 there were just two female members of RIBA. In the 1911 census, Eveline was one of only seven women listed as architects – compared with 8,914 men. At the end of World War I, Eveline set up in practice with Harry Heathman at 4 Colston Street, thereby becoming the first woman to practise as an architect in Bristol. A major source of work for architects at this time was the large amount of public housing schemes around the country that Continued overleaf


Bristol Cenotaph: Eveline Blacker’s design was chosen by the public

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never took place). Following ‘You’ve tried the rest, now try the best’ Delivering plant boxes to bloom up Bristol _ _ the disappearance of her elder _ _ brother Arthur in 1203 (at the WORDSEARCH WORDSEARCH This month: Vegetables EASY for children SOLUTIONS This month:SUDOKU Vegetables SUDOKU EASY for children SOLUTIONS hands of their wicked uncle DELIVERING PLANT BOXES TO BRIGHTEN HOMES AND BUSINESSES FROM £10* John), Eleanor became second Can you find 51 vegetables horizontally or diagonally? Can youhidden find 51vertically, vegetables hidden vertically, horizontally or diagonally? Each horizontal row,Each eachhorizontal 2x2 square row, each 2x2 square in line to the throne and the heir and each column must all themust contain all the andcontain each column Adzuki bean Adzuki to a wealth of land in England, numbers 1-4. 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Emmeline Pethick Lawrence, left, photographed with another famous suffragette, Christabel Pankhurst, in about 1908-1912 PHOTO: LSE those in charge at the city council. SARAH MARY TERRETT 1836-1889. Temperance campaigner, Bedminster S THE wife of Bedminster East councillor William Terrett, Sarah Mary Terrett (née Babbage) was in a prominent social position from which to do good deeds. And there were many good deeds to be done. Most notably, this staunch Methodist was the founder in 1878 of the White Ribbon Gospel Temperance Army, which she formed after being disgusted at the open displays of drunkenness near her home in Bedminster. After buying a disused chapel and appointing officers, it was not long before Sarah had 44 ‘battalions’ of her Army in Bristol and the surrounding area. Thanks to Sarah’s charisma and her skill at public speaking, the Army quickly grew, as did her reputation for “intuitive sagacity, her sanctified common sense and her unfailing good humour”. Ironically, she died suddenly in 1889 after falling off the platform from which she was giving a speech. Sarah was just 53 when she passed away but at least she had died “while engaged in her best loved work of rescuing the perishing from drunkenness and sin.” The Terretts had lived at Church House, Bedminster, where the couple had endured the incomprehensible grief of seven of their nine children dying


in infancy. Perhaps it was in an effort to distract herself from her losses that Sarah turned to campaigning to save the souls of others; as well as her temperance work, Sarah was also a Poor Law Guardian of the Bedminster Union Workhouse and an advocate for women to train as teachers. One of her surviving children, a daughter known as Sunshine, went on to do good work in her mother’s memory before her own untimely death in 1903. PRINCESS ELEANOR OF BRITTANY 1184-1241 Prisoner in Bristol Castle ORN in Normandy, Princess Eleanor was orphaned in infancy and brought up by her grandmother and uncle, King Richard of England (who had offered Eleanor, aged 11, for marriage to a man nearly 40 years her senior; fortunately the marriage


Jewelled captivity: Eleanor of Brittany was kept in Bristol Castle by King John, who feared any child of hers would have a claim on his throne

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EMMELINE PETHICK LAWRENCE 1867-1854. Suffragette MMELINE Pethick Lawrence was born in Clifton, her family moving to Weston-super-Mare in 1881. She had an active role in the highest level of the votes-forwomen movement, befriending the leading suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst. She founded a newspaper, Votes for Women, and was imprisoned several times. She later split with Pankhurst, who advocated direct action, including damage to property, while Lawrence believed in peaceful protest. The lengthy story of her career in The Women Who Built Bristol, includes her footnote in the history of South Bristol. Emmeline was refused permission to hold a Women’s Social and Political Union meeting in Victoria Park, Windmill Hill or to sell copies of her Votes for Women newspaper. It’s not clear if this refusal was entirely due to a ban on all commercial activities in the park, or whether the controversial nature of her cause offended

March 2018

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Continued from page 39 local authorities undertook after World War I. In 1919, Bristol Corporation announced a competition for 5,000 houses – one of the largest schemes in the country – comprising eight council estates. Eight architectural firms, including Heathman & Blacker, were selected to design the houses, which comprise characteristic cottage types in the Garden Suburb style in areas such as Sea Mills, Fishponds and Knowle. Perhaps Heathman & Blacker’s most significant work is the Bristol cenotaph. In January 1931, after years of vacillation, a competition for local architects was launched to design Bristol’s memorial to World War I. Three entries were published in the Bristol Evening Times and put on display at the Art Gallery in Queen’s Road for a public vote, when the people of Bristol chose Heathman & Blacker’s design. Their cenotaph now stands in Colston Avenue as a monument to those lost in both world wars and is the focus of Remembrance Day services every year. By Dr Sarah Whittingham FSA, a historian specialising in people, buildings and gardens. She is writing a biography of the Blacker sisters.


March 2018





March 2018

March 2018




Thursday February 22 n Macbeth Tobacco Factory theatre. “Macbeth speaks to a world we find ourselves living in now; a world in which politicians lie to our faces but no one can plaster over the truth that the planet is threatening to turn on us.” Shakespeare’s elemental tragedy is the first production by the theatre’s new in-house company of actors. Directed by Adele Thomas, with Jonathan McGuiness as Macbeth, Katy Stephens as Lady Macbeth and Aaron Anthony as Banquo. Until April 7. Shows at 7.30pm except February 27 at 7pm. Matinees Thursday and Saturday 2pm. Tickets from £12. • Thursday March 1 n Shoun Shoun The Thunderbolt, Bath Road, Totterdown. Annette Berlin leads a band playing “unflinching, atmospheric, minimal post-punk channeling the spirit of Marlene Dietrich and Siouxsie Sioux with a certain velvet elegance.” 7.30pm, £4. • n The Grahams The Tunnels, Temple Meads. Doug and Alyssa Graham are musical partners as well as husband and wife. Their first album, Riverman’s Daughter, was the result of a year on the Mississippi; “Americana at its very finest”. 7.30pm, £13. • Friday March 2 n Dane Baptiste: G.O.D. (Gold. Oil. Drugs) Comedy Box at the Hen & Chicken, North Street. Fresh from hosting Live at the Apollo and a sellout run at the Edinburgh Fringe, Dane Baptiste brings his third national tour, exploring our worldwide pursuit of wealth, power and pleasure. Sold out, but check for returns. •

Wednesday March 7 n Disabled archery Park Centre, Daventry Road, Knowle. Open and friendly group, meets fortnightly on Wednesdays 1.30-3pm. Free. Part of WECIL’s (West of England Centre for Inclusive Living) peer support community. Also on March 21, April 4 and 18, May 2, 16 and 30. •

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Wicked fills in the gaps in the Yellow Brick Road REVIEW Wicked – The Musical Bristol Hippodrome


ICKED, having been running in the West End for 10 years, has finally opened its doors at the Bristol Hippodrome for a short run until March 3. Having heard of its brilliance, I was excited to see how it could live up to the hype. Well, it exceeded it and completely blew the audience away! In case you don’t know, this is the backstory of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – the original story which was made into the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz. Running through the show is an enjoyable narrative of how Elphaba came to be the Wicked Witch of the West, as well as the rise to prominence of Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. Brilliantly, it told us that different isn’t bad and that conforming to ideals isn’t needed to be a good and loveable person – much in keeping with society’s developing view today. Accompanying the stunning costumes and sets is the Saturday March 3 n Brian Peters Saltcellar Folk Club, Totterdown Baptist church, entrance off Cemetery Road. Compelling singer, squeezebox player and guitarist with traditional songs, ballads and tunes. £5 entry, £3 for floor singers. • Sunday March 4 Sunday Market Tobacco Factory courtyard, 10am2.30pm, every Sunday. Around 40 food and craft stalls, featuring produce prepared, harvested, cooked, baked, designed and made in the local area. Meet the producers and ask questions. Weekly kids activities 11.30am2pm. • n Spring clean Totterdown Litter picking organised by community group Tresa as part of the Bristol Spring Clean organised by Bristol Waste. Meet

Good witch: Helen Woolf as Glinda in Wicked Photo: MATT CROCKETT wonderful feeling that we are being let in on a secret, an alternative history of Oz and the story we knew as children, as written by L Frank Baum in 1900. Joining the dots in this way creates a warm and familiar emotion which the audience loved. The musicality was brilliant, with excellent performances from all cast members, which earned a well-deserved standing ovation from every part of this huge theatre. Amy Ross was a very powerful

Elphaba, with Helen Woolf complimenting her darker side with lighter notes. Familiar TV face Aaron Sidwell gave a beautiful gentle touch with his very caring portrayal of Fiyero. All in all, Wicked is familyfriendly and easy to listen to, with a complicated plot which, even if you don’t quite follow, you enjoy immensely. We’ve bought more tickets and will follow that Yellow Brick Road straight back to see it again! Ruth Drury

in School Road park at 10.30am, moving down Wells Road to Zone A and Bushy Park. Litter pickers and bags will be provided. Bring gardening gloves if you have any. •

Tuesday March 6 n Understanding Menglish Speilman centre, Arnos Vale cemetery. Communication differences between the sexes are the topic of a two-hour seminar for professional women held by Jane C Woods, author of a confidence-boosting course for women, RenewYou. Hear about the researched differences in how men and women communicate and how this can affect your career. “For any woman who has ever been mansplained to, interrupted or got an eye roll for asking a question.” 10am-12 noon, £49.50. • n Tuesday Market Park centre, Daventry Road, Knowle. Indoor market every other Tuesday in the café, with stalls selling jewellery and bric-a-brac. Plus jams, chutneys and fresh eggs. Also on March 20. •

Victoria Park: Find out what’s new Monday March 5 n Victoria Park Action Group AGM Bowling club, Victoria Park. 7.30-9pm. All welcome. •

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Friday March 9 n History of the Clifton Suspension Bridge Knowle and Totterdown Local History Society. Talk on Bristol’s most famous landmark by Gordon Young. Followed by two of Gordon’s local short films. 7.30pm, Redcatch community centre, Redcatch Road, Knowle. Members £1.50, visitors £3. • knowleandtotterdownhistory. Saturday March 10 n Riverbank Clean-up The Friends of Avon New Cut, or Franc, meet to clear litter off the riverbank from Gaol Ferry Bridge to Vauxhall Bridge from 10am12 noon. Spare gloves, litterpickers and rubbish bags supplied, along with highvisibility vests. Free tea, coffee and cake on offer afterwards at the Spike Island café. • n Herbal First Aid Windmill Hill City Farm, Philip Street, Bedminster. Join herbalist Belle Benfield to learn how to make herbal tinctures and balms from plants growing all around us. Take home a balm you have made. 10.30am-3.30pm, with a bring-and-share picnic lunch. £65 (plus booking fee of £3.49). • n Pre-Loved Sale for Lifeskills Fourth floor, Create Centre, Smeaton Road. Sale of high-end pre-loved clothes, jewellery, accessories and more.

THE TOTTERDOWN CENTRE IS BACK! • Floriography by Vera Fallacy • The Healing Courtyard A place to relax

• Bristol Women’s Workshop Practical courses for women

• Fanny Tingle Pop-up café and candlelit suppers Come and see what we’re up to! 142 WELLS ROAD (down the alley), TOTTERDOWN BS4 2AG 0117 329 2720 | 07495 090560

escaping in a small Sudanese village leads to all sorts of problems. A family-friendly show, presented in partnership with Ashley Housing. Tickets are free, but donations gratefully received. 7pm. •

Andy Zaltzman: Taking on the audience in his interactive show

He’ll satirise you, if you ask him nicely Sunday March 4 n Andy Zaltzman: Satirist for Hire Comedy Box at the Tobacco Factory. Andy Zaltzman, 50 per cent of global hit satirical podcast The Bugle, returns with his interactive show, giving audiences 11am-3pm, entry £1. Lifeskills holds road safety sessions for children and older people. • n Saturday Night Fever Zion, Bishopsworth Road. Social in aid of Bedminster & Southville and Withywood & Hartcliffe Labour Party branches. With Bristol’s first-ever woman DJ Gill Loats, ex-the legendary Dug Out club. Funk, soul, reggae, glitterpop, disco and new wave. MC Rina Vergano. £5, bar. Non-party members welcome. Booking recommended: email • Sunday March 11 n Stolen Tobacco Factory theatre. Storyteller Daniel Morden takes the audience on a journey to the Land of No Return, to meet a king turned to stone and a glass man filled with wasps. An absorbing evening with accompaniment on strings by Sarah Moody and Oliver Wilson-Dickson. Tickets from £12, 7.30pm. Also on March 18. • Thursday March 15 n Jason Ringenberg The Thunderbolt, Bath Road, Totterdown. With Jason and the Scorchers, Ringenberg set US roots country music alight in the 1980s with an injection of punk energy. Now touring solo, he wants to show Bristol why he won a place in the Country Music


the chance to have the issues they care about satirised to order by one of Britain’s leading political comedians. To get your topic featured, email satirisethis@ All issues considered, within reason, from the global to the intensely personal. Andy is a regular on Radio 4 comedy shows as well as being a cricket commentator. 7.30pm, £14.50. • Hall of Fame. £10, 7.30pm. • Saturday March 17 n Stand Up For The Weekend with Alfie Brown & Co Comedy Box at the Hen & Chicken, North Street. Alfie Brown believes in pushing boundaries and experimentation. “Explosive material makes for a thrilling performance every time he hits the stage.” Plus guests. £11, 7.45pm. • n DO YOU WANT YOUR EVENT TO STAND OUT?

We try to print as many listings as possible for free, and we’ll continue to do so. But if you want to ensure your event is included and gets attention, we will print it with a colour background like this for just £5. Find out more by emailing sales@ Monday March 19 Life drawing Tobacco Factory Snug Bar. First come, first served at the regular life drawing session on the first and third Monday of every month, in The Snug. £5 or £4 students, spaces limited. • Wednesday March 21 n Lost Sheep Acta theatre, Gladstone Street, Bedminster. “Don’t dig a hole for your neighbour to fall into ... you may just fall into it yourself!” Sheep

Unapologetic: Sophie Willan Thursday March 22 n Sophie Willan Comedy Box at the Hen & Chicken, North Street. One of last year’s breakout stars, nominated for Edinburgh best comedy and show and winner of several 2017 awards. “Expect a raucous hour like no other from this unapologetic young powerhouse.” As seen on As Yet Untitled (Dave) and as heard on BBC Radio 4. £12.50, 7.45pm. • Friday March 23 n Networking with Freelance Mum Windmill Hill City Farm, Philip Street, Bedminster. Guest speaker Helen Farmer talks about how the digital world can help manage stress and anxiety in the workplace. Helen is from socially-responsible events organiser Voice by Volume. 10am-12 noon, £9 members, £12 non-members, children free. Includes coffee and cake plus craft activities for the little ones. • Saturday March 24 n Ultra 90s The Tunnels, Temple Meads. Formed in 2008, Ultra 90s claim to be Europe’s official 1990s dance anthem production show. The sounds of Snap!, 2 Unlimited, Livin’ Joy and Baby D. 7.30pm, £13. • n A Certain Ratio Fiddlers Club, Willway Street, Bedminster. Formed in Manchester in 1977, A Certain Ratio added funk and dance elements to the punk sound, leading to them being dubbed “post punk funk”. 8pm, £22. • Continued overleaf

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March 2018



n The Shillings Zion, Bishopsworth Road. An evening of live music and stories from the Somerset folk and country group. Led by singer-songwriter Barry Walsh, they fuse guitar, mandolin, banjo and fiddle with close vocal harmonies. 7.3010.30pm, £10 advance. • Sunday March 25 n Wedding fair Arnos Vale cemetery. Two Victorian chapels full of exhibitors of products and services, from wedding invitations and makeup to cakes and entertainment. Sample wedding cakes and canapes, and try on wedding dresses. Visit Arnos Vale’s outdoor wedding venue, the Underwood centre. 11am-3pm. The first 50 couples can enjoy a glass of free bubbly. • Monday March 26 n Disabled lunch Monthly social lunchtime meet up for disabled people at the Park Centre, Daventry Road, Knowle. Open and friendly group, meets last Monday of the month, 12-2pm. Part of WECIL’s peer support community. •

they’re doing – they played a cracking set, with tune after classic tune; all those 60s and 70s soul favourites that everyone knows the words to, each song one that I had sung along to a hundred times in my kitchen while washing up – what a pleasure to hear them played live and belt along at the top of my voice, surrounded by a crowd of people all doing the same! The three vocalists, two women, one man, had great

voices, made good harmonies and weren’t shy of tackling some big numbers – Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, the Supremes – and the crowd never stopped dancing. I’ve always had a soft spot for The Temptations – when they played My Girl, I held hands with my chap and sang to my heart’s delight – a feel-good moment in a funky disco night. Beccy Golding

Wednesday March 28 n Ladies of the Blues The Tunnels, Temple Meads. With Finnish slide goddess Erja Lyytinen, multi-award-winning blues singer Connie Lush and blues and soul singer Kyla Brox. 7.30pm, £17. • Thursday March 29 n Amy Rigby Band Thunderbolt, Bath Road, Totterdown. Amy has been compared to Randy Newman. Her band includes Wreckless Eric, and Ian Button of Death in Vegas. £9, 7.30pm. •

Good Friday, March 30 n Quiz and Supper Night Windmill Hill community centre, Vivian Street. Last Friday of every month, 8.30pm-late. • n Double Barrel The George, Wells Road, Knowle. Playing soul, ska and Motown. 9pm, free. n The Wailing Souls Fiddlers Club, Willway Street, Bedminster. The name hints at a Bob Marley connection, but duo Winston Matthews and Lloyd McDonald predate him, with roots in early 1960s reggae. 8pm, £19.25. •

n Manos Puestas El Rincon, North Street, Southville. Fiery trio play bossa novas, rumbas and hot club, all in a flamenco style. • Saturday March 31 n Jeffery Lewis & Los Bolts Fiddlers Club, Willway Street, Bedminster. Lewis, from New York, is an anti-folk and postpunk musician. 7.30pm, £8.10. • Easter Sunday, April 1 n Big Brian The George, Wells Road, Knowle. Big Brian sings hits from the 70s to the present.


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3-0 lead, it looked certain that the afternoon would end with City matching the 54 points they gained during the entirety of last season and everything else from now on would show how much the club had improved. Just 50 minutes later everyone (apart from those from the North East) trooped glumly out of Ashton Gate after a 3-3 draw and the realisation that statistics not only lie, they can lull you into a false sense of security. It doesn’t matter what percentage of possession a team has; how many assists a player boasts; how many successful MARTIN’S SHORTS passes are achieved; who had the n THERE are now 21 Bristol best corner count; how many City players out on loan to miles the players run. Football other clubs for the rest of the comes down to whether, when season. That is a lot of young the ball hits Marlon Pack on the talent on the books at Ashton heel in the 92nd minute, it will Gate. It will be interesting to ping into the back of the net or see if the idea of hoovering up go wide. so many players and Getyoung fit for less in 2018 at F4L Bristol why football is better Get fit for less in 2018 atThat’s F4L Bristol giving them “experience” thanF4L cricket. Basically cricket is Get fit for less in 2018 at Bristol elsewhere leads to more ✔ Superb gym just maths in a field with people coming through into the first ✔ Superb gym counting everything and then Friendly staff ✔✔ Superb gym team. ✔✔Friendly staff deciding it is a draw because it Amazing results! ✔ Friendly staff ✔ Amazing results! ✔ Amazing results!

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HERE are a lot of statistics and mathematics involved in supporting a football club but only two things really matter – scoring goals and gaining league points. Bristol City fans can get the calculators and slide rules out but the plain facts are that this season the team now have to up their game if they want to finish in the play-off positions and have a chance of getting to the Premier League. At half-time against bottom club Sunderland, at home with a


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It doesn’t matter how great their form has been so far; City need to win more games to have a chance of glory says MARTIN POWELL

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REVIEW Motown & Soul night with Soulside, The Tunnels HE TUNNELS is a great venue but the stage isn’t huge – especially with a 10-piece band on it. Three singers, three saxophonists and a full rhythm section doesn’t leave much room for dancing, but the singers still managed to squeeze in a few synchronised moves à la 60s backing singers. The audience was enthusiastic – a group of lads were straight in at the front, dancing and singing along to songs that were written way before they were born; a selfie-taking hen party; clusters of friends and lots of family groups – grown up sons and daughters with mums, dads, aunties, uncles – a nice mixed bag and a friendly vibe. Soulside really know what



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March 2018

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rained. We don’t need a Wisden possible – but unlikely. book of logarithms to work out The Championship is a tough that we need to put the ball in the league and a glance at Bristol net more often than the other City’s February fixtures, that list team. Bolton, Sunderland, Leeds, So far this season the Fulham and Cardiff as opposition statistics tell us only one certain – all teams with recent Premier thing – Bristol City have secured League experience – shows just themselves a place in the how tough. Championship next season. To In the top league it could read gain a place in the play-offs they Huddersfield, Bournemouth, still have the tough task of Swansea and Brighton, which getting around two points a game somehow doesn’t sound any for the rest of the season. tougher! At Christmas it looked The games are coming thick realistically possible to make the and fast but for those studying top two but that would now the league table and doing the require a points haul from the maths it is worth realising one remaining games that would see thing – Fulham finished sixth * this young Bristol City side going last season with 80 points. That on a magnificent run. It’s always has to be the target. per month

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March 2018




KARIN SMYTH Labour MP for Bristol

South Bristol needs more jobs, including from the arena


NLIKE other parts of the city, we don’t have many large local employers here in Bristol South – which has an impact on just how many people can secure decent, well-paid work. That said, we’re fortunate enough to be close to Bristol Airport. I recently visited the airport where I heard about their expansion plans; it currently employs around 15,000 people but with passenger numbers set to double over the next 10-15 years, will need another 6,000-plus members of staff. I heard about some of the employment opportunities now available at the airport and am pleased to be welcoming them to the South Bristol Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair, which takes place from 12-5.30pm on Thursday March 8 at City of Bristol College’s South

Bristol Skills Academy in Hengrove. They’re joining the likes of Keir Construction, Greene King, Brunelcare and many other local employers who are keen to link up with local jobseekers. Last year’s event saw hundreds of young people learn more about how apprenticeships could benefit them. We also welcomed lots of parents keen to support their children to find the best path into training and employment. University is not for everyone and with Bristol South sending the smallest percentage of 18 year olds to university in the whole of England, we need to look at how we support



young people in going on to secure decent jobs. Apprenticeships offer you the chance to earn while you learn – giving you the knowledge, skills and experience to go on to gainful employment. You may have heard of last-minute plans to consider moving Bristol’s arena from the existing site near Temple Meads to the northern fringe of the city in Filton. I was very disappointed to hear this. The arena build, which should already be under way, provides the potential for hundreds of apprenticeship and job opportunities. There’s been much talk over the years of the need to rebalance north and south Bristol and consideration of where the arena ends up has to take this into account. It’s about access to cultural capital too – a world-class entertainment venue within easy reach of Bristol South. We shouldn’t throw away an opportunity to make headway with that by moving jobs, investment and access up to Filton, which is already home to large scale investment and many large employers, and is inaccessible for a lot of people living in Bristol South. I will continue to fight for the job and apprenticeship opportunities that Bristol South needs in order to rebalance the city and, as ever, would be pleased to hear your thoughts.

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March 2018

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South Bristol Voice March 2018  
South Bristol Voice March 2018