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southbristolvoice February 2018 No. 28

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Stadium surveys residents in bid to head off anger over fans parking ASHTON Gate stadium has launched a survey to find out what residents think about the impact of sports fans travelling to the venue – but there is still no end in sight to the traffic misery that afflicts the area on matchdays. And the row about whether stadium owner Bristol Sport should start work on a match day parking scheme rumbles on. Residents say the misery caused by fans parking across driveways, over junctions and causing obstructions to buses

and emergency vehicles is getting worse. Increased action by the police and council to ticket or tow away drivers is failing to keep up with the problem. The stadium is obliged to consult on organising its own matchday scheme to regulate fans parking near their homes. But first – according to the planning permission granted for the redevelopment of the stadium in 2013 – the attendance at three out of five successive matches has to exceed 25,000. Bristol City’s recent run of

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• Metrobus unveils some of its tech Page 5

Alex’s plastic protest goes viral Pages 10-11 Flying the flag: City fans at the historic Carabao Cup tie on January 23. Report: page 45 But is the club’s success bringing more misery to residents? success, which resulted in them almost kicking Premiership leaders Manchester City out of the Carabao Cup, appeared to top this total. More than 26,000 attended the Manchester United game on December 20, over 25,000 were recorded at the Wolves game on Continued on page 4

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February 2018


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


A TIME FOR BLUNTNESS COUNCILLOR Stephen Clarke says he has drawn a lot of stick for his criticism of Bristol Sport over its lack of action in starting work on a matchday parking scheme. Others have said he’d do better to cooperate with the stadium, avoid public rows and work towards a solution. It can’t be denied that Bristol Sport has done a lot to persuade fans not to drive to Ashton Gate: extra buses, trains, park and ride routes, and more. Trouble is, no one predicted just how well Bristol City would do this season. Add a stellar league performance to a heroic

You can find South Bristol Voice on Facebook and Twitter southbristolvoice Twitter: @sbristolvoice Next month’s deadline for editorial and advertising is February 14th cup run, and attendances have topped the magic 25,000 mark. Two years ago Cllr Clarke told us that some Ashton residents were desperate in their need to ease the pressure on matchday parking in their streets. Now the problem is even worse. It seems strange for Bristol Sport to be arguing that it has to wait for just the right number of 25,000-plus games to trigger action. That’s not what its chairman told us in 2016 (see page 5). In these circumstances, raised tempers are perhaps understandable. There is, of course, one easy solution: City could win promotion to the Premiership. The matchday parking scheme would then have to start, under planning rules. A win for fans, and residents too.

How do I get in touch with ...

My councillor? By post: (all councillors) Brunel House, St George’s Road, Bristol BS1 5UY

Celia Phipps Labour, Bedminster By phone: 07469 413312 By email: Mark Bradshaw Labour, Bedminster. By email: Cllr.mark. By phone: 0117 353 3160 Stephen Clarke Green, Southville By email: Cllr.stephen.clarke@ Charlie Bolton Green, Southville By phone: 07884 736111 By email:

USEFUL NUMBERS Bristol City Council  0117 922 2000 Waste, roads 0117 922 2100 Pest control and dog wardens 0117 922 2500 Housing benefit 0117 922 2300 Social services   0117 922 2900 Police Inquiries 101 Emergency 999

Fire Inquiries   0117 926 2061 Emergency   999 Greater Bedminster Community Partnership Local forum for the public, councillors, police, council officials and other bodies. Next meeting Tuesday March 14, venue tba, to decide group’s future. Email

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: Surgeries will be held on Friday February 2 and 16. Call 0117 953 3575 for an appointment.

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 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 Co. no. 09522608 | VAT no. 211 0801 76

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Council reins in dog patrols – but owners still face fines Cemetery is offlimits unless dogs are on leads ENFORCEMENT officers are on the lookout for dog owners misbehaving in public spaces in South Bristol – with a special focus on Arnos Vale cemetery. The 45 acres of woodland at Arnos Vale might look the ideal place to let a dog roam free. But walking a dog off-lead in the cemetery is illegal, the council has warned. South Bristol’s dog warden, Mark Coombs – properly known as an animal health enforcement officer – told the Voice: “Bristol city council has recently received several reports regarding dogs being walked off lead, dogs being out of control and dog owners failing to clean up after their dogs within the grounds of Arnos Vale cemetery. This can cause friction with responsible dog walkers and other users of the cemetery.” Enforcement officers from private firm Kingdom visit the cemetery regularly. They can fine an owner who hasn’t picked up their dog’s mess, or whose dog isn’t on a lead, £100 – reduced to £60 if paid within 10 days. The owner can contest the fixed penalty in court, but if convicted the fine could rise to a maximum of £1,000. The Kingdom enforcers started work in the city centre

Where you CAN walk your dog off the lead in South Bristol* Full list at: BEDMINSTER • Playing field off South Liberty Lane, Ashton Drive; • South Street playing fields, park; • Gores Marsh recreation ground; • Dame Emily park; • St John’s churchyard, off Malago Road, St John’s Road. ARNOS VALE • Arno’s Court park. KNOWLE • Newquay Road park; • Redcatch park; last November and have issued more than 2,000 fixed penalty notices, mainly for dropping litter (for which the fine is £75, reduced to £50 if paid quickly). The move is part of mayor Marvin Rees’s Clean Streets campaign to make Bristol a visibly cleaner city by 2020. The Kingdom team have attracted criticism. There have been claims they have misled members of the public about their rights and even that they accused a non-smoker of dropping a cigarette butt. Their no-tolerance approach to litter was contested by one Voice reader, who wrote in last month’s issue that Kingdom should turn their fire on council

• ‘Jungle’ recreation ground off Queenshill Road, Salcombe Road; • Callington Road nature reserve; • Perretts park; • Northern Slopes. WINDMILL HILL • St John’s burial ground off St John’s Lane, Cotswold Road; • Victoria Park. TOTTERDOWN • School Road recreation ground. * This list covers the core Voice delivery area; for a full list, see the council website

Where you CAN’T walk a dog off-lead • ARNOS VALE Cemetery • Any other public space not on the list on the web link above. waste collectors, who often leave rubbish on the streets. In January the council had to cancel several fines Kingdom issued to dog owners for having pets off leads in areas such as Redland Green – where it’s actually legal for dogs to run free. Deputy mayor Asher Craig apologised for the lapse, but said: “Our contractors will continue to enforce the order in areas where dogs are not permitted to be off their leads.” In practice, dogs must be kept on leads everywhere except in certain listed open spaces. Dog owners must always clear up after their pets if they foul any open space or highway to which the public has free access.

Estate agent sets up shop on his own A NEW estate agency has opened in Southville, run by a director who has been selling homes in Bristol for more than 20 years. Laurence Irvine spent the last seven years working for one of the estate agency chains in North Street and has now struck out on his own under the name Urban Lighthouse. Laurence has raised a family locally and say he’s deeply involved with the community, being chair of Greville Smyth tennis club. He’s a member of the Property Ombudsman service and has a diploma in valuation and estate management. “I’m eager to provide a friendly, dependable and straightforward service,” he said. •

Public spaces THE LIVING and working environment in Bedminster is the subject of a meeting by community group Action Greater Bedminster on Wednesday February 21. AGB wants to hear people’s priorities for improving public spaces in all kinds of ways. Topics will include transport, rubbish and litter, street trees and green spaces, wildlife, air quality, parking issues, and how easy it is to get around. It’s from 7-8.30pm at Windmill Hill City Farm. • Facebook: Action Greater Bedminster

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February 2018

RESIDENTS in Bristol are being offered the chance to get gigabit broadband – faster than anything commercially available, and said to be quick enough to download a movie in seconds. Grants of up to £500 for homes and £3,000 for businesses and charities are available. The scheme is governmentbacked, but grants for residents are only available in Bristol and Bath. Four suppliers are offering the services to Bristol homes: Gigaclear, Hyperoptic,

Openreach and Spectrum Internet. The Voice understands you have to contact one of the suppliers to find out if you are eligible. Only the four listed above offer the service to Bristol households – there is a much longer list who will work with businesses. It’s not clear if the many Bristol residents who have a Virgin Media cable will be eligible, though Virgin is on the list of business suppliers. • ultrafast-broadband

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RPZ rules may be extended THE RESIDENTS parking schemes in Southville and Bedminster may be expanded – though very slightly. The council will start consultation on February 8 on extending the Bedminster East zone to include two cul-de-sac streets to the south of North Street. It wasn’t clear which streets as the Voice went to press. The Southville scheme could be enforced on Saturdays for the first time, from 9am-5pm. But it will not be extended to the streets between North Street and Luckwell Road, where many residents have called for restrictions. Cllr Charlie Bolton, Green councillor for Southville, said he may try to canvass opinion for a new parking zone to cover the streets north of Luckwell Road. But he criticised the council’s guidance to councillors on gauging support for new parking zones, calling it unworkable.

Get on with a matchday scheme, says councillor Continued from page 1 December 30, and the figure topped 26,000 when Manchester City visited on January 23. But it turns out that not all the fans recorded at the Wolves game were real. Some were season ticket holders who didn’t turn up to take their seats. Bristol Sport argues that this means the vital threshold hasn’t been passed. Southville Green Cllr Stephen Clarke has accused Bristol Sport of “a cynical attempt to avoid their obligations”. He told the


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Voice: “The published attendance figures are the figures; if not why were they published? Bristol Sport should recognise the impact that their increased attendances is having on the surrounding area and immediately work towards implementing a match-day scheme.” The stadium argues that it is publishing figures in the same way as any other football club. It’s quite normal – and realistic – not to count people who didn’t actually attend, it says. Meanwhile it is doing what it can too push for improvements which could help residents. A spokesperson for Bristol Sport said: “We are working with the local community and emergency services to establish the best ways to manage matchday traffic on a holistic basis and rule nothing out in terms of how continuous improvements are made. Ashton Gate is in constant dialogue with local residents and councillors over the wider transport strategy and urges residents to complete our travel survey on our website.” Bristol Sport says it has promoted hundreds more parking spaces on match days provided by local companies – up from a few hundred to 2,500. It has paid for three special bus routes from Temple Meads and elsewhere, and it uses social media to encourage fans to use

Stephen Clarke: Stadium should recognise its impact on residents public transport rather than bring their cars. It publishes journey planning tools which include bus, cycle and walking routes. It also works with GWR and First Bus to promote extra services on the rail and bus networks when a high attendance is expected at games. Now Bristol Sport wants to draw attention to its annual survey of residents’ views about stadium transport. The survey is available online now. The Voice understands the stadium may also be looking at delivering copies to people living near Ashton Gate. • residents-travel-survey • Your councillors: pages 34, 35

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February 2018

February 2018



NEIGHBOURS who would like see their children playing in a car-free street are being urged to join Bristol’s pioneering Playing Out movement. Several roads in Southville, Ashton and Bedminster are among those which have been allowed to shut out traffic for one afternoon a month to allow children to play in safety. They include Carrington Road, St Dunstans Road and Lime Road. In all 150 streets in Bristol

have taken part in Playing Out, a charity based in Bedminster, and the idea has spread nationwide. The city council needs six weeks notice to process a Temporary Play Street Order, and so residents are being asked to think two months ahead. It is free to apply, and cones and signs are provided by Playing Out. To find out more, contact Jo Chesterman at jo@playingout. net or 07811 816620. •

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Club challenged over 2016 promise THE VOICE asked Bristol Sport why it appears to be reneging on the words of its chairman, who told us almost two years ago that he didn’t want to wait for 25,000-plus crowds before bringing in a matchday parking scheme. Martin Griffiths told the Voice in March 2016: “We don’t want to wait for the 25,000. We want solutions; we have offered to pay. Roads are full already: use the solutions we seek and get the cars off the road.” Asked why Bristol Sport is still waiting for the 25,000 trigger before it begins work on a match day parking scheme, a spokesperson said that solutions had to be pursued in a “holistic” manner, not in a piecemeal fashion. Like councillors and many residents, Bristol Sport is calling

for a host of actions to improve transport for sports fans. It wants to see the Long Ashton Park & Ride opened to matchgoers. Legal problems preventing this are still months away from a solution. The site doesn’t have planning permission for use by fans, and changes would need to be approved by North Somerset council. It also wants to see the new Metrobus route used by stadium-goers (see below). But transport bosses will want to tread warily when Metrobus does start, for fear of overloading it with fans. They will also want to avoid giving over the whole of the park and ride to stadium goers – the car park is also used by shoppers and commuters. Even when Bristol Sport does agree to kickstart a match day parking scheme, the first

requirement is for consultation. There would then be lengthy debate between councillors, residents, the police and council officials, as well as the stadium. Other solutions called for by the stadium and others are even further away. A new railway station at Ashton Gate is many years away. Though to some it seems simple to reopen a station that was only

closed in 1984, it would need new track, a new timetable and would have to share track and signalling capacity with any new route to Portishead – itself still subject to argument. A station could cost between £2 million and £4m, with as much as £3m extra to enable trains to reverse at Ashton Gate to prevent football trains having to go all the way to Portishead.


allowing them to park freely. Wardens are employed to fine or remove cars parked in the zone without a permit. Bristol Sport agreed that it would start consultation on whether people near the Ashton Gate stadium wanted parking restrictions when the stadium was given the go-ahead to enlarge to a 27,000 capacity in 2013.

MANY Premiership and Champions league football clubs pay for parking restrictions near their grounds. Typically they prevent fans from parking in the streets nearest the football ground, while residents are given permits

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One stop: Long Ashton will soon have an iPoint terminal working

THIS IS the first picture of the new iPoint which will dispense tickets and allow people to plan bus journeys. The first iPoint is set to be installed at Long Ashton Park & Ride on February 6. The first route, from Ashton Vale to Temple Meads, is due to begin operations under First Bus at about Easter. The new iPoint will be undergoing test for a few days but once it’s been fully checked, passengers will be able to use it to buy tickets for the Park & Ride

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bus and plan routes for the entire Bristol bus network. The iPoints are unique to Bristol and said to be superior to tickets machines in other cities. There is more uncertainty over when Metrobus services will start, however. The route from Long Ashton to Temple Meads and the city centre is almost complete, apart from some snagging issues on the guided busway which runs from the Park & Ride over Winterstoke Road and the New Cut to

Cumberland Road. Services from Long Ashton could be delayed, however, if the iPoints prove tricky to install. Metrobus bosses are unsure if they can install two a day, one a day, or fewer. With 70 iPoints to install, any delays could mount up. The double-decker buses to be used are set to be unveiled in mid-February, along with an announcement of the operators for the two routes to the north of the city, to Emersons Green and Cribbs Causeway.



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February 2018



n NEWS Lib-Dem attack over libraries A REVIEW of Bristol’s planned £1.4 million library cuts might not save any libraries, claim the city’s Lib Dems. The council has halted plans to shut 17 out of 27 libraries – including Marksbury Road in South Bristol, but saving Bedminster and possibly Knowle. Options now being considered include community ownership, getting a third party to run libraries, and use of volunteers. Government money is being used to fund a review, which will report in the spring. The Lib Dems claim the review should have been started months before, and is ignoring many possible solutions. Bristol could still end up with only 10 libraries, claimed Cllr Arthur Negus. Deputy mayor Asher Craig responded that the study is looking at ways of running a core of libraries, but also at a wider library network, maybe using volunteers and shared buildings. Sarah Murch, who leads the Friends of Marksbury Road library, said she’d heard nothing about the review. She urged the council to keep control of libraries. “Once public assets are gone, they’re likely to be lost forever,” she told the Voice.

Toilets offered THE BROADWALK shopping centre in Knowle is among firms backing a council scheme to advertise its toilets for public use. Cuts will close 18 council public WCs, but the aim is to sign up twice as many private toilets.



viable conference centre in the city,” he said. “Wouldn’t it be interesting to put a hotel and conference centre next to the university [campus] and new station?” Asked about the many plans


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Rees: No to ‘gesture politics’ servants get sent down to manage our budget. “People have said we should lock them out of City Hall. But this is 2018 – it’s all online anyway!” The reputational damage to the city would be huge – it would hurt the ability of private and public bodies to win the investment that Bristol needs to create jobs. And the move would also draw heavy criticism on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, for residential tower blocks in Bedminster Green and elsewhere, he said it was essential Bristol draws up a plan to meet its housing need, or it will be buffeted by market forces. • Bedminster Green: page 15

you easily feel their ribs when you run your fingers over them? Ribs should not be clearly visible but they should be easy to feel and have minimal fat covering them. The waist should be easily observed when viewed from above and the abdomen tucked up when viewed from the side. If the waist is not visible, the abdomen is rounded, and ribs are difficult to palpate (feel) under the skin, your pet is highly likely to be overweight. On the other hand, if your pet’s ribs are clearly visible and their

abdomen highly tucked, your pet could be underweight. Your pet’s weight can have a significant effect on their health and quality of life. In fact, obesity can lead to a number of serious health issues and significantly reduce lifespan. Therefore, understanding your pet’s ideal weight and body condition, could improve their quality of life and keep them with you for longer. It is worth asking a member of your veterinary team to show you how to check your pet’s body condition. Once you know what to




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IXTY per cent of UK vets say that obesity is the biggest health and welfare concern, according to research carried out by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) in 2016. In addition to putting your pet on the weighing scales, we use body condition as an indicator of healthy weight. Explained simply, this involves checking for waist definition, palpable ribs and an abdominal tuck. Why not have a go at checking your pet’s body condition. Does your pet have a visible waist? Can


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‘I CAN’T JUST IGNORE AUSTERITY’ PEOPLE shouldn’t be under any illusion that Bristol city council could avoid austerity just by refusing to set a legal budget, said mayor Marvin Rees. The mayor has been told by many left-wing critics that he could avoid the £102 million in cuts the city faces over the next five years, and the closures of libraries, toilets, school crossing patrols and services to vulnerable adults and children. If Bristol and the rest of the UK’s 10 core cities stood up to the Government they could win public support and could successfully resist the cuts, groups like the Bristol Anti-Cuts Alliance claim. But Marvin Rees believes this is a dangerous delusion. At the Windmill Hill meeting, he was asked if it would be feasible to set an illegal budget. Mr Rees said firmly: “No.” It would be a mere gesture, he said. “The moment we do that, civil

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Mayor hints at other options for Arena Island site MAYOR Marvin Rees spent a morning meeting the people of Windmill Hill and attempting to answer their concerns. He told them that he wanted to delay a decision on the arena to make sure it is the right one for the city, that he doesn’t see tall buildings as necessarily bad places to live, and that he sees good mental health as depending on the city providing good homes and jobs as well as health services. Around 50 people arrived at Victoria Park Baptist church on January 19 in response to an open invitation. The mayor spent time talking to people in small groups before taking questions from the floor. Asked what happens if the arena doesn’t come to Temple Meads, he said the site could be used for housing, for retail, or for a conference centre. The council could invest instead in other things, such as housing, he said. In any event, the city is “in a very good position” to win £200m for the Temple Meads area from the Government, half of it to be spent revamping the station, said Mr Rees. Along with plans for a £300m university campus, this makes Arena Island an “incredibly attractive” site, he said. “We have no five star hotel, we have no

February 2018


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February 2018






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Children march as new book tells stories of women’s Bristol triumphs THIS year is the 100th anniversary of the date when women in Britain won the vote for the first time – and South Bristol is playing its part in the celebrations. To mark the occasion, the children of Hillcrest primary school in Totterdown will take to the streets on February 6 to recreate a march by the suffragettes – the women whose direct action is credited with changing the law. Meanwhile Windmill Hill author Jane Duffus has written a book about women’s often forgotten role in the history of Bristol. The Women Who Built Bristol, out at the end of February, tells the stories of 250 women – plus three “sheroic” dogs. “From pin makers to police chiefs, from workhouse inmates to lord mayors, this book shows


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BUSINESS people from all over the South West converged on Ashton Gate stadium on February 1 to celebrate Trailblazing Women. The brainchild of networking guru Philippa Constable, the event showcases the past 100 years of achievement, vision, and inspiration since women won the right to vote. Among the speakers were historian Lucienne Boyce, chief executive of the Penny Brohn cancer charity Laura Kerby, UWE’s Myra Conway and Knowle’s anti-slavery campaigner Jaya Chakrabarti MBE. Philippa Constable runs a network of enterprising women called Women Mean Biz. • trailblazing-women

LANTERN PARADE TO CELEBRATE THE VOTE WOMEN won the right to vote for Members of Parliament in 1918. Even though it was restricted to women over 30 (and not even all of them), the new law gave the vote to 8.4 million women and was an important milestone. It’s being marked in Bristol by a lantern parade on Tuesday February 6 – the day the

Representation of the People Act 1918 received royal assent. The march starts at Berkeley Square, Clifton, at 6pm, and proceeds down Park Street to College Green, where there will be music, singing and celebrations. A lantern-making workshop was held at the Elephant House in Dean Lane, Bedminster, on February 3. • Facebook: Women’s Lantern Parade

0117 287 2312 01823 765016 Bristol’s builders: By Jane Duffus that Bristol was built by women and particularly seeks to celebrate those women whose names have fallen through the cracks of history,” Jane said. The book is published by Totterdown-based Tangent Books, one of the city’s most respected publishers. Jane said: “This book has been bubbling away in me ever since I moved to Bristol in 2008 and discovered what a rich history of wonderful women this great city has. I’ve uncovered so many fascinating stories of women’s history that I’m now really pleased to be sharing. While I have my own favourites within the book, I look forward to hearing from readers which of the women strike a chord with them.” Stories from the book will be featured in the March edition of South Bristol Voice, with thanks to Jane Duffus. Priced £12.99, the book will be available from February 26. •



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A coconut doesn’t need any wrapping, How a chance sighting in a South Bristol supermarket sparked anger about unneeded packaging that reverberated around the UK


TWEET made by a frustrated shopper in a South Bristol supermarket has sparked national conversation about the unnecessary packaging that serves big companies at the expense of the environment. Alex Morss, Windmill Hill resident, naturalist and the Voice’s wildlife writer, had no

GOING SHOPPING WITHOUT PLASTIC The Voice asked readers to name South Bristol businesses which are doing their bit to cut out plastic. CHI WHOLEFOODS Unit 3, Chapel Court, Chapel Street, St Philips • Wholefood store selling food in bulk and unpackaged; • Discount for cyclists; • Some food sourced from growers; • Organic nappies, clothing, dog food and treats, and essential oils. • FOX & WEST Grocer & Deli, 171 Wells Road, Totterdown • Biodegradable bags for herbs; • Vegware compostable takeaway cups and containers; • Sell degradable dog poo bags, idea that her visit to Sainsbury’s on January 6 would have such lasting consequences. When she saw a shelf full of coconuts shrouded in

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Unlike a normal High Street agency, Charlotte Hingston Travel Counsellors likes to make things a little more personal. Whether that be a family fun holiday in Spain, cruising the Caribbean sea or experiencing the bustling cities of South East Asia, your trip should be about you. We’re an independently owned and operated business right here in the heart of South Bristol and with 15 years experience in the travel industry we can plan your holiday from start to finish. What’s more we bring the agency to you! We offer face to face visits to plan your next adventure. That way we can take the time to make sure your trip is exactly as you want it.

bamboo toothbrushes and activated charcoal toothpaste; • Fruit and vegetables as plasticfree as possible; • 10% off coffee if you bring a cup. • ZERO GREEN No-waste food store, opening soon, 12 North Street, Bedminster • Items from tea to washing up liquid, shampoo bars, spices, pasta, rice, in bulk/loose and plastic-free; • Fill your own container or buy one; • Plus glass jars, tea caddies, coffee cups, metal straws, cotton bags. • Facebook: Zero Green

straws. Takeaway boxes have always been biodegradeable. • Facebook: Totterdowncanten BAKED Bakery, 123 Oxford Street, Totterdown and HARTS Bakery, Lower Approach Road, Temple Meads • Bread sold in paper bags • • TINCAN COFFEE CO Café, 234 North Street, Southville • Compostable takeaway cups and lids. Facebook: Tincancoffeeco

TOTTERDOWN CANTEEN Café, 141 Wells Road • Moving to compostable takeaway cups, lids, bags and single use

GAEL ALLAN Reuseable bags Totterdown resident makes cotton Bagga Bags. Each holds 1kg. •

transparent plastic and yet branded as a “Genuine Coconut” and a “Natural container”, she saw red – or rather green. The coconut wasn’t just wrapped in plastic – it also had with a plastic ringpull, allowing consumers to insert another piece of plastic – a straw – to drink the water inside. Alex tweeted Sainsbury’s and the coconut’s distributor, asking: “Could you please rethink your packaging @GenuineCoconut? This coconut is not sold in its natural container, without processing, as nature intended – your words. Plastic wrap / straws are not natural, sustainable or biodegradable. How can this be organic?” She

didn’t expect her words to strike such a chord. Within hours they were being widely retweeted as the apparent absurdity struck home that one of nature’s most effective packages had been so wastefully tampered with. Within two days, the story had been covered by just about every national newspaper, from the Daily Mail to the Independent, Daily Telegraph and the Metro. Mike Coupe, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, was interviewed on BBC Breakfast TV, where he agreed that the coconut’s extra wrapping sounded “daft”, and he promised to investigate. Almost every TV channel and national radio station also covered the

LIVING PLASTIC-FREE The Wicked Witch tried to live without plastic for a month. Here she reflects on the experience ... MY MONTH of trying to go plastic-free with some of my neighbours back in October was very hard – although my recycling bin was half as full. Alas, it is back to overflowing and I have to sneak it out early so people cannot see what a big fat failure I am. The process was eye-opening – we definitely live in a plastic world. From toothbrushes to plastic-wrapped greeting cards. And then there’s the dog poo problem – I smugly pick up my dog’s mess in biodegradable poo bags, oh aren’t I good? But then I pop these bags into the poo bins

which are lined with a nice thick plastic bin bag – that poop will fester forever in a landfill site. I asked my fellow plastic avoiders how they got on: “It was hard but illuminating. I am still trying to avoid plastic and think about it even more when shopping, I return unwanted plastic to sender!” Katie “I think my teeth feel better for not using toothpaste as much (full of plastic beads). I use toothpaste once a week and bicarbonate the rest of the time.” Bella Of course industry is key in coming up with a more organic solution, until then I will continue to steer clear of plastics when I can and tut loudly when I can’t. * The Wicked Witch’s broomstick is 100 per cent natural and organic.

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February 2018





 so why smother it in a plastic cover? WHY I WANT TO SAY NO TO PLASTIC PLASTIC is versatile, durable, strong and flexible – but because it is so damaging to the planet we need to be more responsible with how it is made, when it is used, and recycle all of it. UK supermarkets produce one million tonnes of plastic packaging each year, but too little gets recycled. About half of the UK’s plastic bottles end up in landfill or as litter. A truckload of plastic enters our seas every minute. Once it’s in the sea, it soaks up toxins like a sponge and then gets into everything, even table salt, tap water and your stomach. It kills a million sea birds each year. I believe we need to say no to plastic packaging at every turn, because, sadly, it is human and corporate nature to put cost and convenience above conscience. Alex Morss story as the message hit home. Sainsbury’s later responded that the packaging did help keep the coconuts hygienic, and made it last longer. But the story had clearly caught the public mood. The cat was out of the plastic carrier bag and people started demanding supermarkets provide a plastic-free aisle, an end to disposable plastic cups, more water fountains to reduce the sale of water in plastic bottles, and more. Alex Morss followed up her Twitter offensive

PLASTIC FREE COASTLINES, BRISTOL THE December issue of the Voice included my letter introducing the Plastic Free Coastlines campaign and I am pleased to report that the campaign is gathering momentum. You may have seen, or heard, local and national TV news and radio programmes featuring the campaign. In short it is about encouraging local government, local businesses and the local community to ditch single use plastic. To achieve Plastic Free Coastlines status there are five objectives: 1. To persuade Bristol City Council to remove single use plastic from their premises and support plastic-free initiatives.


What rot: Alex’s tweet of the plastic-covered coconuts that went viral with an open plea to Bristol’s mayor, Marvin Rees, at a public Q&A session at Victoria Park Baptist church on January 19. Why can’t Bristol take a lead on reducing use of plastic, Alex asked? The city could look at a council tax surcharge on firms that overuse plastic packaging, and offer tax discounts to “greener” shops, she suggested, to applause. Mr Rees made no promises, but asked Ms Morss to send him her ideas. The council is already starting

to look at whether the city can do without plastic in packaging for takeaways, said Mr Rees. In December, Bristol became the first UK council to vote in a charge for using disposable cups on council premises. Meanwhile Bristol-based City to Sea is taking its Refill campaign nationwide to urge people to avoid buying bottled water. In partnership with Bristol Water, it has provided free water fountains at events like the Balloon Fiesta.

2. To persuade local businesses to remove at least three single use plastic items and replace with sustainable alternatives. 3. To gain community support for Plastic Free Coastlines. 4. To organise local events in the community for all to attend. 5. To form a local group including employees from flagship businesses, to champion the cause. Much to do! I’ve spoken to a number of local businesses and have been very encouraged by the positive reaction. (You can read about some local firms elsewhere on this page.) In April, the Plastic Free Coastlines Bristol team will be organising a beach clean in Avon Gorge, the date and time to be confirmed very soon. The Avon

Gorge Beach Cleans have been running for a number of years and are an opportunity for people to volunteer to collect waste from the banks of the Avon. All safety equipment, waste picker tools and sacks are provided. I would encourage everyone to consider removing or replacing three items of plastic from their normal shop or day-to-day life. It might be switching to milk delivered in glass bottles, carrying a water bottle instead of buying bottled water, or buying unpackaged fruit and veg in local groceries rather than the packaged supermarket produce. Graham Coburn Plastic Free Coastlines Totterdown and Knowle

• Plastics are not a renewable resource – they are made out of hydrocarbons from crude oil. • Plastics are synthetic, and virtually nothing in the living world has evolved the ability to digest them, so they don’t rot down. • Plastics are made of complex compounds which makes them difficult and costly to recycle, which takes energy too, so not all areas offer recycling for all plastics. • Alternative bioplastics and biodegradable plastics do exist, as well as sustainable sources of cardboard packaging. Much of our food comes in its own protective skin, so often no packaging is genuinely needed! • 12 million tonnes of plastic a year end up in the oceans – that’s a rubbish truck full every minute, according to Greenpeace UK. • Globally, only nine per cent of plastic is recycled.

OPENING SOON Bristol’s first Zero Waste store Plastic-free shopping is coming to Bristol. Bring a container, weigh it and fill it with as much or as little as you need. Follow us for updates

12 North Street BS3 1HT

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February 2018

n NEWS School praise Half term can be full of fun activities this February A KNOWLE school came second in the Primary Real Schools Guide 2018 for Bristol. Ilminster Avenue E-Act academy rose from fifth place last year in a project by publisher Trinity Mirror to combine 44 measures of performance. Victoria Park primary school in St John’s Lane, which came top last year, was 4th.

THERE’S lots for children to do to while away the hours this half term in South Bristol. Creative Workspace in Queens Road, Withywood, has events every day from February 12 to 16, including a film show, Valentine’s crafts and costume making. Activities at Knowle West

Media Centre in Leinster Avenue include a puppet-making session on February 13 which will end with everyone making a film show with puppets as the stars. Children can learn drama skills in two sessions at the Tobacco Factory theatre on February 14 and 15. There’s outdoor fun to be had

Windows light up as Bristol habit spreads overseas SOUTH Bristol will be lit up as never before on the weekend of February 23-25 in the biggestever Window Wanderland event. Hundreds of residents are already busy designing weird, beautiful and humourous displays, and thousands are expected to be seeking out the best windows over the weekend. For the first time, homes in Arnos Vale will be taking part, joining hundreds more across Windmill Hill, Southville, Bedminster and Ashton. If you fancy taking part, in Arnos Vale or elsewhere, visit the website (below), find your area and click ‘take part’ to add your location. As the Voice went to press 34 locations had signed up in Arnos Vale – the area also includes Sandy Park and St Anne’s. In BS3, where the event is in

its third year, there will be hundreds of participants. In some roads there is already intense competition to make the most eye-catching windows. Gathorne Road in Southville is becoming famous for its many ambitious displays – last year featuring children’s stories, from Harry Potter to Dr Suess. Leaflets will be delivered to 7,000 homes across BS3 inviting more people to take part. A free map, sponsored by Bristol Waste, will be published showing the main areas to visit. Some of Bedminster’s tower blocks will be lit up. As last year, Gaywood House off North Street will be lit up from top to bottom as Jack and the Beanstalk. It’s a tribute to resident Marcus Fitzgibbons, who designed the display and whose enthusiasm for the project was captured on

at Arnos Vale cemetery and Windmill Hill City Farm. Children can pick up bushcraft skills in the woodland at the cemetery, as well as outdoor storytimes. Meanwhile at Zion in Bishopsworth kids can create their own comic. Lots more activities in our What’s On section – pages 42-44.


Eyes bright: A tiger prowls in Windmill Hill in last year’s event BBC’s The One Show. Sadly, Marcus passed away in April. On the same weekend 12 other areas are taking part, from Bishopston to Portishead to Frome, and for the first time in Scotland and even in Canada. Lucy Reeves-Khan, the Bishopston resident who started the idea just four years ago, is overwhelmed by the success. “From Mary Poppins, bicycles going to the moon and the Queen on holiday in her caravan, the range of ideas is mind-blowing in BS3”, says Lucy. “It’s a real testament to just how amazingly creative everyone can be.” •

TO HELP kick off the Arnos Vale efforts, a stained glass workshop is being held at Arnos Vale cemetery on Friday February 16. It’s led by children’s craft group Colourful Minds but is open to all ages. Participants can make two windows – one to display at home and one to go on show at the Kate’s Kitchen café in the cemetery. The cost is £5 per child – booking is essential. There’s also a community workshop on Saturday February 10 at St Anne’s infants school from 10.30am-12.30pm. •

TOO HOT TO HANDLE WINDOW Wanderland has become so popular that founder Lucy Reeves-Khan is struggling to cope. Though local groups raise money to sponsor their own efforts, running publicity campaigns and a complex website is costing Lucy too much in money and time to be sustainable much longer. She’s appealing for a kindhearted business to sponsor Window Wanderland and help celebrate its success as a great Bristol idea. Email Lucy at

February 2018


n NEWS Low-energy houses on sale HOMES built to the strict Passivehaus standard are on sale in North Street. The development of Picture House Court, the site of the old Gala bingo hall, has taken several years to bring to market after various delays. The homes have triple glazing and use 60 per cent less energy than an ordinary new home, as well as emitting 60 per cent less carbon dioxide. All the flats in the 26-home development are reserved; three-bedroom houses are on sale from £359,950. Passivehaus homes are relatively common on the Continent but rare in the UK. The only others in South Bristol are four houses built by Knightstone housing association in Knowle West in 2014.

Dock memories BRISTOLIANS with memories of working, living or playing near the docks are needed to help preserve the history of the Harbourside. Researcher Amy King is hoping to record reminiscences so that they can be made available as audio tracks for visitors to the harbour. To find out more, email, phone 0117 382 7017 or use Twitter: • @bristoldockers

Vale meeting ASHTON Vale Together, the community group, has a meeting at Ashton Vale community centre on Tuesday February 6, from 7-8.30pm.

Petition against parks advertising makes a splash A CAMPAIGN to persuade the council not to allow advertising in Bristol’s parks looks set to gain enough support to force a debate on the subject in City Hall. The Adblock campaign was started by Bedminster resident Nicola Round, mainly in opposition to outdoor digital advertising hoardings. Adblock, backed by some of Bristol’s Green councillors, has tried to persuade the city to ban digital hoardings. So far the animated adverts are not outlawed, but several have been turned down by planners, including hoardings in Bedminster Down Road and St John’s Lane. Adblock believes large outdoor advertisements are an intrusion, because people don’t have much choice whether they see them or not. Now Bristol city council has come up with the idea of allowing advertisements in parks in order to raise some of the £2.9 million it wants to save from its parks and open spaces budget. Green Cllr Charlie Bolton opposes adverts in parks. “I go to parks to get away from that sort of thing,” he told the Voice. Adblock’s petition. on, collected 3,700 signatures in only a week. If it tops 4,000, it could trigger a

debate by the full council.The petition reads: “Our parks are important spaces for our physical and mental wellbeing; places where we go to play, relax, connect with nature and escape the pressures of modern life. “We feel that introducing commercial advertising would undermine these emotional, psychological and health benefits – especially in areas where children play.” Adblock is holding a meeting to discuss the petition on Thursday February 8 at 7pm in St Paul’s Learning Centre, Grosvenor Road, BS2 8XJ. The petition can be found at: •


Exploring town and countryside KEEN walkers are invited to join the Bristol Ramblers, who recently explored some lesserknown open spaces in South Bristol. A group of 18 people enjoyed a walk entitled South Bristol Green Spaces, starting in Brislington Village and taking in Victory Park, Chalet Gardens and Nightingale Valley, before returning along the river bank and through Eastwood Farm and nature reserve. Bristol Ramblers was founded in 1979 and is one of the largest walking groups in the country, with 800 members. It runs as many as 300 walks every year, mainly on Sundays, and mostly in the countryside, with transport organised. Members also campaign to improve parks and open spaces in Bristol. For details email •





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Page 1

February 2018




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February 2018



Council to reveal which areas most suitable for high-rises MAYOR Marvin Rees listened to concerns that tower blocks in Bedminster Green will damage the quality of life both for their neighbours and the people who live in them. But he gave no indication that he will call a halt to the councils’ encouragement of high-density, high-rise residential buildings as a way out of the city’s housing crisis. The mayor heard complaints about future tower blocks from several residents when he held a

question and answer session at Victoria Park Baptist church in Windmill Hill on January 19. “A lot of people on the hill are really concerned about their quality of life. We don’t want to see that totally ruined because of developers’ greed,” one woman told him. Several developers have told the Voice that the council is encouraging them to put forward plans for tall buildings. On Bedminster Green, Rollo Homes has reduced its plan from 10 to




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ROLLO Homes, which is so far the only developer to have made a planning application at Bedminster Green, is seeing new objections to its revised, smaller plan. The Bedminster firm reduced its Malago Road plan from 10 storeys to nine and from 206 to 183 flats. It has also withdrawn plans for a district energy centre, saying it will replace it with 30 “affordable” homes. Among 18 objectors to the new plan was a resident of Malago Road who said the flats, though lower, would still overshadow his home. Comments can be made on the plan until February 7. The Environment Agency has also objected, saying the plan doesn’t give it enough access to the River Malago. Bristol city council said: “We are in discussions with the landowners of the different sites in

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nine storeys, but other developers are proposing towers of 18 storeys and more. Mr Rees told residents that it is essential that Bristol comes up with a city plan it can defend, otherwise “the free market will run riot in Bristol, and we will end up with what we are given.” The council is working on a map, to be released in the spring, which will show the areas of the city which will be zoned for high-density development. Bedminster Green can expect to be on the list, along with Bath Road. Mr Rees insisted he wants developers to provide workable communities, not just places to live: “We don’t just want to provide bricks and mortar for people to live in but cities that are sustainable,” he said.

New music for Southville kids A NEW music school and choir for children opens in Southville this month. Blackbird Early Years Music offers sessions including samba drumming, with top percussionist Catherine Ring, plus a wide range of choir activities and songs. The choir, for children aged 4-8, will be led by Douglas Watts of Bristol Show Choir and pianist Helen Reid, the founder of Blackbird and a BBC Young Musician of the Year finalist. Blackbird Early Years Music was founded in 2014 and runs several music foundation classes across Bristol for children aged from 3.5 years to 7. Classes take place on Saturday mornings, starting on February 24 at the Bonus Room, Factory 8, Upton Road BS3 1QZ. Music classes are from 10.15am and the choir starts at 11.15am. •

Still drawing objections: The latest version of the Rollo plan the Bedminster Green area in order to encourage them to work together on a masterplan for the wider area which would help to coordinate the proposals, provide the overall infrastructure that the area needs, and to maximise the amount of affordable housing.” The area will also be included in a review of the city’s Local Plan. Rollo has hinted it may take more part in discussions with the other four developers on the Green.

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February 2018





Meet the youngsters who are looking after our urban wildlife THE WINNERS of the My Wild Bedminster children’s competitions have been presented with their prizes, amid a lively discussion about the wildlife that’s to be found in BS3. South Bristol Voice decided to back the My Wild Bedminster project throughout 2017 to raise awareness about what can be done to improve the local area for plants and animals alike. Bedminster is probably the area of Bristol with the least wildlife, because there aren’t many parks, and gardens are small. With the help of generous sponsorship from Hunters estate agents, we asked adults for photos of the wildlife spotted during the summer. Children were given the chance to join in too, with visits to schools by our wildlife expert Alex Morss, helping them to decide how they could improve their local area to make it more attractive to wildlife. It’s not just the Right, winner Megan Smith, 5, with (left to right) Ben Barker, George Offer and Alex Morss

Above: winner Filippo Mele with Ben Barker, left, and George Offer Left, Ashton Gate pupils Benny McIhenney, 7, Alex Bhambri-Lyte, 8, and Amelie Scanlon, 9, with George Offer and AGOSC’s Bella Wright section, despite tough competition from the likes of Victoria Park primary school and the Southville Centre summer playscheme. AGOSC manager Bella Wright said the children became really inspired after a visit from My Wild Bedminster in July, and stared searching the school grounds for insect life. They found a nest of caterpillar larvae, which was identified as Neurotoma saltuum, otherwise known as a social pear tree sawfly. The children went on to tidy up the school pond, and made a detective sheet to help them look for ladybirds and snails. Alex was on hand at the prizegiving to help answer lots of questions from the children, with Ben Barker, secretary of the BS3 Wildlife group, who is also an

Keeping tabs on inner-city butterflies MEMBERS of the BS3 Wildlife Group kept their eyes open during the summer of 2017 for butterflies and moths. They reckoned they might be able to spot about 22 of Britain’s 59 butterfly species. A year-long survey was made in three gardens in Paultrow, Beauley and Osborne roads, as well as at Alderman Moore’s allotments and Windmill Hill City Farm. In the end they made sightings of 16 species. Butterfly expert and BS3 Wildlife secretary Ben Barker commented: “This represents about 25 per cent of the species on the UK’s list. It’s actually

Unusual: A Small Blue butterfly, as seen in BS3 PHOTO: Iain H Leach about the same number of species that you would find on the semi-tropical island of Madeira, although numbers of individuals are much higher there!” Numbers vary from year to

year, particularly depending if any species are blown in from the continent. One surprise was the sighting of a rare Small Blue butterfly (Cupido minimus) photographed in Victoria Park. Matt Collis of Avon Wildlife Trust said: “This is a true testament to the value of citizen science! Although the photograph is not conclusive, we feel reasonably sure this is a Small Blue. The biggest mystery is how it got there. “We think it’s most likely a chance encounter with an egg brought in on a plug plant for the wildlife meadow. The only way to be sure will be to keep an eye out during late May and early June.”

expert on butterflies and moths. AGOSC won a prize of £100, donated by Hunters estate agents, to be spent on helping the children make a habitat for lots more insects and small creatures to thrive. We’ll show the results in a later edition of the Voice. Also rewarded were our two individual prizewinners – Filippo Mele, 9, won £10 for his savings account with his picture of a landscape with a fox, snails and other creatures – showing the importance of a balanced habitat. Megan Smith, 5, gave us a colourful picture of a butterfly – which are sometimes hard to spot in BS3, so it was lovely to see her picture. She chose a prize of a butterfly house, where butterflies can feed. • More on the Voice website

BUTTERFLIES SEEN IN BS3 IN 2017 • Large White • Small White • Orangetip • Holly Blue • Red Admiral • Small Heath • Painted Lady • Comma • Speckled Wood • Gatekeeper • Meadow Brown • Ringlet • Common Blue • Small Blue • Green-veined White • Small Tortoiseshell

KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN IN 2018 ... WE’LL be announcing details of this year’s My Wild Bedminster activities in the Voice soon If you’d like to get involved in looking out for any other kind of wildlife in BS3, email the BS3 Wildlife group: MyWildBedminster

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n NEWS Warehouse could be turned into block of 5 flats THE OWNERS of an industrial unit in Bedminster are seeking permission to knock it down and replace it with five flats. The warehouse is in Bartley Street, which is a complex of small business premises. It was

Children got really involved in looking out for BS3’s wild creatures in 2017 – here are the winning entries obvious creatures like hedgehogs that are important, Alex told them – we need to look after tiny ones too, such as butterflies and ladybirds. We also welcomed wildlife pictures submitted by children. On January 19, the prizes were presented at Ashton Gate Out of School Care (AGOSC), which was the clear winner in the schools

February 2018

used for storing building materials until 2014 but has been empty since then. It backs on to the Claro Homes care home off Philip Street. It already has planning permission to be turned into a

three-bedroom house. The new plan is for a building of four and two storeys containing two one-bedroom flats and three two-bedroom flats. It would have solar panels and a green living roof to help absorb heavy rainfall.

Trish blows the trumpet for disabled to enjoy theatre AN EXPERT on helping people with all kinds of disabilities get the most out of the theatre has set up a business to spread her ideas more widely. Ashton resident Trish Hodson has spent her career working at major venues such as the Bristol Hippodrome, trying to make sure that as many people as possible can enjoy live entertainment. It’s not all about just helping people in wheelchairs, she said. “Quite often people feel that access begins and ends with ramps for wheelchair users,” Trish told the Voice. “In fact there is so much more that you can do to make your venue more accessible to more people – large print listings, induction loop systems [for the hard of hearing], quiet spaces, easy access seating, assisted performances and so on.” Trish is offering her expertise to venues all over the country, and has already worked with some of the biggest in Bristol, including the Watershed, Arnolfini, Colston Hall, Old Vic,

Helping hand: Fitting a hearing aid for a theatregoer. There’s a lot that can be done for little or no cost to open up venues to the disabled

M Shed and St George’s. At the Hippodrome, she worked with some of the biggest names in stage entertainment, such as Disney, Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group. “I am so keen to make this work for two reasons: the disabled customer who wants to enjoy the same level of access as non-disabled people, and the staff members who want to offer the very best they can in

Holistic music education for 3.5-8 year olds

customer service,” said Trish. She is offering workshops with everything venue staff need to know, including the Equality Act, disability awareness for customer service, and step-bystep guidance on how to achieve low or no-cost accessibility for a broad range of customers’ needs. “I just want to make things quicker and easier for them so that accessibility gets to the top of their to-do list!” she added. •

New: The proposed flats

First lesson free in Zumba trial for young or old A FREE trial exercise class, suitable for young and old, is being offered to Voice readers. Bedminster dance fitness instructor Marie Clifford became a familiar sight on our TV screens last year when one of her classes was featured in a betweenprogrammes ident for BBC1. Now she wants to promote the benefits of Zumba Toning. Just like Zumba, the exercise takes place to music, but using toning sticks – small hand weights you shake to the music. “Anyone who hasn’t got high blood pressure or a recent joint injury can take part,” said Marie. “It’s ideal for anyone who hasn’t done a resistance workout before, or returners to exercise. Maintaining our muscle mass is essential whether you are 19 or 90!” Classes are on Thursdays at 10.30am in the United Reformed Church, West Street, Bedminster. They normally cost £5 but as a special offer to Voice readers, Marie will give the first class free to people who turn up with her advert, below. •


Music foundation classes across Bristol, with original songs and activities


Music School, based in Southville

URC Church, West St, Bedminster, BS3 3PG

• Samba Drumming • Musicianship • Theory • Blackbird Children’s Choir (ages 4-8) | 07931 931603 | Facebook:blackbirdeym

Thursdays 10.30am £5 all welcome

Contact: Marie 0117 963 4104

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New year, new start


February 2018


Stoke Gifford Retirement Village An ExtraCare Charitable Trust Village

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n NEWS Walk the story of Bedminster

DISCOVER how Bedminster evolved from a rural Somerset town to a bustling industrial suburb, on a three-mile guided walk. It starts from the M Shed on the harbourside and takes in Bedminster Bridge, Victoria Park and Bedminster. The next is at 10.30am on Wednesday February 14, and it is repeated each month until September. For details call Lee Hutchinson on 0117 903 1919.

COMMUNITY activists fear that a new method of sharing out council funds will mean that Bedminster will get less in spinoffs from major developments than in the past. One of the less-noticed council cutbacks has been in the way people can take part in local decisions across the city. The old Greater Bedminster Community Partnership received council funding to hold regular meetings involving councillors, police and voluntary groups. One of its roles was to debate how “planning gain” was spent across the local area. CIL, or Community Infrastructure Levy, is money which developers pay when they are given planning permission for major building projects. Around 15 per cent of all the money raised from local

Fitness Suite and Well-being Suite Bistro and Bar Shop Hair and Beauty Salon Village Hall Hobby and Games Room IT suite and Library Greenhouse and Landscaped Piazza Here you can relax in the knowledge that if you or your partner need care, now or in the future, it can be provided by a dedicated 24/7 on-site team. The Village is a vision of The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, a registered charity pioneering the UK’s most innovative and exciting new retirement villages.

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Traders vote on future of town team TRADERS in BS3 will get the chance to vote on whether they want to carry on paying for the Town Team – the body which has spent the last five years trying to raise the profile of Bedminster’s retailers. Events such as the the Christmas elves and Santa’s post boxes are some of the initiatives the team has used to attract shoppers’ attention. Since 2013, local businesses

with a rateable value of more than £6,000 have paid an extra two per cent in their business rates to pay for Bedminster’s Business Improvement District, or BID. This funds the Town Team to pay for things such as the colourful bollards and streetscaping in East Street. The big national retailers pay the lion’s share of the bills: for every £1 that a local business

Will Bedminster get smaller slice of cash from developers?

Opening this year, Stoke Gifford Retirement Village will provide 261 comfortable new one and two bedroom homes for people over 55, with options for rental, shared ownership and outright purchase. The Village is built around a superb range of social, leisure and well-being facilities including:

Stoke Gifford Retirement Village, Off Coldharbour Lane, Stoke Gifford, Bristol BS16 1EJ

February 2018

developments has until now been spent in the same area. The CIL can amount to tens of thousands of pounds. If, as expected, more than 1,000 homes are built at Bedminster Green, the spin-offs could be even greater. In the past, the Bedminster partnership has asked for the money to be spent on children’s play parks, refurbishment of the Bartletts Road railway footbridge over the railway, street lighting and improvements to pavements. By law, councillors have the final decision on how the money is spent, but Bedminster people had a say in the process. Now the council has cut almost all the funds for the local partnerships. A new group, Action Greater Bedminster (AGB), has been set up on a shoestring budget, to unite the

councillors and local groups once more. But AGB doesn’t have the right to share out CIL money. It will be councillors who decide how to spend an estimated £110,000 a year across a much wider area – not only Bedminster and Southville but also Windmill Hill, Filwood, Bishopsworth and Hartcliffe. Stef Brammar, membership secretary of AGB, said members are worried that money from Bedminster developments won’t benefit the area. “It’s quite possible that the many developments that continue to take place in Greater Bedminster will be funding projects well away from their location,” she said. The council is still deciding how the new system will work. • Facebook: Action Greater Bedminster

pays, about £2 is contributed by a chain store, said Simon Dicken, who chairs the BID and is manager of Wilko in East Street. Traders will be sent ballot papers on February 22. They will be able to vote on whether the town team should carry on. The votes have to be returned by March 22 and, if the result is in favour, the team’s new five-year period starts on May 1. •

All aboard to help Brunel

Dressing up: On SS Great Britain IF YOU’VE got spare time and you like dressing up, the SS Great Britain has some unusual opportunities for volunteers. Roles on the great steamship include the chance to dress up in Victorian costume to play the part of Brunel’s assistant. Other tasks – without a costume – include giving help to visitors. You can find out more at two taster days, on February 7 from 11am-1pm and March 3, 11am-1pm. • volunteer-taster-days

Get set to retune your television


0117 321 5138

or email

or online at Charges will apply. Details of any costs associated with your home, care and village services will be provided as part of your application. The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, registered charity number 327816, is a company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales as company number 2205136. Its registered office is at 7 Harry Weston Road, Binley Business Park, Binley, Coventry, CV3 2SN. Copyright © 2017 - The ExtraCare Charitable Trust

To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664

MANY television viewers in South Bristol will need to retune their digital boxes at the end of the month. Work is being carried out on the Mendip transmitter, which serves the whole of Bristol, resulting in changes to some Freeview channels. Three dates have been set aside for the work, which is required by the watchdog Ofcom to allow changes in bandwidth for future mobile services. The main date for this area is February 27. The others are

February 7 and March 1. Richard McKenzie, operations manager for The Aerial Man, said: “We cannot predict what the fallout of this work will be but we can say most Freeview users will have to retune. Some may have to re-position their aerial and an unfortunate few may have to have their aerials replaced.” Further changes may be made to the transmitter late next year. For information about digital changes, visit •


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



n NEWS Co-op gets the OK for store at Coronation Rd A NEW Co-op store will be built on Coronation Road despite complaints that it will endanger pedestrians, annoy residents and bring parking problems. Councillors granted permission for a convenience store on the ground floor of the new Bankside development in Southville after hearing that if they refused, the developer could appeal, and win. Bankside was originally given the green light for 78 flats in 2011 provided the ground floor was used as offices. The developer now says it couldn’t find a customer for the offices because of a lack of parking. Yet planners have allowed the new shop, despite concerns that shoppers will also find it hard to park nearby. A parking bay outside 171-178 Coronation Road will be restricted to deliveries for three hours a day, and will be pay-anddisplay parking at other times. Neil Sellers, of the BS3 Planning group, says the decision raises concerns about safety and parking. “The first time a lorry turns up and there is a car parked in the loading bay then gridlock will follow quite quickly,” he said. Complaints from people living in Bankside that the shop would cause them disturbance were overruled. Planning officials said residents “will not be unduly harmed, and the proposal will not create any significant highway safety issues”.

Praise for care home staff AN ASHTON care home has been rated Good by the watchdog the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Amerind Grove in Raleigh Road, which is owned by HC-One, was judged good in all areas. It was noted that residents were full of praise for staff, who were generally found to be “kind and thoughtful”. The CQC report said: “The service not only treated the people they cared for respectfully but were also respectful to visitors and families.”

February 2018

February 2018




Prizes and great ideas for your Valentine

Hope for a new site for Bedminster’s brave self-help group to get people off streets SOUTH Bristol’s pioneering project to help homeless people by making temporary homes from shipping containers, is being inundated with offers of help. The latest group to offer support are the organisers of Bedminster’s Winter Lantern Parade, who donated half the proceeds of their street collection from the parade on December 9. The Lanterns team handed over a cheque for almost £800 and heard from Jasper Thompson, founder of Help Bristol’s Homeless, how his charity is helping people find a way off the streets. The site on Malago Road provides a safe space where homeless people can help the work of converting old containers into compact homes with a lounge area, bathroom and kitchen facilities. Starting with a single mobile home which was shared by five people, the project has now made five individual homes out of shipping containers, and has big plans for 2018. “We have helped 30 people who have stayed here in the last year,” Jasper told his visitors. The aim isn’t just to get people off the cold streets but to help them rebuild their lives. If they have addiction problems, Bristol Drugs Project is on site to help them. But despite the troubled backgrounds of many on the streets, the Bedminster site appears not to have caused any

SO MANY HELPERS HELP Bristol’s Homeless has more than 30 regular volunteers and has been given countless gifts of materials and skilled labour by Bristol tradespeople. The kitchen for the latest container was supplied by Benchmarx Kitchens & Joinery of Feeder Road, for example. Double-glazed doors and windows, furniture and timber are other items that have been given to the project. South Bristol builder Gary


Flowers & Co

Handover: Lanterns organisers Malcolm Brammar, treasurer Claire Taverner, lantern artist Alan May, collection organisers Liz and Tony Hillitt, and Jasper Thompson, founder of Help Bristol’s Homeless

Big year ahead for homeless charity PLANS FOR 2018 BRISTOL’S cabinet housing chief, Paul Smith, is backing Jasper’s efforts to take on a new site off Spring Street, behind York Road in Bedminster. The site is councilowned and talks are ongoing. It’s hoped to site a gated community of 11 container homes there. All residents will be screened by groups such as St Mungo’s and the Salvation Army, and there will always be staff on site. A large container will be turned into a communal living area, while a smaller one will become a laundry with washing machines

and dryers. The new site could be solar-powered thanks to an offer from Dale Vince, the boss of green energy firm Ecotricity. Meanwhile, Mitsubishi are looking at helping with heating equipment. Jasper would like to see council backing for a much bigger project, such as the container village in Acton, London, for 200 people.

BUS IS EN ROUTE Work has started on converting a double decker bus, donated by First Bus, as a temporary shelter where 12 people can sleep.

problems for its neighbours. That’s partly because everyone is vetted before they are able to stay in a container. The site is also staffed round the clock, either by an experienced volunteer or professional security staff. “Two of the lads that were sleeping in the mobile home have

now got jobs and a flat,” Jasper said. Malcolm Brammar, secretary of the Winter Lanterns group, said organisers felt they had to make a contribution to Help Bristol’s Homeless. “We are very aware of people being under pressure on the street and we thought, this is happening in BS3 and we want to

Cleverley (also a regular advertiser in the Voice) is one of many who has given days of his time to helping with the conversions. The team have got the work down to a fine art now – it can take as little as five days to turn a bare metal container into a cosy home. There have been lots of surprisingly large contributions – Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack gave £10,000 to fund a complete container. Another home will be paid for by the friends of a man who died,

who wanted to create something in his memory. Many people are helping the charity by making regular donations. If you’d like to set up a direct debit, or make a one-off payment, go to • Fundraising events coming up include the Bristol Homeless Forum Sleepout on March 2. Last year’s event raised £60,000 for charities across the city. If you’d like to get involved go to •

To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664

66 Parson Street, Bedminster BS3 5QG 0117 963 4283 • FLOWERS & Co can create the perfect gift for your Valentine, from a token of love to a grand gesture of romance. Beautifully gift-wrapped bouquets and bespoke gifts are available from as little as £5. There’s lots for you to look at displayed in the shop, including gifts, cards and floral arrangements. Delivery throughout Bristol is available at a set cost of £5 (the minimum order value for delivery is £20). With more than 12 years of floristry experience, Flowers & Co have the creativity and expertise to provide you with perfect flowers for any occasion. As well as providing flowers for weddings, specials occasions and funerals, the firm also caters for

WIN great meals and Valentine’s gifts OUR Valentine’s prizes include a wonderful gift basket from Frankie Loves Ava. Inside are several prosecco-themed gifts, a candle in a lovely teacup, a bath bomb and a voucher for the Cellar Dining Club’s four-course Singletons Valentine Meal – together worth more than £50! Or you could win a meal for two at Desi, further up Wells corporate clients. Just call to discuss your personal gift idea, or send your details via email:

Frankie Loves Ava

152 Wells Road, Totterdown BS4 2AG 07920 886053 • Facebook: Frankielovesava and dinewithi •

Road, where the February 14 couples’ menu costs £30. That includes a bottle of wine, curry, rice and chapati, a trio of snacks and dessert! To enter, just tell us: What day of the week is Valentine’s Day this year? Email entries with your name, address and phone number to paul@, or post to 18 Lilymead Avenue Bristol BS4 2BX by February 9.

Gifts galore from Frankie Loves Ava

FANCY something different this Valentine’s Day? Frankie Loves Ava specialise in quirky gifts and interiors including vintage and upcycled furniture and chalk paint. Also on the premises is the intimate Cellar Supper Club, catered by Tim Owen, otherwise known as dinewithi. Valentine’s Day sees a Singleton’s Supper where singles can engage over a

lovely four-course meal. If no romance is found, a friendship may be made. The Cellar Supper Club holds regular events. Frankie Loves Ava’s Wedding & Events showroom is now open, where they co-ordinate, style & hire props for any event. As an added bonus they can arrange ‘unique proposals’, just in case you wanted to pop the question! • More Valentines ideas: Page 17


We’ve got lots of unusual gifts for

Everything you need for your Valentine • Ideas from £5 • Beautiful bouquets


• Cards and gifts


• Delivery available throughout Bristol




If you’re single & fancy a great night out with amazing food & company, the legendary Dinewithi is cooking 4 courses on February 14. BYO alcohol; call 07970 715691 Frankie Loves Ava, 152 Wells Road, BS4 2AG 07920 886053 |

66 Parson Street BS3 5QG 0117 963 4283 You can email queries to

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

February 2018



Wills, Trusts + Probate


When’s the best time to write your Will?

It’s not uncommon for joint homeowners to be unmarried. But that makes it doubly important that you protect your financial interests, as well as those of your partners. It’s a common misconception that your share of the property will automatically pass to your partner if you die. This is because the law of intestacy – or dying without a valid Will in place – doesn’t recognise cohabitation in the same way it recognises marriage.

Your relationship has changed

Your Will is probably the most important legal document you’ll ever own. You’ve had children

Life changes don’t get much bigger than this! Every parent needs a Will, which is why having children is often the driving force behind couples making their first Will or updating an existing one.

Life circumstances alter periodically and relationship changes are commonplace. Have you married, divorced (and remarried) or become a grandparent? If so, you may need to update your Will.

As well as appointing guardians to care for your child should anything happen to both parents, you can also invest money in trust in preparation for adulthood or to make provision for higher education.

As well as adding beneficiaries to your estate, you can also remove people if your relationship with them has ended.

Changes in your assets Throughout our lives our personal wealth can go up as well as down. If the value of your assets or estate

BEDMINSTER 31 North St, Bristol BS3 1EN HORFIELD 374 Gloucester Rd, Bristol BS7 8TP QUEEN SQUARE 49/50 Queen Sq, Bristol BS1 4LW

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n FEATURES The RSPCA home is now called the Animal Rescue Centre, or ARC

has changed, now is the time to review your Will and ensure that it accurately reflects your final wishes. We can also look at ways in which you can mitigate or avoid future liabilities to tax through trusts and careful estate planning.

Regular check ups It never hurts to review your Will on a regular basis. It’s a living document and will change as you and your individual circumstances do. Your Will is probably the most important legal document you’ll ever own. But without one, the courts will decide how your estate will be distributed and it’s very likely that this won’t be as you intended. Barcan+Kirby has six offices across Bristol and Gloucestershire and a team of solicitors experienced in all areas of Wills, trusts and probate.

NE OF Bristol’s oldest charities has decided on a new identity. The Bristol Dogs and Cats Home is to be renamed Bristol ARC – standing for Animal Rescue Centre. The charity in Albert Road, St Philips, will remain linked to the RSPCA. Its bosses believe the move is necessary because, even though almost every Bristolian has heard of “the Dogs Home”, not enough people know all the charity does or where it is. “People talk about the Dogs Home but that’s only half the story,” Victoria Chester, the chief executive of the newly-named Bristol ARC, told the Voice. Market research showed that a surprising number of people in Bristol didn’t know where the charity was, what it did or who was responsible for running it. The Bristol ARC name is “one distinctive Bristol brand that we hope will help us speak even more clearly for the animals of our city and those who care for them” said Victoria Chester. “We need to stand up and we need to stand out as Bristol’s oldest animal welfare charity.” “Some things won’t change, namely our care for the animals that come to us and our support for animal welfare.” The charity is one of the oldest in the country, founded in 1887 after a Bristol man Edward Parker found a puppy lost in a snowstorm and realised there was

Professional advice, simply stated.


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

To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664


NEW NAME FOR THE DOGS’ HOME Tiny Tim the lurcher arrived at the ARC on Christmas Eve, hence his name. He was in a sorry state, having been found in a shed, but he’s doing well now. He’s pictured with animal care assistants Rachel and Shelley

Bristol’s beloved Dogs’ Home becomes the ARC

CLIFTON 199a Whiteladies Rd, Bristol BS8 2SB KINGSWOOD 111/117 Regent St, Bristol BS15 8LJ THORNBURY 36 High St, Thornbury BS35 2AJ



There’s never an ideal time to write a Will. But changing circumstances mean there’s a natural time for you to start planning for the future. Angela Thomas of Barcan+Kirby’s Wills + probate team looks at some of the life events that might trigger the need for you to make or update your Will. You’ve moved in together

February 2018

Bristol’s Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams and her rescue dog Sonny, who came from ARC

Bristol ARC – the story 1886 Edward T Parker finds a puppy in a Bristol snowstorm. 1887 The Bristol Home for Lost and Starving Dogs opens on Waterloo Street, Clifton. 1901 The home moves to its current site on Albert Road. 1914-1918 During the First World War, the home boarded dogs free of charge for Bristol soldiers. 1920 Cat quarters are built. The clinic offers free treatment. 1939-1945 The home suffers some air raid damage which fortunately was not too extensive. 1954 The home links up with the RSPCA Bristol & District Branch – though it remained autonomous with separate funds. 1988 The biggest extension to date included two new kennel blocks and a new cattery. 1995 A major legacy from Mrs Louise Wall funded the opening of the modern animal clinic. 2014 The exotics unit opens to look after reptiles. 2015 The RSPCA charity shop on East Street in Bedminster opens. 2018 Renamed as Bristol ARC.

nobody who would care for it. The Dogs Home remained independent until 1954, when it linked up with the RSPCA. But even after that it kept its status as a separate charity, and though it works hand in glove with the RSPCA, its still gets no automatic funding from it. The services at the ARC will remain exactly as before. The home has around 20 rescued dogs and about six cats available for rehoming at any time, as well as a department dedicated to rescuing exotic animals. There’s also a small animal section which cares for assorted rabbits, ferrets, mice, rats and budgies. The Albert Road centre also houses the country’s largest RSPCA animal clinic, where people on low incomes can get treatment for their pet. The clinic also cares for strays and for maltreated animals found by RSPCA inspectors, and looks after sick and injured wildlife brought to its doors. • Bristol ARC is distributing a collection of life-sized animal characters around the city for everyone to find. You can see where they are on the ARC website. Take a picture with any that you spot and share it using the hashtag #sayhitobristolarc. •

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


February 2018


FRIdAy 2Nd - SUNdAy 11Th MARCh 2018

love WheRe you live? Then why not join thousands all across the country and do a community litter pick? It’s a fun way to make new friends and get to know your neighbours.

Get in touch

February 2018


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

City achieved the impossible – well, almost HOW should we define “achieved the impossible”? Peace between Israelis and Palestinians? A cure for HIV? Or maybe to stand opposite the football team where every player is well known to three quarters of the globe, and each one makes more money than you and your 10 teammates together, and altogether labelled the “best team in history”? And then, buoyed by the storm caused by 25,000 fans, beat that team and, as a second-league club, win through to the final? Yes, the last option meets the requirements. What trumps did Bristol City possess in the second leg of the Carabao Cup, when it was clear that the Manchester City billionaires came to trample Bristolians into the ground? Well, they had the 1-2 result of the first leg, which meant a modest 1-0 home win would make them immortal. Secondly, a 12th player ... or rather 25,000 12th players, with their cheering and belief. Third, Bristol City had already done more than the biggest optimist expected, and now they had the possibility of a

victory. In contrast Manchester City must win. Too bad, it was just a dream. The evening before the game I was walking about the then-quiet, almost dead, area of Ashton Gate. But I felt the energy gathering. The energy would give me what I like most in sport – when simpletons beat notables ... Marcin Szuflinski Southville Place, Southville

It’s going to take more than bikes I WISH I shared Jonathan Wright’s optimism (Letters, January) that Bristol’s appalling traffic and pollution problems could be solved by people getting on their bikes. Unfortunately it can’t. Over the 30-plus years I’ve lived in Somerset Road I’ve seen a huge increase in bike use. But the rise in vehicles in the area has outnumbered this many times. Many people use cars because cycling is not an option – because of health problems or fears about traffic’s treatment of cyclists. But most is due to structural changes. Increasing housing costs due to gentrification of areas like ours has led to people being forced to commute greater distances. Many people, mainly women, have more than one child to

Bristol Waste has all the equipment you need for a safe event and you’ll be helping make Bristol a cleaner, greener city. Remember, a litter pick isn’t just for spring… you can borrow kits all year round! PaRt of the GReat BRitiSh SPRinG Clean 0117 304 9022 #BristolCleanStreets To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664


EFORE Christmas, we worked in partnership with a local housing association to take action to reclaim a local property in York Road, used by a well-known drug dealer and user. This is the second property that has been vacated due to drugs activity in this area. The closure of the property has made a big difference to local residents, who now feel safer and more able to enjoy the area where they live. This serves as a warning to people breaking the terms of their tenancy or committing crime, that they will be dealt with by us and the relevant local

housing association. If you are aware of any drug related activity or other criminal issues at a property near you, then please contact your neighbourhood policing team either by calling 101, emailing greaterbedminsternpt@ or contact Crimestoppers anonymously by dialling 0800 555 111.


ou may have spotted that the Neighbourhood Policing Team has a new hub in the carpark at Asda, Bedminster. This is the perfect spot for us, in the heart of the community, where you can get advice and support about any issues you might have. The hub will not be policed 24 hours a day, however please do stop by to meet your local beat team when

Write to or to 18 Lilymead Avenue, BS4 2BX

deliver to school before work, impossible on a bike, and there are the increasing numbers of community carers who work over a large area. This is in addition to the vast increase in vans and lorries as food and consumer goods come greater distances and more of us order goods online. The only way to move forward is to challenge vehicle use by introducing a congestion charge. The existing car sharing site – who even knew there was one? [see below – Editor] – could be upgraded and advertised, and Park & Ride facilities extended. Firstbus’s near-monopoly could be challenged by encouraging other providers to provide needed extra bus services (and fares might come down). Similarly train providers might see the financial sense in increasing services on existing suburban railway lines. Lorries over a certain size might be banned from the city during the day. And the bike racks - irrelevant really, just 12 spaces in a street with about 200 dwellings – but I’m against them simply because they’re noisy when used wherever they’re sited. Maureen Wright Somerset Road, Knowle • Car sharing:

POLICE REPORT Drug dealers turfed out of social housing


Seeking WWI memories FOR the last four or five years I have been writing the history of the people of Brislington and St Anne’s during World War I. It started with the war memorials but somehow the work expanded to include the experience of anyone who lived in or had associations with the two villages during the period from 1914. I am particularly interested in survivors who returned home: many suffered silently from the horror of the war for the rest of their lives, whether disabled, widowed or orphaned. Some inevitably would have moved to other parts of South Bristol. I hope the book will be published before the centenary of the Armistice, November 2018, and that nobody’s story is omitted. (It is very sad to hear after the event “Why didn’t you include Uncle Fred?”) If any readers can help with reminiscences or photos of these former Brislingtonians, I would be so grateful. Please email me, or telephone 0117 909 3907. Doreen P Lindegaard 49 Clayfield Road, Brislington BS4 4NH

With PCSO Charlotte Tait Broadbury Road police station it’s open. Further information can be found at • your-area/southville/


re you interested in helping out with your local police cadet unit? The South Bristol cadet unit is currently looking for adult volunteers to give up a small amount of time to help support and run the unit. The cadet unit is open to those aged between 14-17 who are looking to gain a greater insight into the way the police operate, and who want to give something back to their community. Cadet sessions run during school term times on a Monday evening between 7-9pm. If you are interested, please visit the recruitment section at about-us/recruitment/police-

cadets or email policecadets@ for more information.


e are aware that a number of motorcycles have been stolen in the area recently, some of which were easy pickings for thieves, because they didn’t have adequate security devices. If you have a motorbike, please review the security measures you use with it. Take advantage of alarms, chains and disc locks and always try to park in well-lit areas. Don’t just rely on steering locks. We can give you more advice if you would like it, or you can visit your local motorcycle shop who will no doubt be happy to advise you too. Until next month, PCSO Charlotte Tait

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


n PLANNING APPLICATIONS 9 Truro Road BS3 2AE Single storey rear extension to extend beyond the rear by 6.2m, of maximum height 2.9m with eaves of a maximum height of 2.9m. Refused 82-84 Bedminster Road BS3 5NP Dropped kerb to create parking space on forecourt in front of retail unit. Refused 23 Foxcote Road BS3 2DA Single storey rear extension to extend beyond the rear by 6m, of maximum height 3.15m with eaves a maximum of 2m high. Pending consideration 23 Foxcote Road BS3 2DA Single storey rear extension to extend beyond the rear by 6m, of maximum height 3.15m with eaves a maximum of 3m high. Refused Unit D, The Old Brewery Durnford Street BS3 2AW Change of use of part of Unit D (artist’s studio) from light industrial use (Class B1c) to a single dwellinghouse (Use class C3). Granted 32 Ashville Road BS3 2AP Demolish single storey rear extension and erect single storey rear and side extension. Extend and re-model garage. Pending consideration Ashcroft Services, Ashcroft House, Baynton Road BS3 2EB Change of use from office to sui generis tattoo studio. Pending consideration 58 Greville Road BS3 1LL Details in relation to condition 2 (Contamination) of permission 15/02685/F: Demolition of

February 2018


Bedminster, Southville, Ashton

workshop/garage; construction of two storey house. Pending consideration

74A Bedminster Parade BS3 4HL Rear roof extension. Pending consideration

rear extension, and first floor side extension. Granted subject to conditions

Trident VSU, Balfour Road BS3 2AF Removal or variation of condition 18 of permission 15/01453/F: rear elevations of houses to be constructed from brick. Pending consideration

83 North Street, Bedminster BS3 1ES Change of use from offices (Use class B1a) to two flats (Use class C3). Granted

2-6 Mill Lane BS3 4DG Change of use of ground floor retail unit (Use class A1) to studio flat (Use class C3), first floor rear extension to existing one bedroom maisonette, plus second floor extension for two bedroom flat; external alterations. Refused

Luckwell Club, Luckwell Road BS3 3EW Removal or variation of condition 27 of permission 11/03097/F: rear at second floor to be constructed of brick. Pending consideration 209 Coronation Road BS3 1RQ Single storey rear extension with interior re-modelling to ground floor of HMO to create larger kitchen and living room space. Pending consideration 55 Langton Park BS3 1EQ Single storey infill extension. Pending consideration 17 Park Road Southville BS3 1PU Single storey side return extension with roof lights and bifold doors. Pending consideration 4 West End Southville BS3 1AU T1 Lime: Crown reduce x 3m. T2 Walnut: Crown reduce x 2.5m. T3 Ash: Fell. Granted 6 Longmoor Road BS3 2NZ Rear, front, and side extension. Granted subject to conditions 4 Stackpool Road BS3 1NQ Conversion of dwelling into a ground floor flat and a first / second floor flat, two storey side extension, roof extensions and extensive repairs. Withdrawn

286 North Street, Bedminster BS3 1JU Extension to front roof and mansard-style rear dormer. Granted subj. to conditions 66 Ashgrove Road BS3 3JW Raising of annexe roof and installing deck. Granted subject to conditions 18 Parson Street BS3 5PT Erection of two storey dwelling. Refused 3 Clanage Road BS3 2JX Removal of two outbuildings and erection of a single storey extension adjoining north east side wall. Refused 33 West View Road BS3 3JL Single storey rear extension to extend beyond the rear by 3.4m, of maximum height 3.2m with eaves 2.3m high. Refused York Buildings, York Road, Bedminster BS3 4AA Upgrade timber windows to UPVC, external communal timber doors to aluminium and flat entrance doors to composite. Withdrawn 83 Lime Road BS3 1LS Facade and internal alterations involving reinstatement of original garage to frontage and insertion of rear bifold doors. Refused 30 Silbury Road BS3 2QD Part two storey, part single storey

Hut, Southville Road Demolition and replacement of store/workshop with new container/store. Granted subject to conditions 86 East Street (37 Herbert Street), Bedminster BS3 4EY Details of conditions 1 (Further details) and 2 (Sample) attached to permission 16/05849/F: Erection of 9 new flats. Condition 1 Granted, Condition 2 Refused 165 Luckwell Road BS3 3HB Two storey one-bedroom home. Unit C (land to rear 165 Luckwell Road) has permission for a flat. Pending consideration 5 Shepton Walk BS3 5NU Single storey and two storey rear extension. Granted subject to conditions 15 Parklands Road BS3 2JW Partial removal of side extension and rear conservatory, retaining storeroom, and erection of double storey side 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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February 2018





There are flowers to be seen even at New Year, says Voice naturalist Alex Morss …


ILD flowers at New Year? Well yes! We found defiant, frosty white chandeliers of blossom swaying above the snow, their styles and stigmas dusted with pollen and fragrant with fresh nectar; while mauves, blues, golds and pinks splashed determined constellations across Victoria Park, Knowle, Arnos Vale cemetery, the Northern Slopes and Bedminster. These dainty sprays were the confirmation that our curious wild flower fanciers had been pursuing. South Bristol, once again, was still blooming, even in the coldest spell of the year. We do this little mission every year, as part of a national event called the New Year Plant Hunt. Each time, we sense that we have found the lost property of summer, dropped from the sun’s pockets. Has their compass been switched, or ours? Have we made too many assumptions in the past, or are flower seasons changing? Some of these wild flowers ae wind-pollinated, so winter with its sharp winds will be a bonus, not a hindrance, to the flower’s business of reproduction. Others are self-fertile and so not reliant on rare visits by winter insects. In recent years, results of this investigation have shown that wild flowers are hardier than we might think, and not so confined to seasonal stereotypes. At least 60 per cent of new year blooms are late stragglers, still running their autumn marathon. Another 10-15 per cent are unusually early spring arrivals - perhaps confused into sprouting by milder spells or soil disturbance. The rest are all-year-rounders. We know this because all our results get sent to the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland, where scientists analyse the new year species lists from teams across the UK. This annual hunt is revealing some surprises about seasonal flower times. Teams across the UK together found a total of 532 different wild flower species in bloom this time, which is a whopping chunk of

Still thriving: Hogweed, above, while the Corn Marigold, right, is usually seen in summer PHOTOS: Alex Morss

Our search for winter blooms WHAT WE FOUND Results after a three-hour search of South Bristol: • 35 wild flower species found in bloom; • 20 in Knowle’s waysides & back alleys; • 20 in Victoria Park; • 11 at Arnos Vale cemetery; • 8 on the Northern Slopes. Britain’s total of about 3,000 flowering plant species. Bristol has tended to fare well every midwinter, even after that rare chilly snap and that thrilling spot of snow. We regularly find a rich mix, including some exotics and city aliens. We avoid cherry-picking the best sites, such as wildlife reserves and species-rich grasslands, and go for a slow plod around our neighbourhood, sometimes accompanied by seasonal hangovers and dogs. These fertile corners help give a more realistic, wider viewpoint on the array of urban plants beyond the garden wall than, say, concentrating on local nature reserves. As a boot-powered, roaming urban botanist, I’ve generally found that random nether regions of urban waysides, back alleys, pavement cracks, cemeteries and city parks can offer up a decent number of finds, with the delicious bonus of surprises in these underrecorded quarters. The recent big chill did seem to have put the freeze on a few local species, compared to last

year’s count. We were down to 30 species, compared to 37 in the same locations last year. However our overall count was 35 in total, because we added an extra site, Arnos Vale cemetery. We did find some new ones, and as usual fast growing annuals, long-established aliens from the Mediterranean and others linked to our city’s trading history, garden escapes, ancient arrivals and natives. The rarest find was White Wall Rocket, an annual alien that is known in only a few sites in Britain, but thrives in Victoria Park. It was interesting to spot a stunning golden Corn Marigold, a classic summer flower in the middle of winter! • The 35 wild flower blooms in South Bristol included: Primrose, Ivy-Leaved Toadflax,

Cornsalad, Daisy, False Brome, Adriatic Bellflower, Trailing Bellflower, Wavy Bittercress, Hairy Bittercress, Red Valerian, Guernsey Fleabane, Hazel, Smooth Hawk’s-beard, Cock’sfoot, White Wall-rocket, Mexican Fleabane, Petty Spurge, Hogweed, Hoary Mustard, White Dead-nettle, Red Dead-nettle, Nipplewort, Tree-mallow, Ox-eye Daisy, Annual Mercury, Annual Meadow Grass, Groundsel, Ragwort, Smooth Sow-thistle, Chickweed, Feverfew, Dandelion, Mayweed and Field Speedwell. • Not seen this year: Alexanders, Herb Robert, Shepherd’s Purse, Red Clover, False Oat-grass, Spindle, Ivy, Black Medick, Forget-me-not, Fox-and-cubs, Rough Meadow Grass, Yellow Corydalis, Meadow Buttercup and Lesser Celandine.

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Giving older folk the chance to find their green fingers again ARE YOU a keen gardener who would like to share your skills with others? A Bedminster home for the elderly has a small garden area which is crying out for someone to take charge. Amerind Grove on Raleigh Road has three raised beds. They

are at an ideal height for people in wheelchairs, and the home is hoping to find a volunteer who will help the residents enjoy gardening through the summer. To find out more, email BS3 Helping Others, which

matches volunteers with groups which need help, has two speakers in February. On Tuesday, February 6, there’s a talk from the British Red Cross about its Support at Home Service helping people regain confidence and independence.

On February 20 the talk is from Ashton Education Centre about the opportunity to help children with maths or English. Meetings are in the Tobacco Factory café every Tuesday at 10.15am. • Facebook: BS3 Helping Others

Wanted – more friendly neighbours KIND-hearted neighbours are being sought from all over South Bristol to help older people get out and about. The St Monica Trust is asking anyone aged 60+ to offer a few hours a month to boost the confidence of pensioners who may not have been out in a while. A spokesperson for the charity’s ACE Neighbours project explained: “In Hartcliffe and Withywood, there are lots of opportunities for older adults to get involved in, but for some

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Companions could help older folk gain confidence to go out on their own getting out and engaging in their community can be a bit daunting. “Whether it’s going for a walk, going out for a coffee, or trying a new activity, most people would prefer to have someone to go with. Could this be you?”

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Each volunteer will be matched with a resident for six months. With a list of possible activities to try, it will be up to the individuals to decide what they’d like to do. The older adults involved are mobile and don’t need physical help, just a confidence boost to get out and about. No experience is needed as full training and support is provided. Transport is not required and volunteer expenses will be paid. Ann, an ACE volunteer, said:

“It was great to feel that I was making a difference to someone’s life. I had great fun, learnt lots of new things, and took part in many activities I wouldn’t have thought of doing.” A volunteer training day is being held on Wednesday February 14. If you’d like a volunteer application pack, or want to find out more about the role, please contact Catherine on 0117 305 2365 or 07817 632 963 or email catherine.robinson@

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February 2018


February 2018




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MARVIN REES Mayor of Bristol

I want this to be an active city with world-class arena events


HIS month I want to look back at 2017’s European City of Sport title, update on some current work and look forward to the year ahead. Our year as European City of Sport may be over, but now we have a great platform to promote the benefits of sport and physical activity and opportunities for everyone to participate. During the summer our Are You Game? campaign saw over 80 sporting organisations offering free taster sessions for more than 200 different activities and sports. Working with Junior Parkrun, we also launched our Bristol 2k challenge, with children collectively running over 2,500 km throughout November. We also set up new artificial cricket wickets in parks, promoted

new Bristol Girls Can ambassadors and saw hundreds sign up to beginners running courses. While many of us do take part in sport and physical activity there are still many who do not and this is proven to have an effect on the health of our city. Thanks to new funding from Sport England we will be taking more steps to engage areas that we know are less likely to be active this year. The new website – – will continue the legacy, helping to make Bristol a city where everyone can be active. During the final cabinet meeting of 2017 I committed to supporting music venues. I tasked cabinet member Cllr Nicola Beech


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with introducing the ‘agent of change’ principle to our Local Plan, which guides development in the city. This means that developers have to consider pre-existing businesses, like music venues, in an area before moving forward with a project. Developers would be responsible for installing soundproofing to solve potential issues like noise complaints. I am pleased that the Government will also incorporate the ‘agent of change’ principle into national legislation. I want us all to be able to watch the best performances and events around. From leading bands to world class sport events, Bristol must be a go-to city that’s “on the tour”. This brings me to the arena project. My January cabinet meeting received a progress report confirming the Brabazon hangar at Filton as a possible location. We have to know whether the proposals are value for money. These need to be assessed against alternate locations, alternative uses of the site and the benefit on the wider economy. I am 100 per cent committed to delivering an arena for Bristol and I want to be sure we are fully informed on all the options, at a cost the city can afford. We are therefore pressing ahead with further detailed examination of the two most viable options. Cabinet will receive an update again in April.

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February 2018




ADVICE FROM A PHARMACIST have been answering due to Do you have increased concern for young people in Bristol area. Meningococcal group B bacteria is questions responsible for 90 per cent of meningococcal infections in young about children. It can cause life threatening infections, including meningitis and blood poisoning. meningitis? This bacteria can spread to people Is it necessary for me or my child to have the meningitis B vaccination?

Does my child need both the Men ACWY and the Men B vaccines? Are there any side effects to the vaccines? Are they costly?


OLLOWING recent cases and a death last year, these are some of the common questions about meningitis we

through prolonged close contact. Meningitis can affect all ages but it’s more common in babies and young children. The next most vulnerable groups is teenagers and young adults due to increased social mixing at these ages (starting sixth form and university). Meningococcal infections tend to come in bursts. In the past 20 years, between 500 and 1,700 people every year have suffered from Men B disease, with around

one in 10 dying from the infection. Many of those who survive suffer significant permanent disability, such as amputation, brain damage and epilepsy. All teenagers at secondary school are now vaccinated against the meningitis ACWY strain.This is different to meningitis B. The NHS does not routinely offer the meningitis B vaccine, except when reported cases are rising. However, due to recent cases and a fatality from Men B among young people (including in Bristol), there has been a massive campaign to raise funds and awareness of this condition. As your local pharmacy, we have responded by undertaking the necessary training and now provide the Men B vaccination privately. A lot of parents have

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


HE FARM has welcomed two new independent businesses on site, joining Nacoa (the National Association for Children of Alcoholics) in the adventure playground building, and Homegrown, the arts and crafts shop in reception. Mini Potters is a new paint-it-yourself pottery studio for kids, based in the old bike shed. Everyone is invited to the open day on Saturday February 24, and the studio opens for drop-in sessions from Monday February 26. Essential Maintenance is a new holistic beauty therapist based in one of the outside units

of the John James building, facing onto the garden. Rebecca, from Windmill Hill, uses cruelty-free products for her treatments, including nails, waxing, feet and facials, and specialises in Hawaiian and Balinese massage. Rebecca is offering a 10% discount to Voice readers – just mention City Farm News. • whats-here/mini-potters/ • essentialmaintenancebeauty.

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n NEWS approached us to help set up a service like this. Our Bedminster pharmacy team will also be very happy to provide you with advice and help you with any queries you have. There is no question you may have that will be too trivial when it comes to protecting your health and wellbeing. Side effects are mild and the same vaccine is used all over the world. We are supporting this initiative by making our service very cost effective for the family. Come in or give us a call today, please do not delay! • This article by Ade Williams and Celine Lee of Bedminster Pharmacy aims to show how all pharmacies can help people with a variety of health conditions and ease pressure on GPs and the rest of the NHS.



Discover the bloody story of Bedminster THE MACABRE side of Bedminster history is now being brought to life by BS3’s own celebrated theatre company, Show of Strength. A walking tour revealing some of Bedminster’s little known tales of crime and betrayal started on January 30 and continues every Tuesday until May 15 (there’s no walk on February 27). Even lifelong Bedminster residents may be surprised to hear some of the stories retold by Show Of Strength’s Sheila Hannon, from body snatchers, concrete coffins and hanging judges to a man eaten by a lion. Blood and Butchery in Bedminster guides an audience to the scene of many grisly events, such as the Steam Crane pub in North Street, where John Horwood was sentenced for murder in 1821. As the tour makes clear, his body suffered indignity even after he was hanged. Discover too the fate of

Fake royal: Princess Caraboo

John Horwood: Hand of a killer

Princess Caraboo, the young woman who was the talk of Bristol for several months in 1817 when she claimed to have escaped from pirates and been washed up in the Bristol Channel. She spoke in a foreign language and convinced people

she was a princess from the faraway island of Javasu. Unfortunately for her, her fame spread so far that a Bristol lodging-house keeper recognised her as Mary Willcocks, a young woman from Devon who had boarded with her and entertained

her children by speaking in a made-up language. The ‘princess’ was exposed as a fake, and Javasu was found not to exist. But Willcocks had won her fame, and traded on her new identity in stage shows in the US and London until she moved to Bedminster in 1851, living in Princess Street and working as a dealer in leeches. There’s a blue plaque in Princess Street – now an industrial area off York Road – and a moving gravestone in the Hebron cemetery, tucked away off North Street. A forgotten Victorian murder, the mysterious disappearance of Mr Lomas, and Bedminster’s extraordinary role in Britain’s biggest bullion robbery will also be explored on the tour. The walks start at 7pm and last about two hours. Tickets cost £10 and several of the walks have already sold out. •

groups, with little or no previous experience. It targets Key Stages 1 and 2. 10am-4pm, £95. More info and booking details on the website.

Half time treats Pick your own: the Edible School from the city farm, using online surveys and social media posts. The survey will be online from February 9-15. The farm really wants to know what you think and, by way of incentive, is offering anyone who takes part the chance to win a £20 farm gift voucher. whats-on/events/big-listen/

Edible gardens A ONE-DAY RHS course covering all the basics to get children actively involved in growing their own food will be held at the farm on February 20. The Edible School Garden course is hands-on and suitable for teachers, teaching assistants and volunteers across all age

THERE will be two great outdoors activity opportunities for children during half term. Woodland Tribe is an adventure playground with a difference – the children build it! The team supervises and supports children to use hammers, nails and saws, build dens, be creative with natural materials, and play freely with nature. No need to book – just turn up. For six years and over, all children must be accompanied by an adult. £5 per child for a two hour session (pay at reception on the day). 13 and 14 February, 10am-4pm. Wild Outdoors Club will be running a special spring half term session on 15 February, 10am-12 noon. Join in with cool crafts, fun nature activities and great games. For ages six and over, £10 per child. Book in advance on the farm website.

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February 2018



LEASE don’t park on the double yellow lines at the junction of Gathorne Road Charlie and North Street! Bolton I have been Green contacted by Southville residents of Gathorne Road who are having a number of issues with vehicles parking on the double yellow lines at the end of their street. These are generally visitors to local shops, particularly Parsons bakery. Any individual may stop for just a minute or two. But there is a stream of such vehicles doing the same thing. When I was there one morning, I saw a van park there when there were several spaces available just a few yards up the road. This is causing serious problems. This is largely the increased difficulty and danger caused to people trying to drive out of Gathorne Road onto North


Street. Their view is impaired, and I have been told of at least one collision. I have spoken to Parsons, who will put up a sign asking visitors to park legally. I am also contacting the council traffic officers to ask for some enforcement – and also to see if other measures are available (sadly less likely if money is required). But – well, they are double yellow lines and it is illegal. So please pass the word and ask those who do this to park more carefully. On the subject of parks, I am working with Action Greater Bedminster (the organisation which has replaced the neighbourhood partnership) to try to set up a local group to see if there are shared problems and opportunities in the face of the enormous cuts to parks funding in Bristol. If you are part of a parks group or know of one, please get in touch – email me at cllr.

How to contact your councillor: p2


ORRY, but I am going to use yet another of these columns to talk about stadium parking. After Stephen every match I Clarke get photos from Green residents of illegally Southville parked vehicles blocking access to emergency services and making people’s lives a misery. There might be a bit of good news coming up because of the large crowds the club has been getting. When the planning deal was struck to allow the stadium to be enlarged in 2014 there was a Section 106 agreement. One of the provisions was that if there were three crowds of over 25,000 in any five consecutive matches this would trigger a match-day parking scheme largely paid for by the club. Unbelievably (thanks to Manchester United, Man City and Wolves) this is now going to be triggered (although as we write, the club have said that the

published attendance figures are not the same as the actual ones, which seems very odd). The area to be covered is stated to be ‘Ashton and Bedminster West’; basically an area to the south of North Street. The initial obligation is to carry out consultation, so look out for that. You are also likely be consulted about the Southville parking scheme being extended to Saturdays. The idea is to give some protection to residents from stadium parking. It only does that if it is enforced, of course. Finally, I am still kicking up as much fuss as I can about opening the Long Ashton Park & Ride to football and rugby traffic. Progress is slow and the obstacles continue (planning, health and safety, and so on) but we will continue to push for this complete no-brainer. We have been told the situation is also becoming desperate for the people of Long Ashton (which is in North Somerset, as is the Park and Ride itself) during matches so we will be getting help from them I hope.

February 2018





Unprecedented budget pressure HE annual council budget meeting on February 20 will be an opportunity to decide on spending and investment priorities for the city over the coming years. Pressure on resources, both in terms of people and revenue, is immense and unprecedented. A reshaping of the authority and how it does business is well under way. Also important is the evolving relationship between the council and the new combined authority led by the metro mayor. For Bristol to receive its fair share of investment, particularly for infrastructure and skills, this relationship needs to become more cooperative, as in other parts of England. We will work with community bodies and residents to help alleviate these cuts, which are a result of government underfunding. Sunday trains at long last ELL done to the Friends of Parson Street Station in helping to secure a better Sunday service. Many people have been


Mark Bradshaw Labour Bedminster

Celia Phipps Labour Bedminster

involved in lobbying for this. It complements the earlier and later peak weekday services which help to connect to longer distance routes. The newer trains are also making a difference, with more seats, better aircon and being less prone to breaking down than their 40-year-old predecessors. However, there are engineering works planned for Bristol over Easter: • planned-engineering/bristol2018 Ashton Gate traffic: Cooperation rather than confrontation ELIA and Mark continue to work with Bristol Sports and the council to address traffic issues. Some faded yellow lining


35 How to contact your councillor: p2

has been replaced in the area around Ashton Gate. Clearly, there are planning obligations which need to be fulfilled, but a blame game between some local representatives (not us), the club and council is unlikely to do much to help reduce obstructive and dangerous parking. Working together is a better approach than grabbing media headlines. Community investment HERE is now a different way of deciding on how community infrastructure levy (CIL) funds get allocated. The levy is paid at a fixed rate by developers and then spent on local improvements and citywide needs. Up to now, this has been on a ward basis, but across Bristol, wards will work together with councillors sitting on area committees to decide the spending priorities for CIL. Only councillors can decide how these public funds are used. Arena – Temple Meads or not? HERE is an understandable need to find the best valuefor-money solution to getting the



arena built. An arena at Temple Meads, rather than Filton, would be more accessible for people in South Bristol and is more likely to provide them with work and skills opportunities. As the delay continues, so will uncertainty and cost. Surely it is no coincidence that a number of arenas across the UK have been built in city centres next to major rail stations. Temple Meads has been the preferred location for some time and several key decisions (transport, bridges, jobs) have been made on that basis. Many people take the view that the reviews, pauses and delays have gone on for far too long. Our surgeries E USUALLY hold a surgery on the first Saturday of the month at Mezzaluna on West Street but this is closed for refurbishment. So, in the meantime, please contact us by email, phone or post using the details on page 2 and we will do our best to assist with any issues. We will share our future arrangements via this column.


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February 2018





The destruction of Bedminster – a mere As the English Civil War tore the nation apart, a prince set fire to Bedminster, destroying what had been a prosperous town


AR IS terrible – but a civil war, where a nation is split and even members of the same family can be on opposing sides, is something worse. Today’s heart-wrenching wars in Syria and Yemen are so awful partly because even when or if one side “wins”, the conflict will not be over. Beliefs and desires don’t change at the point of a gun, and once a nation fractures into mass violence, the impact will be felt for generations. Consider then the effect on our own city of the English Civil War, actually a series of wars which tore the country apart from 1638 to 1660. It’s well known that Bristol was subject to not one, but two sieges as it passed first into the hands of the Royalists (the Cavaliers) supporting King Charles I, and then to the Parliamentarians, or Roundheads, under Oliver Cromwell. But talk of sieges won and lost, and the battle moving on to other towns, doesn’t do justice to the terrific impact of the wars on the people of Bristol, and its pivotal role in the conflict. Perhaps nothing can bring home the enormity of what happened than the mention of a mere footnote in the Civil War: the destruction of Bedminster. What was then an important town in its own right was razed to the ground. Look for a monument to this tragic event and you won’t find one. Yet this sideline in the big story was an event from which Bedminster took two centuries to recover.


he English Civil War was not one war, but three. It took place in all the nations of what is now the United

Kingdom. It was in many ways, a conflict about religion: it began with the refusal of Scotland to accept the Church of England’s Book of Common Prayer. When a Scottish army defeated the king twice, and invaded northern England, Charles was forced to ask the Houses of Parliament for taxes to fund a bigger army. This exposed several more faultlines. England had become a Protestant nation, rejecting the authority of the Pope in Rome more than 100 years before, in 1534. A nationwide Church of England gave the king great influence, but Charles was suspected of papist sympathies – he had married a Catholic, for one thing. The Scots were not at all fond of the powerful and wealthy English bishops. And in Ireland, then part of the kingdom, a largely Catholic population was ruled by a mainly Protestant aristocracy. Soon the fires of rebellion were lit there too, and Charles could not agree terms with his Parliament on how to fund and control the army to be sent to Ireland. In 1642 both king and Parliament raised armies against each other, and the civil war began in earnest.


he conflict was about more than religion, though. It was about control of land, and taxes, and the rights of MPs; it was also about the sharing of resources, in a nation where gold from the New World was beginning to devalue the currency, and the prospect of ever more wealth flowing into ports like Bristol prompted questions about who really owned the nation, and whether a king really was put in place by God. The King enjoyed support in many rural areas, including the West and the North of England. He had no control over London or the wealthy South-East. But in major centres such as Bristol it was not clear where loyalty lay. Often, landowners and aristocrats backed the king. Those who wanted religious or political freedom – and some merchants who wanted the freedom to trade – plumped for Parliament. The Royalists in the West, under Sir Ralph Hopton of

February 2018





 footnote in the tragedy of the Civil War

entrance to Royalist troops. Months later a parliamentary leader, Sir Alexander Popham, sent 500 cavalry to billet in Bristol. But they got no further than Bedminster, where the city council ordered the militia to keep them at bay with muskets. In December 1642, after a two-day debate by the council, Newgate was opened to allow in two regiments of Roundhead infantry. There must have been many in the city who wanted to carry on their commerce; but increasingly all trade was benefiting one side or the other. Bristol had already sent ships full of provisions to the royal forces in Ireland. It was going to be impossible to remain neutral. A Royalist plot to open the gates to Prince Rupert was betrayed in March. A battle was looming.

Condemned: Nathaniel Fiennes was judged to have surrendered Bristol to the Royalists too easily and was sentenced to death, but he was later reprieved Witham Priory in Somerset, could raise few troops in the county, and so started their efforts in Cornwall. A steady tide of victories ended in a rout of Parliamentary forces near Bath in early July 1643; by the end of the month they were at the gates of Bristol. The arrival of Prince Rupert on the Royalist side, nephew to the king and a dashing cavalryman, was said to be worth half a battle in itself. Bristol, however, was the nation’s second city, its most important port, and was very expensively defended. Its governor, Colonel Nathaniel Fiennes, was afterwards to complain that he spent £1,000 a week (£2.5 million in labour costs today) on earthworks and fortifications around the city. The city was at several disadvantages, apart from the 15,000 troops Prince Rupert brought with him. Its defenders were only 1,800 strong, weakened by the loss of troops to other battles. The city’s leaders had pleaded not to be occupied by troops on either side. At first they were successful: in July 1642 the mayor, John Lock, refused


rince Rupert attacked the city’s defences head on, and with great loss. Ramparts had been dug all the way round the city, from Temple Gate (Temple Meads) north to Lawford’s Gate at Old Market, north west to Prior’s Hill Fort near Stokes Croft, and a line of forts across what is now Cotham, over St Michael’s Hill, to Brandon Hill and the River Avon. Fiennes may have lacked troops but he had the cannons and gunpowder he needed; and Bristol Castle was said at the time to be so strong it could resist attack for months. Cornish troops attacking the city walls at Redcliffe from the south suffered big losses; to the north the royalists were cut down in even greater numbers as they attacked the forts. The historian Clarendon said of the Royalist casualties: “Yet the king might very well have said what king Pyrrhus did: ‘If we win another at the price, we are utterly undone.’ And truly his majesty’s loss before this town is inestimable, and very hard to be repaired. I am persuaded there were slain, upon the several assaults, of common men about five hundred, and abundance of excellent officers.” Troops who led such an attack, trying to scale defences with ladders, were almost certain to die. To coax them into suicide, the “laddermen” were offered bounties: five or ten shillings,

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Mistress Hazard rallies the defenders at Frome Gate. A 1918 painting by Gerald Moira worth up to £2,000 in today’s purchasing power. Prince Rupert rallied his attackers. Near the northern ramparts, his horse was shot in the eye; he just got on another horse. The attacks continued, with hundreds of Royalist casualties. But one section of ramparts near Brandon Hill had poor foundations. The attackers managed to level it and gain entry; once inside they held the defenders at bay with fire pikes, great poles kept ablaze with tar to act like a primitive flamethrower. Some of the outer forts fell, but Fiennes was still in a strong position. A band of women converged on the inner Frome Gate and piled woolsacks and earth inside, telling the gunners “that if they would stand out and

fight, they would stand by them, and told them they should not want for provision.” These were the words of Mistress Dorothy Hazard, an outspoken Baptist and wife of a Puritan vicar. But Fiennes was an ineffectual leader, said to be given too much to prayer. He despaired of holding the city and surrendered on condition that his defenders could leave the city unharmed. This promise was kept by the victorious Rupert. But perhaps enraged by the loss of so many comrades, the attackers forgot their vow not to plunder the city. Bristol contained valuable ships, munitions and enough skilled workers to equip the entire Royalist army with new muskets. It was a valuable prize: but the cost to its citizens was

© Bristol Museums

uncounted. Many Parliamentary sympathisers were turned from their homes, forced to provide “mutton and veal and chickens, with wine and tobacco each meal” for the Cavaliers, who slept in Puritans’ beds and filled their homes with “blasphemous, filthy and wicked language,” according to one aggrieved citizen. Fiennes was court-martialled by his own side, and sentenced to death for his supposed neglect, but was reprieved. Historians have mostly judged he could not have held the city for long.


ristol was a beacon of prosperity, at least for some. Fortunes were made from trade and shipping, including the heinous (and centuries-old) transport of slaves.

Both sides in the war squeezed whatever they could from this wealth. Since the 1620s, Charles had imposed a ship tax on coastal towns to pay for the navy. In 1634, Bristol was billed £2,166 (equal to £97m today). But the king found the town was ever less willing to pay, and the tax harder to collect. The next year, Bristol was taxed £1,200; two years later just £800. If people refused to pay, their goods could be seized and sold, but by 1639 no-one would buy the seized goods, and the tax was enforceable. It was one precursor of the country sliding into conflict. More unrest was caused by Charles’s manipulation of monopolies. In 1631 the king gave the sole right to soap manufacture to a company in London. Several long-established Bristol soap makers faced ruin. They won the right to make 600 tons of soap a year, but Charles taxed them at £4 a ton. Later the king disputed the amount of soap made in Bristol, and summoned the soap makers to London – a long and expensive journey – where he fined them £20,000. Some Bristol traders made money from monopolies. One won royal approval to export 120,000 calf skins a year. Others paid a tax to be allowed a share in the export of Welsh butter, putting several Welsh traders out of business. It was said that most wealthy Bristol traders sided with the King, while the smaller ones backed the Parliamentarians. Once he had gained control of the city for the king, Prince Rupert spent more fortunes on shoring up Bristol’s defences. The Great Fort on St Michael’s Hill was rebuilt as the Royal Fort. This was the headquarters of the royal Western Army, an almost impregnable five-sided bastion stocked with supplies to last 150 men almost a year. The prince was determined to do better than Fiennes and not surrender the city too easily.But two years after the storming of Bristol, history was to repeat itself – this time with disastrous consequences for Bedminster.


t’s little appreciated now that Bedminster predates the city of Bristol. East Street and West Street were an ancient Continued overleaf

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n HISTORY Continued from page 37 route to a river crossing, certainly in Roman times, but possibly in the Iron Age too. Its name may come from beydd, the ancient British word for baptisms, which were carried out in the River Malago. Bedminster was a royal manor with 55 inhabitants at the time of the Domesday Book in 1086; in about 1130 it passed to the family who became the barons of Berkeley. The Berkeleys had a famous castle on the Severn but they are said to have preferred their manor house in Bedminster. They remained lords of the manor until it was sold to the Smyth family in 1604, who founded the Ashton Court estate. The town was small but prosperous. When assessed for ship tax in 1630, Bedminster’s bill was £47 – equal to an economic power of £2.4m today, and on a par with the towns of Glastonbury and Frome. Over time, Bristol began to overshadow Bedminster, but North Street became an important route leading from

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February 2018



Bristol to the West. Bedminster was still an important centre, though. Its ancient church of St John the Baptist (to be destroyed in the Blitz in World War II) dated from at least as far back as the year 1003, in the reign of King Ethelred, but there had probably been older churches there before this. In a clear sign of Bedminster’s importance, St John’s was the mother to chapels at Bishopsworth, Knowle and St Mary Redcliffe – which was also then in Somerset, being on the same side of the river as Bedminster, at least until the New Cut was opened in 1809. St Mary Redcliffe was still officially a chapel-of-ease to St John’s until 1852. (A chapel-ofease was a church built to be easier for people to get to – usually when new areas were opened up for housing.) After its conquest by Prince Rupert, Bristol was a relatively peaceful place for two years. As a vital port and naval base, it was well-defended. And though there were plenty of citizens who


backed the Parliamentary cause, they were unable to sway events. In March of 1645 King Charles’s son the Prince of Wales, also called Charles, made Bristol his base. This was partly to give the future ruler, then aged 14, some experience of command (though it’s unlikely he was in charge of much); and partly to lessen the risk of the prince and the king (whose base was Oxford) being captured at the same time. The prince lodged at the Great House, in theory the grandest house in the city. On the site of where the Colston Hall is now, it had been built by a very wealthy merchant, John Young. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth I for the lavish entertainment he gave her in the house when she visited Bristol in 1574. By the time of the Civil War, though, the Great House was rather run-down, and when Queen Henrietta, Charles I’s wife, stayed there in 1644, there were not enough beds, and several were borrowed from the Red Lion Inn. When the Prince of Wales arrived in 1645, the house was in a better state, but five city councillors had to lend beds and bedding, and the council itself gave a pewter dinner service worth £19 (about £3,000 today). Within days of the prince’s arrival, however, a Parliamentary plot to betray the city was discovered. Two conspirators fled the city. Then, as the summer began, a new evil entered Bristol: the plague. The prince fled almost immediately: his father

advised him to lodge with Sir Hugh Smyth at Ashton Court, but it seems he went instead to Barnstaple in Devon. The Royalist cause was in decline. Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army scored a decisive victory at Naseby in Northamptonshire on June 14. The king retreated into Wales and Prince Rupert to Bristol, which seemed ripe for an attack by the Parliamentarians. Charles and Rupert met at Chepstow, after which the prince promised his king that he would defend Bristol for at least four months. His situation looked sound: he had 5,000 soldiers, many more than Fiennes had had two years before. The new Royal Fort was state-of-the-art, and there were arms and provisions to last months. The plague, however, raged on. It was killing about 100 people a week in the denselypacked city. The disease was rampant in nearby villages, and probably in Bedminster too. Rupert’s position remained strong. But it was his very strength in numbers that led the Parliamentarians to decide on attack. Leaving Rupert and his cavalry unattended would mean he was free to gather an army in the Midlands, and revive the Royalist cause. A successful attack on Bristol, however, would deprive the king of his only port, and the source of most of his armaments. Its loss could well be fatal to the Royalist cause. And so it was to prove.



NE OF the last gigs scheduled for lamented post-punk provocateur Mark E Smith was in Bedminster’s Fiddlers Club last November. And when he failed to take the stage – laid low by illness which sadly claimed his life on January 24 – he compared his misadventure to the ignominious exit of Prince Rupert from Bristol in 1645. Smith, lead singer of The Fall since 1976, and famous for a life of drinking and drugs, was ill for much of 2017 and had to cancel a sold-out gig at Fiddlers last May. The concert was rescheduled for November 29, and fans packed the venue until the start time of 10pm – only to hear that Smith was too ill to leave his Bristol hotel room. Smith was a history buff who once wove King William of

Failed in Bedminster: Prince Rupert, left, and Mark E Smith Orange into a song, so perhaps it was little surprise when in a statement the next day, the singer said: “As I, like Prince Rupert leave Bristol with my tail between my legs, I wish to give my great apologies to everybody.” He admitted he’d been advised not to attempt the gig. Unlike Prince Rupert, he didn’t burn Bedminster to the ground; though he did, by all accounts, often leave havoc in his wake.

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February 2018


St John the Baptist church, Bedminster: This is the ‘old’ church, the one built in 1663 to replace the building ruined by fire in 1645. A church stood here, off East Street, from at least 1003, until the Victorian incarnation (built 1855) was destroyed in the Blitz of 1940. Little remains, and the churchyard is now a park


he Parliamentarians gathered 2,000 horsemen and approached from Somerset. They secured the Chew Valley, and surprised a royalist trumpeter, who admitted he hadn’t expected enemy troops to be any nearer than Sherborne. Colonel Walden marched to the top of “pile-hill” – Totterdown, to us, or Pylle Hill – where they were within a musket shot of the city. Rupert was soon sent into alarm. Several rich men in the city asked to be allowed to pass through the enemy and escape by sea, but the Parliamentarians refused – the hope being that if they remained in the city, they might urge a quick surrender. Now, as recorded by a Puritan preacher, Joshua Sprigge, came the historical footnote which condemned Bedminster. “Upon this approach of ours, the enemy fired Bedminster on the Somersetshire side, and burnt it down to the ground, as also divers houses on the Gloucestersire side.” In fact, Rupert had been sent so far into a panic that he razed Bedminster entirely, to deny this important town as a base to the enemy. He went further and fired many houses in the Temple Street area of the city, and the then village of Clifton too. He would have destroyed Stapleton, Hanham and Keynsham too, but the Parliamentary troops beat the Royalists off, and made Keynsham their headquarters on


August 21. The next day the Parliamentarians advanced through the ruins of Bedminster. No record was made of the plight of the townspeople, but there can have been little left standing, given that even the ancient church was destroyed. Rupert began a series of sorties with his cavalry, and fired cannon from the Royal Fort. His third attack was on the ruins of Bedminster, defended by Colonel Welden’s brigade. “Through the negligence of the officers that then had the command there, they took ten and killed as many,” reported Joshua Sprigge in his memoir. But it made little difference: by August 28, Rupert was still making no impression on the attackers. He sent out the 10 men captured in Bedminster, proposing a prisoner exchange, but was rebuffed – the Parliamentarians had just learned that the king’s forces had plundered Huntingdon and treated the inhabitants cruelly. Instead, the Parliamentary commander, Thomas Fairfax, invited the city to surrender, offering safe quarter to the citizens. The Civil War was often so hard-fought that even those who stopped fighting were not safe – even women and children were slaughtered on occasions. Fairfax, however, was one of the more humane commanders. But Rupert refused to surrender. A small fort at Portshead (Portishead) was captured, allowing the Parliamentarians to blockade the city by sea. The siege continued until September 10 when Fairfax mounted an all-out assault. Several forts were overrun and by dawn the Parliamentarians were at the inner defences. Rupert retreated to the castle, but many of his troops were cut off in the outer forts. Those in Prior’s Hill Fort refused to surrender – and when the fort was overrun they were all slaughtered. Rupert was in a desperate situation. The city was on fire in several places, and the well in the castle had been damaged, meaning there was no drinking water to sustain a siege. He pleaded to surrender. Fairfax agreed – but, in order to save lives, he demanded that Rupert put out the fires first. Even after such a desperate battle, Rupert and his troops were allowed to march out of the city, just as Fiennes had been





HE DEFENCE of Bristol was an almost impossible task. In the 17th century, artillery had been developed which left medieval fortifications of little use. Bristol Castle was strong and could withstand a siege, but the small city centre was in a dip, surrounded by hills from which the new cannon could bombard it. For this reason a new outer rampart was built, from Lawford’s Gate at Old Market to Stoke’s Croft, St Michael’s Hill, Brandon Hill and south to the river. It was studded with forts, but the perimeter was long – four miles – and demanded thousands

of men to defend it. Worse, the forts did not provide covering fire along the whole rampart – a fact discovered by the Royalist attackers in 1643, who found a blind spot between Brandon Hill and St Michael’s Hill, where they managed (with great loss of life) to pull down the earthwork, and enter the city somewhere near Park Street. The Royalists faced the same problem when they found themselves under siege in 1645 – they did not have the numbers to defend the four-mile line, even though the Royal Fort they had built atop St Michael’s Hill was to the latest design and almost impregnable.


Royal Fort

College Green

Queen Square

Temple Gate

Line of defence: To prevent the city being bombarded from the hills around it, a four-mile wall was built, studded with forts and cannon permitted to do in 1643. Rupert was even allowed some muskets, because it was feared that bands of clubmen – countrymen who were eager to keep soldiers away from their homes – would otherwise attack them. It was the end of the war for Bristol – but at what a cost. The conquerors entered to find a city ruined not just by war damage but by the effects of disease and poverty and the repeated appeals for taxes from both sides. One observer wrote: “It looked more like a prison than a

city, and the people more like prisoners than citizens; being brought so low with taxations, so poor in habits, and so dejected in countenance; the streets so noisome, and the houses so nasty as they were unfit to receive friends till they were cleansed.” The suffering was so great that the House of Commons ordered on September 17 that there should be a day of thanksgiving for the taking of Bristol, and a collection in the capital for the benefit of injured Continued overleaf

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February 2018




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Horribly abused: James Nayler was beaten, branded and had a hot iron bored through his tongue – one officer who heard him said, “I was struck with more terror by the preaching of James Nayler than I was at the battle of Dunbar.” He had a magnetic attraction, and he began to attract followers who saw something divine in him. Nayler could have shrugged off any attempt at adulation. But perhaps he believed that God was speaking through him, because on October 24, 1856, Nayler rode on a horse through Bedminster into Bristol, with two women leading and followers chanting “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Israel”. He headed for the White Hart in Broad Street, a Quaker-owned inn. The mayor of Bristol asked him: “Art thou the Christ?” Nayler replied using Christ’s words: “Thou sayest it.” This made it easy for his opponents: he wasn’t just preaching dangerous political ideas, but he was comparing himself to Jesus when he rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. This

was blasphemy, and could be punished by death. Nayler was arrested, and sent to London to be tried by Parliament itself – a mark of how dangerous a leader he was seen to be. The MPs debated for more than four weeks, and proclaimed him guilty of a “horrid blasphemy”. He was spared the death penalty, but his sentence was of a unique cruelty: he was to be locked in a pillory to be abused by the public for two hours, then whipped through the streets. Two days later he was pilloried again, and had his tongue – the supposed source of his blasphemy – pierced with a hot iron, and the letter B for Blasphemer branded on his forehead. Then he was taken to Bristol and whipped through the streets, before being taken back to London for imprisonment with hard labour. To his admirers, these cruelties made comparisons with Christ even more obvious – Jesus was

The Great House: On the site of Colston Hall © Bristol Museums

was not over. It had lost perhaps 3,000 of its 13,000 population to the plague. There are no figures for Bedminster but the suffering here must have been even greater. This once-important Somerset town never regained its equality with Frome or Glastonbury. Over a century later the Methodist preacher John Wesley visited, and found a town sprawling and decaying, where the odd orchard was tended between signs of new industry such as brickworks and ropewalks. These were the first beginnings of Bedminster’s revival – not as a market town but a mining centre during the 18th and 19th centuries. Would

though he had to work with a rebellious Parliament. When he died, people could not stomach more uncertainty, and perhaps as the lesser of two evils, in 1660 the nation welcomed back a king, Charles II, the former Prince of Wales who had stayed in Bristol back in 1645. Bristol’s suffering

Cronus Cyclops

driven through the streets of Damon and Pythias Jerusalem carrying his own cross Demeter while wearing a crown of thorns. Cromwell was appalled. HeDoris did not want to suppress the Quakers: Electra he knew many of his army wanted Erato religious freedom. Cromwell asked whether the MPs had the rightErebus to act as judge and jury, but they Eris refused to back down. Nayler was Eros punished as Parliament wanted, and was left a physical wreck. Euryale Cromwell attempted to atone Gaea for the MPs’ cruelty: he gave help to Nayler’s wife and offered to Gaia send Nayler a doctor, but he refused. Ge Nayler was released shortly Across after Cromwell’s death in Harpy September 1859, and to 1 returned 274842Hector (6) Bristol, where he confessed to his 5 28746 (5) offence. He died the next year.Helen Though many Quakers Hermes 6 3824reviled (4) Nayler for his “heresy”, he was Hestia 7469 (4) admired by many for8 his purity of mind and his indifference to his Hyades 9 7638 (4) own suffering. His writings were Hydra read for more than two centuries. Icarus Down Ichor the character of the1 area have 22636 (5) been different today if its Io 82244763 (8) medieval status as 2a prosperous Jason rural township had3survived 2872867the (7) Civil War? We’ll never know.Leda 4 4266 (4) Lethe Sources: 7 767 (3) Maenad Civil War: The Wars of the Three Kingdoms 1638-1660 TrevorMedea Royle, Abacus, 2004 Medusa England’s Fortress: New Perspectives on Thomas, 3rd Lord Fairfax Andrew Hopper, Routldege, 2014 Memoirs Historical and Topographical of Bristol and Its Neighbourhood, Volume 2 Rev Samuel Sayer, 1823 Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 40: Nayler, James By Alexander Gordon

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1 4

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soldiers and the “many distressed and plundered people of Bristol and the places adjacent”. This last category certainly included the people of Bedminster, who were left homeless and destitute by the desperate actions of Prince Rupert. The prince himself was banished from England by King Charles – not for his cruelty but for giving up the city so easily. For the king it was the beginning of the end; as the Parliamentarians hoped, he could not survive without Bristol to sustain his regime. He was captured the next year; and after escaping, and being defeated again, he was executed in 1649. Cromwell emerged as more of a dictator than a democrat,

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ONG after the fighting was over, Bristol was to be a stage for the conflict and cruelty which still divided the nation. The city was home to a number of Quakers, whose ideas about the equality of men were awkward for the victorious Cromwell. Cromwell had supposedly led a fight for democracy – giving power to elected representatives of the people, instead of a king who had been chosen by no one. But now Cromwell had won, he was behaving like a king, arguing with the decisions taken by Parliament and complaining that his aides hadn’t fixed the elections. His desire for the powers of a monarch was exposed by the entry into Bristol of James Nayler in 1656. Nayler was a Yorkshireman who had become one of the leading lights of the Quakers. He preached against the slave trade – then a profitable business for Bristol. Slavery did not just affect Africans – Bristol also exported Irish and Scottish men taken prisoner in the Civil War into forced servitude in the West Indies. (Many were sold for fixed periods, not for life, as Africans were, but they still died in their hundreds). Nayler voiced what many were thinking in the latter days of Cromwell’s rule. If God had allowed the overthrow of King Charles and the installation of a more Godly government, where were the benefits for ordinary people? When Nayler preached about “covetous cruel oppressors who grind the faces of the poor”, many agreed. He was very persuasive

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February 2018

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The punk poet develops a tender side after 37 years REVIEW Attila the Stockbroker, supported by Clayton Blizzard, The Thunderbolt, Totterdown


LAYTON Blizzard started his set standing on a chair in the middle of the crowd, with a sung and spoken piece (songpoem?) that was rousing and uplifting. He continued with a sweet, funny reading-out-loud of homework about his exciting weekend at the Harbour Festival, told in the voice of a seven-yearold. He followed this with poems about gentrification and some excellent ukulele playing. What does this tell us? He is an eclectic, thoughtful, esoteric (his word), provocative and funny performer who is well worth watching. Attila the Stockbroker is 60 years old. All in black, with DMs and hoody, he’s been a punk poet for 37 years, and you can tell he’s West of England for 12 years. Soul, Motown, disco and funk hits. 7.30pm, £10. • n Go, Go Children 10th Birthday All-Nighter Fiddlers Club, Willway Street, Bedminster. With guest DJs Andy Dyson, Bald Mark, Eddie Wainwright, George Mahood, Matt Sneath, Sean Haydon. 9pm6am, £12 advance. • Sunday February 4 n Jukes Tobacco Factory bar. Percussionist, drummer, singer and songwriter Tammy Payne performs as Jukes, delivering “a collection of smartly-written original songs each finding its own artful voice with the lounging shades of classic pop”. 8-10.30pm. • Monday February 5 n Life drawing Tobacco Factory snug bar. Life drawing class meets on the first and third Monday of the month. Entry £5, £4 concessions. 8-10pm. • n Freestyle Adult Dance Creative Workspace, Queen’s Road, Withywood BS13 8LF. Get expressive, get moving, feel




n WHAT’S ON Friday February 2 n Family Karaoke Night Zion, Bishopsworth Road, Bristol. Requests taken, plus games, quizzes and prizes. Bar and cafe open all night. Kids enter free, adults £3, 6-10pm. • n Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip SouthBank Club, Dean Lane, Southville. Music, performance art and surreal hilarity from Mik Artistik’s Ego Trip, billed as “a strange and beautiful beast of a band … with lashings of power chords, funkiness, and chaos”. Tickets £14 advance, £16 on the door. 8pm. • n Terry and Gerry The Thunderbolt, Bath Road, Totterdown. John Peel seized on Birmingham cult skiffle cowpunk band Terry and Gerry, at first because they were the names of his wife’s best friends. The band’s six singles and one album all topped the indie charts. 7.30-11.30pm, £10 on the door. • Saturday February 3 n Children’s Cycling Skills Bristol Family Cycling Centre, Bamfield, Hengrove, starts a course of six cycling skills sessions for riders aged 7-12. Cost £30/£15. Led by British Cycling coaches, they are a great way to improve bike skills. • n Steve Turner Saltcellar Folk Club, Totterdown Baptist church, Wells Road. Folk singer who accompanies himself on English concertina, cittern, mandolin and banjo. £5, £3 for floorsingers. • n Motown & Soul with Soulside & 60s Disco The Tunnels, Temple Meads. Soulside are a 10-piece band with three vocalists, rhythm section and a horn section, who have performed all over the South

February 2018

Attila the Stockbroker: Still shouting, but not all the time lived a life. He’s stridently intelligent, in-your-face, passionate – and not just about modern politics. His love song to his wife Robina brings a tear to his eye, while he sings and plays the better! No difficult routines to learn, work at your own level and pace. No experience necessary. Doors from 6pm. £1 per session – every Monday. Free parking. • Wednesday February 7 n Disabled indoor 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) support community. Also on February 21, March 7 and 21, April 4 and 18, May 2, 16 and 30. • Thursday February 8 n Twin Arrow The Thunderbolt, Bath Road, Totterdown. Formed in North Devon but now based in Bristol, this four-piece alternative rock band “fuse melodic guitar lines and multi-textured synths with infectious grooves”. 7.30-11.30pm, £4. • Friday February 9 n The Underfall Yard Knowle and Totterdown Local History Society. Steve Hallam talks about

mandola – representing his passion for early music and instruments, which his band Barnstormer play, singing songs of the English Civil War from 1649. The only other Robina he knows was the sister of Oliver Cromwell, he explains in another poem. It all comes full circle. Another poem that brings a tear to his eye is his opener, written in the time between his diagnosis of bladder cancer last year and when his treatment started. It’s tender, fragile and full of life. Men, get yourself checked, is his important, earnest message. Other highlights include his shouty funny poem about scary lefties (which the whole audience can buy into, it seems), the song about the time he stood in for Donny Osmond, and the song where he got the whole audience singing along with Prince Harry’s knob. Add to this a Dolly Parton cover (Arlene, Arlene…), excerpts from his autobiography, a heartfelt appreciation of independent venues like The Thunderbolt, and a moving, angry poem about Grenfell, and it’s clear there’s plenty more life in the old punk yet. Beccy Golding the famous Bristol boatyard’s history and recent developments. 7.30pm, Redcatch community centre, Redcatch Road, Knowle. £1.50 members, £3 nonmembers. • knowleandtotterdownhistory. n Cabbage + Rhythm Method Fiddlers Club, Willway Street, Bedminster. Manchester indie band Cabbage, formed in 2015, have been hailed as one of the best live acts currently touring. 7.30pm, £14.30. • n Shonky Trio El Rincon, North Street, Southville. Described as “ramshackle class”, featuring Mojo The Bone on bass & replica trombone, Jose The Boogieman on guitar, and Gruff Two Hands on drums. • Saturday February 10 n Reflex II music night with Craig Windmill Hill community centre, Vivian Street. Second Saturday each month, 8pm-late. • n Sinestar – Album launch The Tunnels, Temple Meads. Bristol band Sinestar hold a launch party for their third album, A Million Like Us.

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Support from Dancing With Ruby and Fourth Engine. Host for the evening is electronic music scene legend DJ Dave Charles. 7.30pm, £10. • Saturday 10 February n Stand Up For The Weekend with Darren Harriott & Co Comedy Box at the Hen & Chicken, North Street, Southville. Darren Harriott’s comedy deals with everything from subverting stereotypes, to everyday observations, to that juiciest of topics, religion. As seen on Live at the Apollo. Plus guests. £11, 7.45pm. •

Macbeth, a tragedy for our times

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February 22-April 7 Macbeth, Tobacco Factory theatre SHAKESPEARE’S blood-soaked tragedy is interpreted as a message to the world of today: “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”. Macbeth is the first play to be performed by the newly-recruited Tobacco Factory Company, the theatre’s in-house players who will perform at least two major productions each year. Macbeth is the story of a man who kills his king to win power. But Shakespeare’s achievement is to show Macbeth confronting the horror of his own actions, presenting murder as a sin so deep that it puts him at odds with nature – and truth.

Sunday February 11 n Sunday market Tobacco Factory, North Street. Around 40 craft and food stalls with the accent on local producers, ethical, eco-friendly and fairly traded products. 10am-2.30pm. • tobaccofactorymarket Monday February 12 n Kev’s Comic Masterclass Zion, Bishopworth Road. Kev F Sutherland writes and draws for the Beano, Doctor Who and Marvel comics, and wants to show you how easy it is. All those attending will get a comic containing a strip by everyone in the class plus an individual caricature by Kev F. 10am-1pm, £10. • n Screening and Crafternoon Creative Workspace, Queen’s Road, Withywood BS13 8LF. Watch an uplifting family film in the morning (PG, suitable for 4+) then craft hot-air balloons with Colourful Minds in the afternoon. Doors 10.30am. Film 11am-12.30pm. Craft 1-3pm. £2 per child for both activities. Cafe open 10.30am-3pm. • Tuesday February 13 n Lego Days Zion, Bishopsworth Road. A morning of brick-building fun. Lego supplied, with Duplo for the little

ones. £2 per child, 10am. Also on February 14. • n Jump into … puppet making Knowle West Media Centre, Leinster Avenue, Knowle. Learn how to create a puppet and then make a short puppet film. Free, for ages 10-16, 10am-4pm. • n Valentine’s Creativity Day Creative Workspace, Queen’s Road, Withywood BS13 8LF. Make a cartoon with a professional animator, make cards, decorate gifts and make music with Dandelion Music. 11am-3pm. Free entry. Donations welcome. Cafe open. • n Forest Fun Arnos Vale cemetery, Bath Road. Kids fed up of a winter spent indoors can grab some half term fun learning bushcraft skills in Arnos Vale’s outdoor centre, such as campfire cooking and den building. For ages 8+, 11am-3pm, £20. Includes snacks but not lunch. • n Woodland Tribe Windmill Hill City Farm, Phillip Street, Bedminster. Half term session in which children can make their own play space, using hammers, nails and saws, build dens and play freely with nature. No booking – just turn up. Also on

Desolation: Macbeth is not just about the horror of a murder; it portrays a crime that is so bad it is against nature itself PHOTO: Joe Roberts

I pull in resolution and begin To doubt th’equivocation of the fiend That lies like truth. The parallels with today are obvious: what are we to make of politicians who deny scientific reality and seem immune to arguments based on facts? Tickets to Macbeth are from £12, though availability at this price is limited. Evening shows are at 7pm and there are matinees on Thursday and Saturday at 2pm. Explore:Macbeth is a free

workshop to explore the production with the theatre’s creative team at 5pm on March 7, while on the same day at 6.30pm React:Macbeth is an immersive event for young adults. Inside:Macbeth on Saturday March 10 is a session of discussion, lectures and workshops which includes director Adele Thomas. Macbeth is followed by the Factory Players’ second play, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, from April 18 to May 12. •

February 14. For ages 6+; all children must be accompanied by an adult. Cost: £5 per child for 2 hours. • Wednesday February 14 n Heroes and Villains Tobacco Factory theatre. In advance of the Tobacco Factory’s Macbeth, 5-7 year-olds get the chance to explore Shakespeare’s heroes and villains in a day of half term fun. Children will be making and creating with designers and storytellers and will leave with new skills and creations. 10am-3pm, £30; also on February 15 for 8-11 year-olds. • n Love Beyond the Grave Arnos Vale cemetery, Bath Road. An alternative Valentine’s event: a tour of the graveyard with tales of forbidden love and secret love signs on gravestones. Followed by a screening of Tim Burton’s film The Corpse Bride in the candlelit Anglican chapel. Tickets £15; tour starts 6.30pm. • Thursday February 15 n Wild Outdoors Club Windmill Hill City Farm, Phillip Street, Bedminster. Cool crafts, fun nature activities, and games galore for half term. 10am to 12 noon. For ages 6+, £10 per child. •

n Jump into … Just for Girls Knowle West Media Centre, Leinster Avenue, Knowle. Join in a creative morning and make friends in a new girls-only session at half term. For 10-16s, free. For details call 0117 903 0444 or email dorothy.baker@ • Friday February 16 n Family Theatre Show & Free Crafting Creative Workspace, Queen’s Road, Withywood BS13 8LF. Watch resident theatre company Brave Bold Drama perform their latest family show, George and the Flight of the Imaginees. Suitable for 4+, a globe-trotting adventure full of fun, silliness and chances to join in. £2 for adults/ children. Doors 11am. Show 11.30am-12.30pm. Free craft & storymaking with the cast 1-3pm. • n Stained Glass Window Workshop Arnos Vale cemetery, Bath Road. Make your own stained glass windows with Colourful Minds, to celebrate the first Arnos Vale Window Wanderland (February 23-25). You can make two windows: one to take home and one to display in Kate’s Kitchen during Arnos Vale Window Wanderland 2018. Continued overleaf

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February 2018



n WHAT’S ON Continued from page 43 For age 3+; adults must stay with children. 10am-12 noon. • Saturday February 17 n Riverbank clean-up The Friends of the Avon New Cut, or Franc, hold one of their regular clean-up events from 10am-12 noon. To focus on the section from Bedminster Bridge to the Banana Bridge. • n 80s Valentine School Disco The Tunnels, Temple Meads. A journey back to a time when Michael Jackson and Rick Astley were the Kings of Pop … to the 80s school disco. With DJ Abes & DJ PM. 7.30pm, £7 in advance. • n Jamaican Folk Night Zion, Bishopsworth Road. Tan Teddy presents a night of music, food, dancing, singing, stories and poems for all ages. £8 adults, £5 children, 6-10pm. • Sunday February 18 n Chosen Wedding Fair Paintworks, Bath Road. Wedding fair, with contemporary designers, makers and service providers, for the creative couple looking for something different. Entry £3 if pre-booked, with a goodie bag for the first 150. • Thursday February 22 n Morbid Curiosity Tour Arnos Vale cemetery, Bath Road. Stories to answer the question “I wonder how they died?” From man-made deaths such as a fatal stabbing, to diseases of the past such as cholera and smallpox. 7.30-9pm, £10. Bring a torch. Not for the faint hearted, and not suitable for children. Part of the Arts Council-funded Life, Death (& the Rest) festival, February 22-25 [see panel]. • n Life and Death (But Mainly Death) by Dr Phil Hammond Arnos Vale cemetery, Bath Road. Dr Phil reflects on life, the death of two dads and his mum still gatevaulting at 80. And he considers his own death. Can we live and die with pleasure, purpose, compassion and modest medical interference? Laugh, and plan your exit. £10, 8.15-9.15pm. • Friday February 23 n Networking with

February 2018



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We need to talk about death – and what comes before it

Remains to be seen: Mortician Carla Valentine’s talk on autopsies has sold out, but a second event is still available.

PREVIEW Life, Death (and the Rest) Arnos Vale cemetery, February 22-25 HERE is a growing social movement to talk about death – both our own and that of our loved ones. Arnos Vale cemetery, which offers many life-affirming opportunities, from children’s play, to marriage ceremonies, exercise, arts and culture and more, all surrounded by memorials to those who have died, seems the perfect place to be part of it. The organisers of the Life, Death (and the Rest) festival want to diminish the fear that surrounds the subject for many. The festival approaches the subject from many angles, so there should be at least one that feels comfortable for you. There will be 24 events over the four days, including workshops (printmaking, photography and poetry), tours, talks and events (Morbid Curiosity Night Tour, Human Memorial Tattoos, a thought-provoking Death Show), exhibitions and films. Some of them are on this page but

for the full schedule you’ll need to look at the Arnos Vale website. Dr Phil Hammond is performing comedy on Thursday February 22 (8.15-9.15pm), Jimmy Galvin is doing an art and sound installation on Friday afternoon (1-5pm), there’s a Death Disco on Friday night (8-11.30pm), and there’s even a kids’ show about bereavement and loss – The Many Doors of Frank Feelbad – on Saturday at 2pm and 4pm. Funeral celebrant Paul Kefford discusses Putting the Fun Back Into Funerals, looking at the options to make a funeral what you would like it to be. It’s on Saturday, 1.30-2.30pm. A Death Cafe is a place to drink tea, eat cake and discuss death – drop in on Saturday, 3-4.30pm. On Sunday you can attend Death Over

Freelance Mum Windmill Hill City Farm, Phillip Street, Bedminster. Guest speaker Tor Crockatt from Somerset dairy firm Yeo Valley Farms. As portfolio manager for Little Yeos, she tells their brand story. 10am-12 noon, £9 members / £12 non-members. Children free; price includes coffee and cake plus craft activities for little ones. • n Alan Clayson & the Argonauts + Alien Stash Tin + Kings Of Spain + The Angry Badgers The Thunderbolt, Bath Road, Totterdown. A show by Alan Clayson & the Argonauts is “not so much a performance as an experience”, said Village Voice, and 40 years after their arrival on rock’s lunatic fringe they are about to release a new album. 7.30-11.30pm, £7 on the door. • n Ahir Shah: Control Comedy Box at the Hen & Chicken, North Street, Southville. Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Ahir

Shah explores the current global socio-political turmoil in a show about freedom, fascism, history, hope, and resistance. “Fiendishly clever and furious”, said the Times. £12.50, 7.45pm. • Saturday February 24 n Stand Up For The Weekend with Rhys James & Co Comedy Box at the Hen & Chicken, North Street, Southville. Hailed as “a sickeningly talented young stand-up”, Rhys James has a ton of intricately-written routines which mean you’re never more than a few seconds away from another punchline. Plus guests. £11, 7.45pm. • Sunday February 25 Crazy Pony Tobacco Factory bar. Crazy Pony is a music and comedy duo from England and Switzerland. A furious banjo is joined by bass and harmonies, but their trademark is acrobatic moves that become more adventurous as the show goes on. •


To have got this close is a mighty achievement!

PHOTO: Teri Pengilley

Dinner (6-7.15pm), with the same aims, but rather more boozy, with wine and a buffet in an intimate (30 covers) soirée. Sunday daytime is talks and demos day (10am-4pm) – learn about counselling and terminal illness, have a tour of the natural burial woodland, drop in to see short films from 11am-1pm, or catch the Death Show at 7.30pm, described as “brave, tenacious, funny and thought-provoking”. It seems there’s an appetite for the gorier side of the subject, too. Pathology technologist Carla Valentine’s Thursday talk on autopsies, Past Mortems, has sold out. But she hosts a second event, about our relationship with human remains, on Friday from 10.3011.30am. Beccy Golding •

But for two goals in the last second of each leg, City would have levelled with their oh-so-costly opponents says MARTIN POWELL


HERE are now hundreds of bedrooms in South Bristol where a red or silver foil flag has been added to the décor by a young person as a souvenir of Bristol City’s Caraboa Cup journey this season. The flag was brandished and waved as the most expensive (and arguably the best ever) team to play at Ashton Gate took to the field for the pulsating second leg semi-final game that ultimately ended with Manchester City taking the honours. Maybe some of those flags will be shown to children and grandchildren in the future with stories of how “I was there” when Aguero played at Ashton Gate and Aden Flint went up front to knock one in to give the mighty Manchester City a scare. It was 29 years ago that

Bristol City last had a cup semi-final – against Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest. On that occasion it was rather strange inflatable teeth that the crowd brandished in front of the TV cameras to mark the fact that manager Joe Jordan had gained the fearsome nickname “Jaws”. Let’s hope it is less than 29 years before City get a crack at another cup final. Certainly the home team showed little sign of flagging over the two-legged semi-final although it is interesting to realise if it hadn’t been for the two goals that Manchester City scored in the last second of each game it would have been honours even. To have come that close against a world-class team was an achievement in itself. On the way, Premier League teams Watford, Stoke, Crystal Palace and Manchester United were all deservedly dumped out MARTIN’S SHORTS of the competition, so the cup n Favourite chant against provided a fantastic highlight to Manchester City: “Johnstone this season. Paint Trophy: Get fitYou’ll for never less win in 2018 at F4L Bristol always people who Get fit for less in 2018 atThere F4Lare Bristol that. We’ve won it three times.” Get fit for less in 2018 at Bristol say F4L cup competitions are a For the uninitiated, you have to ✔ Superb gym distraction – funnily enough be✔ in Superb the bottom two divisions gym Manchester City seem quite Friendly staff ✔✔ gym to ✔ beSuperb in that competition. Friendly staff happy to be in as many Amazing results! ✔✔ Friendly staff ✔ Amazing results! ✔ Amazing results!


Monday February 26 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. •

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competitions as possible. Yes, the league is the bread and butter – but surely nights like those against Manchester City are what everyone will be talking about for years to come and are the jam on that bread and butter. Now City have a few months to achieve the goal of ensuring they have two fixtures against Manchester City again next year! The 22,000 flags handed out at the game brought home how far the club has come in a few years. It was not long ago, when the tunnel was at the end of the ground, before redevelopment,


that school groups would be handed flags to form a guard of honour to welcome players on to the pitch. A club official would carefully gather them all up to re-use the next week. One week a young lad burst into tears as there were only a set number of flags and he had to share one with another youngster. A person in the crowd near me got in touch with the club to ask why there were not enough flags and the answer came back that they couldn’t afford them but would welcome a sponsor to pay for some!

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Balancing act: Crazy Pony

Sea of flags: The home fans try to ‘foil’ the opposition

A thriller to the end: Bristol City’s Bobby Reid (right) taking on Manchester City defender Kyle Walker in the home leg of the Carabao Cup tie

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KARIN SMYTH Labour MP for Bristol

The Government has failed to protect our rights over Brexit


 E MAY be just a few weeks into 2018 but it’s straight back to Brexit bills in Parliament, and continuing my focus on apprenticeships, post-16 opportunities, health and housing, and pushing forward with some key campaigns. Predictably, the EU Withdrawal Bill dominated conversations in Westminster throughout January. Thank you to everyone who has written to me about Brexit; I do take on board your comments and concerns, on both sides, and rest assured I will continue to vote according to what I think is in the best interests of Bristol South. This time last year, I vowed to hold the Government to account and have been pushing for improvements to the legislation as it is brought forward. I am very

disappointed that Labour’s suggested amendments, designed to protect people’s rights at work, the environment and the economy, were rejected. We put down six tests for the legislation which the Government has failed to pass and, as such, we could not support the EU Withdrawal Bill in its current form. The debate now continues in the House of Lords, with further amendment suggestions expected and we’ll continue pushing for the necessary changes. I’ll also be speaking in Parliament this year about those things affecting Bristol



South – from the NHS and South Bristol Community Hospital, to apprenticeships and access to job opportunities, trailer safety and airgun control. I’m pleased to be starting off the year with another Bristol South Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair, which takes place at the City of Bristol College’s South Bristol Skills Academy on Thursday March 8. It follows on from the success of last year’s event which saw hundreds of young people connect with a range of local employers and colleges to discuss job and apprenticeship opportunities. If you’re an employer who’d like a free stall then do drop me a line: I’m also planning some more Entitlement and Money Advice events this year. We met with scores of people in 2017 to check what money they were entitled to and help them access unclaimed funds. The start of the year can be a tricky time financially and The Money Advice Service has some useful tips on tackling debt – with free advice available online at, over the phone (0808 808 4000) or face-to-face. As ever, let me know your thoughts on any of the above or if you need support with any issues you may have. I’m determined to make things better for people living in Bristol South.

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February 2018


CJ Hole Southville invite you to accept our offer of a free sales or lettings valuation. To arrange an appointment, please telephone the office or call in personally. If you have instructed another agent on a sole agency and/or sole selling rights basis, the terms of those instructions must be considered to avoid a possible liability to pay two commissions.


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South Bristol Voice Bedminster February 2018  
South Bristol Voice Bedminster February 2018