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September 2021 No. 69

We Sell and Let Property Like Yours

WIDEST CIRCULATION IN SOUTH BRISTOL – 15,000 copies of this edition

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GCSE and A-level students triumph in the face of adversity

Campaigners fight to save Western Slopes Page 3 Stan to run Swiss Alps in memory of friend Harry Page 22

Pages 16-21

Delayed Politicians express deep concern as the opening of a Knowle school is pushed back by a year

Page 15

Getting ready to buy or sell? See our property feature, pages 12-14

We Sell and Let Property Like Yours Tel: 01179634373









Becky Day Editorial director Ruth Drury Sales director 07590 527664 Rich Coulter Editorial director 07775 550607 Editorial team: Lindsey Cole Next month’s deadline for editorial and advertising is September 15

COMPLAINTS Despite our best efforts, we sometimes get things wrong. We always try to resolve issues informally at first but we also have a formal complaints procedure. If you have a complaint about anything in the South Bristol Voice, contact the Editor using the details below. We aspire to follow the the Code of Conduct of the NUJ (National Union of Journalists), Further details of the complaints process can be found on our website (below) or can be obtained by contacting the Editor by email: or by post: 111 Broadfield Rd, Knowle, Bristol BS4 2UX or by phone: 0777 555 0607.

September 2021

HOW DO I GET IN TOUCH WITH ... My MP? Karin Smyth MP By email: By post: Karin Smyth MP, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA By phone: 0117 953 3575 In person: Call the above number for an appointment My councillor? Post: (all councillors) City Hall, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR. Tessa Fitzjohn Green, Bedminster By phone: 07584182801 By email: Mark Bradshaw Labour, Bedminster. By email: Cllr.mark. By phone: 0117 353 3160 Tony Dyer Green, Southville USEFUL NUMBERS Bristol City Council   0117 922 2000 Waste, roads 0117 922 2100 Pests, dog wardens 0117 922 2500 Council tax 0117 922 2900

By phone: 07584182862 By email: Christine Townsend Green, Southville By phone: 07584183843 By email: Cllr.Christine.Townsend@bristol. Christopher Davies Lib Dem, Knowle Email: Cllr.Christopher. Phone: 07826917714 Gary Hopkins Lib Dem, Knowle (Lib Dem deputy leader) Email: Phone: 07977 512159 Ed Plowden Green, Windmill Hill Phone: 07584184577 By email: Lisa Stone Green, Windmill Hill Phone: 07584186535 By email:

Housing benefit 0117 922 2300 Social services  0117 922 2900 Police  Inquiries 101 Emergency 999

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September 2021




'Preserving our slopes is so important' - campaigners By Lindsey Cole Novers Hill must be protected in the fight against climate change. This is the call from a local resident after proposals were put forward to build 157 new homes on the site, also known as the Western Slopes. Last month, South Bristol Voice asked our readers to have their say on the new building proposals in south Bristol. Following a public online meeting, developers Lovell Homes prepared a Q&A document inviting residents to give their thoughts on the plans, which include 30 per cent affordable homes. Danica Priest, a local resident said: “We want people to be fully informed of how harmful it would be to the south Bristol wildlife network.” The Western Slopes is a vast area of ecological importance in south Bristol. Bordering Novers Hill and the Harcliffe Way, it is home to

an array of wildlife and is part of a wider conservation corridor. Priest, along with 851 residents, is part of the Friends of Western Slopes group, which wants to protect it. “The development ecology report found eleven species of bats including the rare greater and lesser Horseshoe bats. Lovell said that eleven species is a normal amount to find in an area, but there’s only 17 species in total in the country,” Priest said. “They never did a winter bird, a reptile or invertebrates survey. Their summer bird survey was one-day long – so it is an insufficient sample size.” Priest said Lovell conducted a sound survey last June 2020, during ‘peak lockdown’. “The social housing will act as a sound barrier for the rest of the development and the social rent flats will have to have ‘alternative ventilation’ because sound levels are too high for normal window opening.” Priest added that

A bird's eye view of the site earmarked for development. Hartcliffe Way is the main road to the left of the boundary. Novers Hill runs along the right-hand side of the boundary

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Danica Priest with other members of the Friends of Western Slopes during the public online meeting last month, Lovell was unaware about the new recycling centre being built on Hartcliffe Way. “Would people really want to live next to it?,” she said. When approached for a response, Lovell said: “The ecological studies have comprised habitat and protected species surveys in line with good practice, agreed with the council’s ecologist. Additional invertebrate and bird surveys will be carried in August 2021.” The developers said that the Pollution Control Team at Bristol City Council was consulted regarding the sound assessment in June 2020. “It was determined that sound level data from June 2019 for a noise assessment carried out on Hartcliffe Way in October 2019, could be used as part of the assessment alongside data recorded on site in June 2020,” they said. “75 per cent of homes will have additional measures. This includes higher

specification glazing and ventilation if and when those residents wish to close their windows. This is necessary for most new homes in cities and towns.” Lovell also commented that their traffic studies did account for future use of the recycling centre and that there would be a significant additional spending by new residents to Knowle West shops which are a ten-minute walk away. Priest added: “Species-rich grasslands like Novers Hill are vital in the fight against climate change. They store large amounts of carbon, stop soil erosion, slow floodwaters, support pollinators and provide forage opportunities for bats, birds of prey and other wildlife. “We can’t tackle our biodiversity and ecological emergency without protecting these important green spaces. We want to keep Novers Hill a nature reserve.”

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September 2021




Jodie's jump for a special charity close to her heart A Bedminster woman is set to put her fears aside and jump from a plane this month to raise funds for a charity close to her heart. On September 25, 25-year-old Jodie Buffery will be taking the leap for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW). Jodie was made aware of the charity when her friend’s family began visiting the local hospice, Charlton Farm in Wraxall. Jodie said: “Charlton Farm has provided the most wonderful care for a very special little boy in my life – 3-year-old Harry – and his whole family, and I have seen first-hand what a difference this care, love and support has made.” Jodie has taken part in other fundraising events before, such as CHSW’s Rainbow Run, but she has never taken on an extreme challenge. Jodie added: “A skydive is something I have always wanted to do. However, when it came to booking this, I realised that it is possible to want to do something whilst being terrified at the same time! “I know that when the time comes for me to jump, there will be some interesting words coming out of my mouth and I am going to wonder how I ended up 15,000 feet in the air about to jump. “I also know that this is the least I can do for this wonderful charity and, in some way, this is helping me to keep fighting my own battle.” Like may people, Jodie says the pandemic has had a serious impact on her mental

Jodie (front left) will skydive for CHSW health and wellbeing but setting herself a goal to raise as much money as possible for Charlton Farm is a positive focus for her. “I am very proud to be playing a small part by fundraising and for all the incredible work the hospice does. “I want to help them to keep helping children and their families during

unimaginably difficult and, often heartbreaking, times,” added Jodie. You can show your support for Jodie by donating to her fundraising page: www. To sign up for a skydive and raise money for CHSW, visit

Ace! Golf day raises £8k for charity

Choir workshop to boost wellness

A Knowle charity supporting bereaved children has received an £8k funding boost. The generous donation to Grief Encounter South West, which has a therapy centre in Lilymead Avenue, comes from housebuilder Wainhomes' charity golf day. The developers has supported the charity - whose mission is to give every child and young person the best support following the death of someone close - for the last three years. Carl Haley, managing director of Wainhomes, said: “Grief Encounter is a charity we hold close to our hearts. “I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped us raise this fantastic amount and your support will make a real difference to the lives of many young people in our area.” Richard Fogelman, CEO of Grief Encounter, said: “We are so

A choir workshop to enhance people's wellbeing is being held at Redcatch Community Garden in Knowle. Choirs for Good - which was set up during the pandemic - is running the hour session at The Canopy on September 2 and will be led by one of the organisation's choir leaders. Those attending will learn Van Morrison's 'Brown-eyed Girl' in three-part harmony. No experience is required and you do not have to read music. The workshop is one of a series of Covid-safe, outdoor singing workshops happening across England and Wales. The workshop is taking place on September 2, 7-8pm. Tickets are £5 each and can be purchased through Choirs for Good's website: www.

Carl Haley and James Marlow from Wainhomes, pictured with players from Avtar Construction at the Wainhomes charity golf day 2021 thrilled that Wainhomes chose to support Grief Encounter South West. Their donation will help fund the extremely important bereavement services we are offering at this time.

“Demand is ever increasing as so many families experience the unimaginable, so this is a much welcome boost at such an uncertain time for charities.”

To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664

September 2021




Resident calls for improvements to bus stop By Lindsey Cole A Knowle resident is frustrated that a bus stop and shelter in Broad Walk has still not been replaced. Philip Saint, 74, of Broad Walk said: “It’s just a post with no detail at all. There’s no indication of what buses run. No timetable. No telling how to get anywhere. And no shelter to hide from the weather.” Mr Saint, who relies on public transport to get around, has lived in the area all his life. He says the bus service does not work anymore. The bus stop - which serves the 92 bus was erected at the end of last year in place of the previous bus shelter some 200 yards away. “We used to be able to go out in the city. But now there’s no way from getting from one side of the Bristol to the other. Nothing runs to the centre from here anymore. “If we need to go to the Bristol Royal Infirmary hospital, we have to make connections, but how do we know what they are if there aren’t any details anywhere?” This is an issue for Mr Saint and his wife, who suffers from arthritis, as the walk from the nearest bus stop to the BRI is too far to walk. “I called Bristol City Council to get a map

and timetable. It has a bus service printed that doesn’t even stop. “The Mayor wants people to drive less and use public transport more for the environment, but how can we if it doesn’t work?” Having lived in Knowle and represented the area as a councillor, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) Metro Mayor, Dan Norris, is aware transport challenges are not new for Bristol residents. He said: “Reliable bus services have a big part to play if we are to reduce the number of car journeys and improve air quality. “The frequency of local bus services needs to increase to meet local need, and to do this I need the Government to provide significantly more funds to the West of England. “As the new West of England Metro Mayor I will press Government Ministers to ensure communities across our area get a fair share that will really make a difference to the quality of our important public transport.” A spokesperson from First West of England said: “We will soon be reviewing the network of bus services in South Bristol with WECA, which has overall responsibility for the network, and rest assured this feedback will be included in that review. “We are very keen to improve links to the

Resident Philip Saint at the bus stop in Broad Walk, Knowle

BRI, however, we need to give careful consideration to the routes that services take in the city centre and also any impact on the reliability and punctuality of those services. “Providing more direct bus services is something we are also keen to develop, especially from South Bristol where we recognise that some services take an arguably long-winded route."


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News Charity founder needs your vote


The founder of a Knowle disability charity is through to the final of a national award, recognising her work with the Bristol community. Kate Laine-Toner [pictured, right], 50, set up charity Bristol Autism Support nine years ago when she couldn’t find support for her autistic daughter. She is one of four finalists for the Bloody Awesome Parent award, in recognition of the 10,000 hours she has devoted to growing the charity while caring for a disabled child. She now faces a public vote to choose between her and the other finalists. The overall winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in November, organised by My Family Our Needs. Based in Knowle West Media Centre, Bristol Autism Support is the only autism-specific parent-carer support charity covering the Bristol area. It provides support to 3,000 local families. Kate said: “I’m honoured to

A local judo club has now reopened and is welcoming new members. Bedminster Judokwai is a community focused judo club, which has been running in BS3 for over 25 years and is based at Ashton Vale Community Centre. Classes run on Tuesday evenings from 7pm for children age 6+, youth and adults. Paul Taylor, founder of the

September 2021

New members welcome at judo club club, said: "Come and try the Olympic sport of judo which is fun, great for fitness, and will help you improve your confidence." The club is offering a free four week trial from September. To book visit: www. or contact bedminsterjudo@ to find out more.

Rugby club looking to bolster its ranks have been recognised in this way, especially because I was up against an amazing shortlist of worthy entrants. “My mission is to make sure that every parent and carer of an autistic child can access support and information not only after their child is diagnosed, but from the moment they suspect their child may be autistic." The public can vote for Kate at

Old Redcliffians RFC is looking for new members to bolster its junior ranks. The family-friendly club, located in south east Bristol, has produced notable players such as Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers and England) and Florence Long (Worcester Warriors Women and England). The club is particularly looking to recruit female members below the age of 12, with a view to create a dedicated

girls' team in the near future. Junior registration day is September 5, 10.30am at the club in Scotland Lane, Brislington, where new members can take part in free taster sessions that continue throughout September. For more information, email or visit oldredcliffians. Facebook: @OldRedsRFC, Instagram: @oldredcliffians, Twitter: @OldRedsRFC

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September 2021



MARVIN REES, Mayor of Bristol

Decarbonising the classroom


am proud to be Mayor of a city that is at the forefront of the battle against climate change. We were the first city to declare a Climate Emergency and have acted on that declaration by delivering on ambitious environmentally sustainable policies and goals. As part of our strategy to make Bristol a carbon neutral and climate resilient city by 2030, we are continuing to drive forward a £1billion programme of investment in cleaner, greener energy. As the COP26 summit approaches this autumn it is important that we keep pushing for bigger and better change. To do our part, we have recently been focusing on how schools can help reduce Bristol’s carbon footprint through projects like low-carbon heating and solar panel installation. We want to support schools to be fit for the future by greening them inside and out. It feels particularly symbolic to be building these initiatives into our schools: these are the buildings where the next generation prepares for a future that will be shaped by our actions against climate change today. This includes connecting our schools to Bristol’s Heat Network, which provides

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local businesses, organisations, and housing with heat and power from more sustainable sources. This network uses alternative sources of heat to keep buildings warm. Both Hannah More Primary School and St Mary Redcliffe Secondary and Sixth form are already

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undergoing work to connect to the Heat Network, with plans in place to add more school sites soon. These networks are central to our plans to reduce the use of fossil fuels in Bristol, and the inclusion of schools in the evergrowing system of connections is a major step forward. Other schools in the city are also stepping up to power their buildings more sustainably. Oasis Community Learning are leading by example by installing solar panels on 14 separate Bristol school sites. It is estimated that the carbon saved on even one of these sites will surpass 700 tonnes over the next 25 years! Climate change is a challenge for the whole city to grapple with, and it stands alongside our need to build more homes for our growing population, and to continue to reduce inequalities across Bristol. No single organisation can deliver the scale of change we need alone, which is why the One City Plan helps us bring lots of major organisations in Bristol to work towards our common goals. The path to net zero will not be an easy one, but now more than ever is the time to work together in support of our planet, our city and each other.


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September 2021



KARIN SMYTH, MP for Bristol South

New skills centre is vital to our city's prosperity


he end of August is always an important time in young people’s lives. It marks the point when, after years of hard work, they receive their GSCE, BTEC and A-Level results. Our young people, teachers and parents should be immensely proud of the results they have achieved. To strive to be your best whilst facing the adversity of a global pandemic truly shows strength of character. We cannot thank our teachers and educational support teams enough this year. You have had to reinvent your profession, with little to no help from the Government. I truly believe the Government must redouble their efforts to listen to teaching professionals so that we can secure schools that work for everyone and support teachers to deliver the best education that they can in educational settings that nurture and encourage our students. After receiving their results, students have a wide variety of choices for what they do next. Some will choose to enter the world of work, others apprenticeships, and others will continue with further or higher education. Bristol has led the way on providing young people with many different options. I’m delighted that the Advanced Construction

Skills Centre will be joining this excellent mix at Hengrove Park. The new centre has been something I have been closely involved in as I supported the college, Bristol City Council and West England Combined Authority in securing national government support. I’m delighted to see our work locally in making the case in getting it built come to fruition. This is key to getting skills locally for our long-term recovery from Covid-19. Unlike many other education settings, the Advanced Construction Skills Centre will enable students to learn trades like bricklaying, carpentry and more general construction. This is on top of skills such as project management and quantity surveying.

With pent up demand for those with construction skills, this is a great sector for people to start a career. Having a country-leading site such as this is vital to the prosperity of our city. But we need more employers to come forward to take on apprentices, so that young people get the hands-on experience alongside the structured learning at the Advanced Construction Skills Centre. I’m calling on those thinking of hiring apprentices to get in touch as I’d be delighted to support both our local businesses and educational centres of excellence. In many cases all of the training costs will be met by government schemes, and extra support is available for employers who recruit 16–18-year-old apprentices. Moreover, if a new apprentice starts before 30 September 2021 there’s an incentive payment of £3,000 for the business. To get all the details contact City of Bristol College on 0117 312 5250. When I visited the Advanced Construction Skills Centre I was blown away by the state-of-the-art facilities being prepared for students. This will become an anchor institution within our community we can all be proud of. I look forward to visiting again and hearing from students and apprentices there.


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Prices starting from £235,000 To register your interest, please contact Ocean Land & New Homes 0117 946 9838 / To advertise, contact or Ruth on 07590 527664

September 2021



Property Feature - buying and selling in South Bristol ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE

An expert guide to selling and buying a property SELLER'S GUIDE Getting ready for marketing An over-staged property is easy to spot, especially if there is too much artwork on the walls, too many cushions and throws on the sofa or a dining table set for a formal banquet. Subtlety is key. For viewings, make sure there are no over powering smells. You can add pleasing scents to your home by placing an attractive vase of flowers in the living room or a delicate scented candle in the bedroom. Box up anything you don’t need before the move, because less clutter equals more space, which means your property will be larger. Make sure all rooms are well lit and avoid unnecessary noise from your appliances, like the washing machine or dishwasher. Extra marketing tools for your property Wondering where your property will be advertised? Not only do we advertise on Rightmove, your property will also be marketed on Zoopla, Facebook and Instagram, our own Life Magazine and of course our own website.


Buying a new home is an exciting time, and we want to make it as easy as possible for you. Here's the process from a brief start to finish. The first thing you’ll need to do is get a mortgage in principle. It’s important to make sure the property you buy is right for you, so make sure you ask lots of questions at the viewing. Once you have found your perfect home, it’s time to make an offer. Once your offer has been accepted, the property is then marketed as ‘sold subject to contract’ and will be taken off the market. If you haven’t already, the next step is to find a solicitor to deal with all the legal processes involved in transferring home ownership from the seller to you. Whilst your solicitor is getting on with the legal side of the purchase, you’ll need to get the financial side in place by formally applying for a mortgage. You may also want to go ahead with a more comprehensive survey, but this is completely to your discretion. Once your solicitor has received your mortgage offer and the conveyancing is complete, you will be able to exchange. Soon after this you will complete on the purchase. Congratulations, you are now a proud owner of your new home.

If you are thinking of selling or buying your first/second home or even your third, we would love to help. Get in touch by emailing or call us on 01179 777672.

How we are here to help you Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you can make, and you want to make sure you have the right professionals helping you along the way. If you are stuck on who to use, here is a list of some people we can recommend: • Solicitor • Roofer • Surveyors • Electrician • Mortgage broker • House clearance • Damp specialist • Removals


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Got a story for South Bristol Voice? Call Rich on 0777 0607 or email FOR SALES &555 LETTINGS



September 2021


Housing market is busier than ever - and we're here to help


ith over 30 years of experience between us, we’re Matthew and James Sheedy, partners and brothers at the helm of Matthews, a wonderful independent estate agent at the heart of South Bristol. By focussing on the individual needs of our clients and going above and beyond to give them a great buying, selling or renting experience, we see customers and clients returning time and again as their needs change and they journey through life. Our fabulous team are South Bristol born and bred, because we believe local knowledge is vital when it comes to understanding our ‘patch’ and giving our customers the insider scoop they really want when they’re moving to a new community. And speaking of community, ours is pretty important to us too. We champion local independent businesses and offer sponsorship to sports teams wherever we can, because to us supporting the

Matthews is the proud sponsor of Knowle Cricket Club

community that is so integral to we do, is an incredibly important thing. The UK housing market has been described over the past 6 to 12 months as being ‘on fire’ and in

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South Bristol we can concur that certainly there is a huge demand for property across the board! The areas we cover are well placed for easy access to both the city centre and of course, Bristol

Temple Meads which is a huge pull for commuters who are finding they can work from home more and more. Knowle, Totterdown, Brislington and Bedminster have all seen many changes over the past couple of decades with many independent shops and eateries opening in these locations making them even more attractive than their period charms and situations! We have found the current situation with COVID has only increased the demand for all types of buyers. First time buyers are as eager as ever to get on the market and in turn, there are escalating numbers of homeowners wanting larger properties with bigger gardens or scope for home/garden offices and extensions. The stamp duty tax holiday in the first half of 2021 gave many the opportunity to make large savings whilst buying and despite concerns as to whether the demand was to dwindle, we can confirm that the housing market is busier than ever.

Matthews Estates is a local family business with nearly 30 years of experience in the south Bristol area. ARE YOU THINKING OF MOVING THIS YEAR? Call for a FREE VALUATION or pop into our office and speak to our local, friendly staff.

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September 2021



School News

Knowle school on hold until 2024 By Becky Day The MP for Bristol South has regarded the delay to opening a new secondary school in Knowle a “monumental fiasco”. In a statement issued last month, the government announced that the 900-place school, which will be located in Daventry Road and part of the Oasis Academy trust, will now open a year later than planned, in September 2024. MP Karin Smyth [pictured, above] says that she is “appalled” by the news. Councillors for Knowle, Gary Hopkins and Chris Davies, have also expressed their frustrations over the delays and are urging for temporary sites to open in the meantime to meet the significant demand for secondary school places. A shortfall of nearly 300 places this year is expected to rocket by 77 per cent over the next three years. But elected mayor Marvin Rees has confirmed every Bristol child would continue to have a school place despite the shortage of secondary places. The school – which received outline planning approval last year to be built

alongside a brand-new community centre at The Park, the site of the former Merrywood School – was originally planned to open in September 2023. In the statement, the government says that the delay is due to the “additional time taken to prepare a robust planning application and further detailed survey and design works [and] further investigation of the key risks, such as the demolition of the existing community centre”. Cllr Hopkins, who said the news came as a "bombshell", commented: “Knowle children suffer after leaving good primary schools as they get scattered around the city and outside when they progress. I have since had discussions direct with the civil servant in charge of the delivery and suggested some temporary sites to be investigated. “There is a shortage of over 200 of first year secondary places and this was made worse by the planning problems associated with the promised new [Oasis Academy] school at Temple Meads.” The Oasis Temple Quarter, at Temple Meads, was due to open in 2018, but that has also been set back to September 2024 at the earliest. MP Karin Smyth said: “Parents, carers and children in Bristol South will be dismayed

at this news of a delay in opening this new school, which represents another complete failure by the Department for Education and Gavin Williamson MP, the Secretary of State. “Once again, local government is left carrying the burden of central government policy and implementation failures. I will be demanding an explanation from the schools minister for this monumental fiasco.” A DfE spokesperson said: “We have updated the forecast opening date for the Oasis Academy in South Bristol to reflect unavoidable delays and risks to planning and the construction programme, and to ensure a smooth and safe opening at completion. “We remain committed to ensuring that local families have access to the school places they need, and as part of that are exploring the potential for the school to open in temporary accommodation in 2023.” Ms Smyth also raised concerns that multiacademy trusts are not being held to account for their actions. A spokesperson for Oasis said: “We are working closely with our partners at the DfE and Bristol City Council on delivering the new academy. The open date is dependent upon key milestones being achieved such as planning permission, demolition works of the former Merrywood School and the construction of the academy building." • Includes reporting from Amanda Cameron, LDRS reporter for the Voice


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WHY CHOOSE MA.16? Small class sizes | Pastoral support | Friendly environment | Financial support bursaries | High expectations | Bespoke careers guidance & training | University trips & application support | Tutor support program | Student leadership projects | Greater responsibility & freedom to manage your own time | Internship & apprenticeship opportunities | Fun opportunities & activities to get involved in alongside your studies. Got a story for South Bristol Voice? Call Rich on 0777 555 0607 or email



September 2021

School News GCSE & A-level results

'Our resilient students Success stories aplenty have done us so proud' Mr Matt Eagon,Vice-Principal at Bedminster Down School After an incredibly challenging two years for young people, it has been brilliant to see so many positive and smiling faces as students collected their GCSE and vocational results from school on August 12. We could not be prouder of the resilience that our students have shown as the examinations system shifted around them. Our students have truly earned the grades they have achieved through the effort and application they have put in,

which has been an inspiration to us all. I want to thank the teachers and support staff at the school who have gone above and beyond to deliver a system that is fair and supportive of every young person we work with. We could not been prouder of the profession in which we work than we are today, and the happy tears of students we support has made all of the hard work worthwhile. We wish all of our students the very best for their onward study and future plans.

Olivia Avery achieved two Grade 9s, six Grade 8s and one Grade 7 at Bedminster Down School

Among the high achievers in Merchants’ Academy’s Year 11 cohort on GCSE results day (August 12) are Hugo Maindron, who gained six grade 9s, three 8s and a Distinction*; and Madison Watts who achieved five grade 9s, three 8s and a Distinction*. Evie Gann who earned five grade 9s, three 8s and two 7s, has won a scholarship to Colston’s School to study Maths, Economics, Philosophy and Ethics as she pursues her dream of developing a career in finance. Shera Shaeed Akma, who achieved two grade 9s, five 8s, one 7 and a Distinction*, will study for A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Art at Bristol Cathedral Choir School sixth form. Shera said: “I did even better than I thought I would. Learning during Covid was stressful but I’m really pleased with my results.” Maria Eze gained two grade 9s, six 8s and a 7; and Milana Raizenson achieved three grade 9s, three 8s and three 7s. Other students who had notable achievements include Ryan Millet, Lois Britton, Toby Mountford and Chloe Yates. Lois, who is moving on to study at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College, said: “I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much so my grades were a great surprise today, I’m really happy.” 80 students will now move on to MA.16, the sixth form at Merchants’ Academy (read more about MA.16's A-level results on page 21). Head of Merchants’ Academy Secondary, Vicki Starkie, said: “We are pleased and proud of the GCSE results achieved by our students after such a challenging couple of years. Merchants’ Academy has seen some outstanding individual results. We are delighted that our school’s overall performance in English and Maths is up on last year and that there is no significant difference between the results of those who come from financially disadvantaged backgrounds and those who do not. We wish all our young people well as they move on to the next step in education, training or employment.”

Maddison Watts with assistant principal Joe Unwin and head of secondary Vicki Starkie

St Philip’s St Philip’s Marsh Nursery School Marsh Nursery School

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September 2021



School News GCSE & A-level results

Grades are a recognition of students' hard work Mr Justin Humphreys, Headteacher at St Katherine's Above all the noise, another great set of outcomes for the students of St Katherine’s, securing many of the highest A-level grades across both our academic and vocational pathways. Great progress has been made by the students with so many individual success stories. Students deserve this personal success, reflecting their dedication and we celebrate this success together. Teachers are rightly proud of the achievements within their classes. The results that students have received today are an honest reflection of the commitment and dedication that our young people have shown over the last two years, resulting in 95% of students securing their first choice future pathway. Students are successfully progressing onto many Russell Group Universities,

St Katherine’s students celebrating their success

apprenticeships and employment opportunities and we wish all of our students continued success on the next stage of their journey. Given the unprecedented nature of this year's exam awards process it would not be appropriate to dwell upon

improved headline figures for the school. This year is all about the success stories of individuals who have finally received recognition for their hard work against a backdrop of disruption. I would like to thank the

teaching staff at St Katherine’s for their professionalism and integrity throughout the awarding process of the centre-assessed grades this year, working in the best interests of our students.

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September 2021



School News GCSE & A-level results

Excellent results despite a challenging backdrop Students at MA.16., the sixth form at Merchants’ Academy in south Bristol, are set to pursue their ambitions after achieving some excellent results. Their successes at A-level and the equivalent Level 3 BTEC have been achieved against a challenging backdrop caused by the pandemic and, in some cases, difficult personal circumstances. Principal Sam Williamson said: “We are enormously proud of our young people’s achievements and wish them every success in their future studies and careers – they deserve it.” The school’s head boy, Mitchell Cormack, who has set up his own boxing club for teenagers in the neighbourhood, will study Sport and Exercise Science at Cardiff Metropolitan University after earning a distinction in Business Studies BTEC Level 3, a double distinction in Sport BTEC, and an E in A-level Biology. “Mitchell has developed into a

(L-R) Beth Smith, Chelsea Turkington, Chloe Young, Principal Sam Williamson and Sasha Best on results day at Merchants’ Academy caring and generous young man who is deeply involved in charity work in the community,” said Sam Williamson. Bailey O’Connor faced difficulties throughout her time at Merchants’ Academy, while studying GCSEs and throughout her A-level studies. She gained a starred distinction in Art BTEC, a

distinction in Health and Social Care BTEC and an A* in A-level Photography. Bailey will now begin studying for a degree at Middlesex University. “Bailey has not once allowed her difficulties to impact her educational studies and she is a shining example of what perseverance can allow you to

achieve. She will make a fantastic mental health nurse, which is a career very close to her heart,” said Sam Williamson. Chelsea Turkington, who achieved a triple distinction in Health and Social Care BTEC and a D in Sociology A-level, experienced challenges at home due to the financial impact of the pandemic but she remained determined to achieve her aspirations. She is one of three students who took part in the Bristol Scholars programme and will now undertake a degree course in educational studies at the University of Bristol. Ben Jackson and Amber Pugsley are also Bristol Scholars. Ben will study History at university after achieving a B in A-level History and a double distinction in IT BTEC, while Amber will read English after passing three A-levels with a B in English Literature, a C in Biology and a D in Maths.

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September 2021



Introducing Ashton Park's new head Ashton Park School & Sixth Form is delighted to welcome its new headteacher, Del Planter, who takes up his post on September 1. Mr Planter brings a wealth of experience to the school and to Gatehouse Green Learning Trust. He is looking forward to working with students, families, staff and wider community to build on Ashton Park’s strengths and make the school a beacon of academic excellence within a safe and nurturing environment. He says: “Ashton Park School has a strong reputation for excellent pastoral care and success in sports and the arts. I am looking forward to getting to know the school well so that the changes we make in this new chapter are supported by everyone. I think Ashton Park has the potential to achieve great things. Together we can create a compelling vision of what the school can be.” Mr Planter will set out a clear direction towards excellence which he is calling the Ashton Park Way. He will start by empowering young people to become great learners; empowering teachers with high quality professional development that enables them to thrive; and ensuring the school is valued at the heart of its community. He is also keen to continue developing Ashton Sixth, so

that young people can have a rich 11-18 educational experience at their local school. Parents and carers will play a vital role and Mr Planter plans to hold a number of events over the coming year where he can meet families and discuss the building of a successful partnership. Born and raised in Bristol, with a degree in history and sociology, Mr Planter is passionate about empowerment and equity. He will be making sure that all young people at Ashton Park, including those who are from disadvantaged backgrounds or who have special educational needs or disabilities, receive all the opportunities they need and deserve. Mr Planter has been teaching for 23 years, 20 of them in leadership roles, and has worked in a range of local schools, most recently as headteacher of Marlwood School in South Gloucestershire and as an executive headteacher in the Castle School Education Trust. He has been a local authority adviser and an Ofsted inspector. “I am excited to be starting my second headship in a Bristol school and I am looking forward to working across the trust and the city to support young people in the pursuit of their ambitions,” he said.

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September 2021



School News GCSE & A-level results

Impressive results in challenging times A-level results day (August 10) was an uplifting occasion for boomsatsuma college students, who all achieved a qualification, and an impressive 54% awarded a Distinction, or higher, opening up fantastic future possibilities for them in Bristol’s creative sector. Mark Curtis, boomsatsuma co-founder, states: “These students have come through challenging Covid-19 pandemic journeys over the past two years, so this is an important boost for them all. "They all have these great platforms, that will help them move on to the next stages of their lives, be it staying in education or into employment. What’s enormous, is that they leave with so much more than qualifications, in terms of work-place experiences, self-confidence and wider life-skills. “We are now gearing up to return in September with next

years’ students with most courses full. There are just a few spaces available for this year and we’ll be opening for 2023 enrolment to find the next generation of Bristol’s creative voices.” The 2021 results show consistent performance across boomsatsuma’s creative media and acting courses, extending back over the past three years. There was no change in the

Record success in face of adversity This year has arguably been one of the toughest and most unpredictable years students have ever faced. Despite this, those same students have achieved record success at St Brendan’s Sixth Form College with many securing their desired destinations. 479 students (60% of students) are progressing to university, the highest number of students to do so from St Brendan’s in the last four years. 26% of students are progressing directly on to employment or an apprenticeship. Of those going to university, 121 (15%) have secured places at a Russell Group University. Students have also secured a diverse range of top apprenticeships. Principal Marian Curran said: "Congratulations to the class of 2021 who coped well in difficult circumstances and displayed enormous resilience."

way that the Level 3 National Diploma grades come via an assessment process, rather than exams, though Covid did mean boomsatsuma managed new teaching and student support processes, to sustain quality education and mentoring. The result was to achieve these excellent outcomes for the next generation of creative professionals.

Open events for Cathedral Schools Trust secondary schools Please visit the school websites for details of online events, tours where available and to book your place.

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September 2021


Stan's epic race to commemorate childhood pal By Lindsey Cole A south Bristol resident is about to embark on an ultra race across the Alps, in memory of his childhood friend. Stan Townsend, 27 of Southville, lived in the Swiss Alps as a young child and stayed in touch with his friend, Harry Dunnet, whenever the family returned for mountain biking and ski holidays. In 2018, Harry was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, and passed away the same year, aged 21. “It sounds a cliché, but he was like a brother,” Stan said. Stan, who got back into running during lockdown, because he couldn’t do anything else, wanted to do something to honour Harry. “I wanted to raise money for Brain Tumour Charity. Then, I found out about the Swiss Peaks Ultra Race. It’s an epic race and runs through the village where Harry and I lived, which is a very special place.” The Swiss Peaks Ultra Trail is a demanding and technical race. Covering 27,000m of elevation, the trail takes runners from glaciers to lakes, through the Swiss Alps

for 360km. It is one of the most difficult races in the world. “It’s like three Everests, which is a bit daunting, especially having to complete it within 160 hours. Some do it in 70 hours. They sleep a couple of hours and then run in between. I’ll take sleep where it’s possible,” Stan said. After a tough year with the pandemic, Stan said being able to explore Bristol was a silver lining. “Leigh Woods and Ashton Court were saviours during lockdown when I couldn’t go anywhere else. I feel super grateful to live in Bristol and to be able to get out to the countryside and run.” Stan, who has never run a marathon before, has been running up to 100km a week for the last four months to prepare for the race. “I feel good in regards to physical prep. I’ve done a lot. But, it’s also about the mental thinking. I’ve been listening to running podcasts and taking a positive mental attitude,” he said. “I’m not stressing about my race time. I’m looking forward to immersing myself into the environment and bringing people together to think about Harry and to do something for

him. Harry never did anything by halves. As part of my journey to process the grief, I’m going to be pushing my boundaries of my own possibilities, like he often did.” Swiss Peaks Ultra Race starts on August 31. If you’d like to help Stan raise funds for Brain Tumour Charity then you can do so at: irunwithharry

Stan (left), with his childhood friend Harry

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September 2021




Why we're here to help men talk By Lindsey Cole A new service for men’s mental health has opened in South Bristol. Andy’s Man Club, based in Ashton Gate, is a free, weekly talking group for men to come together to talk about issues and problems they have faced or are currently facing. Facility coordinator, Tim Ashton, said: “Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 50. Men are generally not great at opening up and talking about their problems. Andy’s Man Club provides an opportunity for men to get things off their chest in a safe environment. “People don’t have to be suicidal or have mental health issues to come. It’s for anyone. Whether you’re feeling lost, lonely or just need to let off steam, we just want to get men talking.”

You don’t need to register to attend. They have a big Andy’s Man Club banner outside and signs informing you where to go. “We want to make it as easy as possible for people to come. I’m on the door each week welcoming everyone. There’s free tea and coffee. We sit in a circle and have a chat. I start it off to get the conversation going with questions like: how’s your week going? “We’re not trained mental health professionals. We just talk peer to peer. If people have their own coping strategies they’re welcome to share them. People often say after coming that they didn’t realise others are going through similar situations and they feel less alone.” Andy’s Man Club started after 23-year-old Andrew Roberts sadly took his own life in 2016. His family wanted to create safe spaces for men aged 18 and above to be able to speak openly

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about their mental health in a judgement-free, non-clinical environment. Groups now operate nationwide and are completely volunteer-led. Bristol’s Andy’s Man Club is free and open to men over the age of 18 and can be found at Ashton Gate Stadium, Ashton Road, Bristol, BS3 2EJ, every Monday, 7pm. For more information, visit 'Andys Man Club Bristol' on Facebook.

Sewing classes have been launched in Southville to encourage parents to learn a new skill, while making time for themselves and an item of clothing for their child. The Bristol Stitchery was set up by mums Leanne and Sofia in 2015. They now run their classes at Creative Space in North Street. Items to sew include rompers, leggings or t-shirts for your little one (of up to four years) or, those wishing to make their own clothes, can learn dressmaking. Leanne and Sofia said: "Everyone is welcome, the aim being to provide a friendly environment in which to learn something new and make some time for yourself." For more information, visit: or @thebristolstitchery on Instagram.


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September 2021



Your local councillors Gary Hopkins & Chris Davies Lib Dem councillors Knowle


irstly the good news. We and the friends of Jubilee Pool were concerned that there might have been another attempt to close the pool again, in between the end of the contract and the long term management plan being put in place. We therefore wrote to the mayor pointing out the record business that was being done and requesting a contract extension for the present operators. This has been agreed to in principle. The bad news is that central government have to withdraw their promise to have the new secondary school in Knowle ready to fully open in 2023. Having experienced delays, due apparently to COVID, they are now saying 2024. We had been in negotiations with Bristol officers to open a year early in temporary accommodation in 2022, but have now started speaking direct to

government and have given them some site options. It is too early to tell how successful we will be for either 1 or 2 years early opening, but the situation has become even more critical, as it is now identified there is a shortage exceeding 200 of Year 7 places. The failure of the Temple Meads school plans have added to the crisis. In another development, we are awaiting talks with an emergency housing manager over some placements that are causing problems. Finally, to finish on a positive note, we have won some money to improve the infrastructure on the Northern Slopes informal open space. The Friends have applied for grant funds supported by a parks manager and ourselves, and we have managed to get the police and parks to make efforts to expel the motor bike riders. 0300 323 0700

Lisa Stone & Ed Plowden Green councillors Windmill Hill


ristol Greens have called on the Government and Bristol council to take emergency action in response to the latest report from the IPCC, which says humanity has just a decade left to make rapid and drastic reductions in greenhouse gases or face widespread climate devastation. The UN Secretary General António Guterres called the IPCC’s report “code red for humanity” and warned that “there is no time for delay and no room for excuses”. The report, released less than three months before the key climate summit in Glasgow, says human activity has “unequivocally” caused rapid and some irreversible changes to the global climate. It calls for urgent action to cut emissions and stabilise warming to a 1.5°C increase. Beyond this level, the impacts


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would be even more devastating. Humans caused this, so humans can make a difference. By making changes in our local area, like making it easier to walk and cycle. Like planting more trees. Like making and maintaining more quality green spaces. And improving the energy-efficiency of our houses. We want to hear from you, your ideas on how we can make these necessary changes. Contact us with your ideas or feed into the council’s decision making. Until September 26 you can feedback on the council’s priorities for the next five years (search “Corporate strategy”) or suggest a street improvement anytime on the council website. A great example is the protected green space Higham Street Village Green, watched over by local resident Angela Russell.

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September 2021



Your local councillors Tessa Fitzjohn Green councillor Bedminster


've been talking to residents residents parking, increased about two major planning traffic and pollution and developments: Application detrimental impact on public (21/03165/F) for sports facilities access to a much-needed green at Ashton Gate to include a space providing benefits to health, 4000-seater basketball court, and habitats for wildlife and Longmore Village (21/03166/P), increasing bio diversity. an outline application for 510 We should encourage Ashton homes on land west of Silbury Gate to look else where for their Road opposite the Town Green. If funding, and encourage successful the sale of Longmore developers to start building the Village will fund the new sports 10,000 homes that already have hub. The official deadline has planning permission to build on passed but I urge you to brownfield sites in the city. comment. This is an important time for It concerns me greatly that the Parents of Year 6 children, Longmore Village application is making applications for secondary on Green Belt land. Green Belt school. was created to stop urban sprawl. Applicants can express three Which is exactly what this site is preferences, it is highly doing, as it lies on the boundary recommended that at least one of between Bristol and North these is your child's catchment Somerset providing a natural secondary school Ashton Park. border between Long Ashton Monthly surgeries start 11am, Village and Bristol. October 2. Please check Facebook This duo FLP1013 of developments will Half@GreenBedminster Futura Sixth Page Advert AW.pdf and 1 Twitter 11/08/2021 have severe implications for @TessaJFitzjohn for more details.

Tony Dyer & Christine Townsend Green councillors Southville


lanning proposals There are several potential developments coming forward in our area. As councillors we are seeking early engagement with those bringing schemes forward and are also emphasising the need for similarly early and open engagement with the local community. Proposals in or near the ward, coming to planning in the near future include redevelopment of the Payne’s Shipyard site to provide housing, and the Ashton Gate Stadium sporting quarter development. Beyond that, there are more proposals coming forward for Bedminster Green and, further down the line we also have the Whitehouse Street Framework. A development brief is also being prepared for the Mead Street area. School 13:46 places Because of delays in delivering

new secondary schools, there will be severe pressures on school places for Year 7 pupils this September. Parts of Southville are amongst the areas that will be affected. Any parents with concerns can contact Christine for help and advice using the contact details on page 2. Corporate Strategy The council has launched its consultation on the draft Corporate Strategy 2022 to 2027. Once consulted on, it will become the council’s main strategic document, setting the overall vision for the council. The consultation will last for six weeks until midnight on September 26 2021 and is open now at corporatestrategy2021 People’s responses to the consultation will be considered by both Cabinet and Full Council at their respective meetings on 2 November and 7 December 2021. We’re stronger together...










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September 2021




Yoga teachers delighted to resume in-person classes Two yoga teachers are looking forward to welcoming you to their classes this autumn. Caroline Reid and Kate Fox have more than 30 years' teaching experience between them, from regular weekly yoga classes, private tuition, to workshops, intensives and retreats around the UK and Europe. Caroline says: “It has been great supporting our student communities with online classes these last 18 months but we are both delighted to be teaching groups in person again now.” What are the yoga classes like? Kate and Caroline are welcoming and inclusive in their group classes. In a calm and compassionate atmosphere, whether you are new to yoga or an experienced practitioner, you will be invited to tune in to your own body and get to know it better. You will discover a practice that gradually reorganises the body; undoing tension, improving balance and stability to help you move and breathe with more ease. We are simply returning to our natural state. There is no place here for pushing, pulling, or forcing the body. The experienced hands of your teacher will help you feel where you are straining or trying too hard and help you develop your attention towards subtle qualities and connections that support healthy movement. You will be given clear guidance, both verbally and through touch (with your permission) to help you get more comfortable in your own skin. Each student is encouraged to embark on a journey of exploration and curiosity to get to know their own body better. There is no

Caroline Reid (left) and Kate Fox (right)

‘keeping up’ with either the teacher or anyone else in the class. Both teachers keep group classes relatively small to allow space and time for individual help. What kind of yoga is it? Caroline and Kate teach ‘Scaravelliinspired’ yoga. Vanda Scaravelli is known for her inspirational book ‘Awakening The Spine’ with its striking photos of her, in her 80s, performing challenging yoga poses with ease. Vanda’s approach to yoga was revolutionary when her book was first published in 1999 and its influence is spreading around the world. Vanda Scaravelli gifted us freedom in our yoga

practice. She liberated us from set rules and methods, believing that when we listen intently, with a deep awareness, we become our own best teachers. By working with breath, gravity and the natural wave-like movement of the spine, we can discover an amazing balance of strength and lightness, space and ease in our bodies. Even into old age you can discover long-forgotten freedom in your body and throughout your entire being. Ultimately this practice will support long-term health and keep you agile for longer. Kate says: ” We have both found this practice so inspirational and transformational, and are

passionate about sharing the many benefits to be found from it with others.” Where can we find you? Kate and Caroline now offer classes both online via Zoom and in person. Bedminster, Knowle and Southville are all covered! Both teachers are based in Knowle, where you can attend one-to-one or small group lessons. Current schedules are on their websites or contact them for more details. Instagram: @carolinereidyoga Instagram: @katylou_fox

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September 2021



Local History

From Bristol to Collioure: My first overseas sojourn We continue our serialisation of Memories of a Bristol Boyhood by Knowle resident John Fletcher. This month, John recounts his first trip overseas to Collioure in south-eastern France. Two days of travelling and 10 days staying in a 13th century castle made for one unforgettable adventure ...


he 15 Plus Club made a quite progressive arrangement; a long weekend in the country at Orchard Cottage, Wrington, a property run by the Bristol Association of Girls’ and Mixed Clubs. Wrington is a very pretty Somerset village about 12-15 miles south of Bristol and Orchard Cottage was a large building set in spacious grounds, more impressive than ‘cottage’ suggests. Our party must have numbered 24-30 fairly equally split between the sexes. The weekend was very well organised. We arrived by bicycle and were housed in well segregated dormitories. We had to do our own catering and household jobs as listed on notice boards. Apart from attending 8am communion service and completing our chores, we were free to explore the cottage grounds and local countryside. For most of us this was the first time that we had spent time away from our parents and in mixed company (bearing in mind that all 11-plus schools were single sex at that time), and everyone was surprisingly well-behaved. Perhaps encouraged by this, Father Joe Ploughwright, the curate of St Martin’s who had responsibility for the youth of the parish, arranged a far more adventurous project for the following summer. He arranged to take a group for a fortnight’s holiday youth hostelling at Lake Annecy on the French-Swiss border. This proved to be a great success but unfortunately I was unable to raise sufficient cash to take advantage of it. Later that year our curate had a change in his ministry and moved to Mansfield. He kept in touch with our senior youth members and embarked on an even more ambitious project. This was to unite youth from his new Mansfield parish with ours

in Bristol and spend a fortnight in August 1950 at a youth hostel on the French Mediterranean coast at Collioure, quite near the Spanish border. Our party of 17 year-olds and over travelled to London on the Friday evening and met up with the Mansfield contingent. To our dismay they had a larger contingent but were all 14 and 15 year-olds who seemed to us very immature. I am afraid to say we acted in a very un-Christian way and largely ignored them. Our outward journey did not commence until the Saturday evening so the boys of our group spent the afternoon at Highbury to watch Arsenal. So my first adventure to foreign lands commenced on the Friday evening. This was in an age before the large, fast cross-Channel ferries ran from

Dover to Calais and the French high-speed electrified trains cut journey times quite drastically. Our journey was much more sedate; London to Newhaven by train, then overnight on a railway operated ferry to Dieppe, train to Paris, change stations at Paris and then the very long journey south west right across France to the city of Perpignon, again overnight. By the time we reached Collioure we had been travelling for two days in very basic conditions and were extremely tired. Our fragile state was to take an even worse turn when we arrived at the accommodation booked for us for the next ten days. The building was a huge stone castle, built in the 13th century by the Knights Templar at the time of the Crusades. The windows

were just rectangular holes in the walls with no wooden frames or glass. There was no heating, lighting or running water. The toilets were in a long basement passage and consisted of holes in the floor with a long drop to an underground channel. There were just raised footpads to stand on and no segregation of the sexes. Water had to be carried from a fountain in the village square immediately outside the castle entrance. Our dormitories were equipped with rough wooden structures with straw palliasses, no sheets or blankets. The first night was like a scene from a horror film; we

Collioure, France - a very ambitious youth trip for the time period

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September 2021



Local History experienced a tropical storm with thunder, lightning and very high winds which just blasted straight through the castle’s unprotected windows. If anyone had offered me return tickets for the following morning I would gladly have taken them. Fortunately no one made the offer and for the next ten days we were blessed with almost continuous sun and warmth. Collioure was a small, almost primitive village. It had a lovely horseshoe-shaped bay with a long breakwater with a light at the sea end and a picturesque old church at the shore end. The clear Mediterranean water lapped up against the fine, soft sand. Our party spent most of the time in or around the water, even managing to go skinny dipping after midnight on several occasions. The only drawback was that a small form of crustacean existed on the sea bed. It was equipped with very fine, sharp needles on its back and if you stepped on one, the needles punctured your foot and broke off. They were poisonous and if you did not remove all of the needles from your foot it became infected and extremely sore. We lived well on the delicious local produce, particularly the fresh bread, patisseries, ham, cheese, salad vegetables and a variety of fresh fruit. I cannot remember having a cooked meal the whole time we were there. We mostly drank local water which must have been pure as there were no instances of tummy troubles. We also drank citron presses and after a few days felt emboldened to enter the local restaurant/bar and sampled their local wine. This was called Banyuls and was a very sweet wine, more like a sherry than a table wine. On the second evening a group of four or five lads placed our order and drank at the bar. The waiter asked for us to pay the bill, which we were about to do when a young lady sitting near us spoke up to the waiter (obviously in French which we did not understand) to tell him that he was overcharging us. To our delight we received a welcome refund. We of course thanked the young lady, who it appeared was in the final year at university in Paris and was

Anique, a local student, who saved John and his friends from being overcharged in a local hostelry quite willing to talk to us to improve her English. She spent the vacation in Collioure where her aunt owned a chateau and vineyard on the hillside a couple of miles outside of the village. We met up with her on several evenings later in the holidays and walked her back to the gated entrance of the vineyard. It was a pleasant walk under the warm, dark Mediterranean sky lit by hundreds of bright stars. It would have been a quite romantic setting had it not been that there were four or five rather naïve 17-year old boys escorting one very sophisticated Parisian lady. Our one major excursion of the holiday was a visit to Andorra. The coach supplied for the journey was very old. It had quite a long body but a very short wheel base. This enabled the coach to get round the very sharp bends up and over the Pyrenees, but meant that the front and rear parts of the coach overhung the sheer drop of hundreds of feet at the sides of the unfenced mountain roads which were ill maintained due to the war. This holiday proved to have been a great success. NEXT ISSUE: Read about the next chapter in John's life national service.

John's wonderful recollections are sure to jog the memories of some of our readers. We would love to hear similar tales and see photos from the period. Please email to or post to South Bristol Voice, 111 Broadfield Rd Knowle Bristol B42UX. All items will be safely returned

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September 2021


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September 2021



News Annual garden awards sees 'huge increase' in participants By Laura Chamberlain This year's BS4 Good Gardens 2021 awards saw a huge increase in the number of wonderful gardens in the area and a big influx of members joining its Facebook page as residents were keen to share the hard work they have been putting in over the past year. The scheme has been supported by local companies Greenwoods in Wells Road, the Knowle pub on Leighton Road and The Little Seed Box in Keynsham, contributing either

funds towards the running costs or prizes for the winner of the poster colouring competition and the overall best garden winner, picked from a hat of judges' favourite gardens. In its seventh year, the competition comprises any roads in BS4 that have been nominated by local residents and they are then judged by volunteer judges with awards handed out their favourites from each road. The award itself was designed by local graphic design student, Rebecca Blackmore.

Uncovering our histories and making a positive difference People from South Bristol who want to explore their past, present and future are being invited to take part in a new learning project. Bridging Histories is an opportunity to create positive change not only locally but to learn about other communities and areas across the whole city. The six activities include sharing a favourite recipe, writing a poem on the theme ‘I am from…’, finding out about your street history and family history, being a monument detective and being a Changemaker. Bridging Histories director Dr Joanna Burch-Brown said: “It’s about celebrating our city, ourselves and each other -

learning our history and making a positive difference. “People of all ages and social groups are welcome. “We’ll be finding out more about our city by learning about the people who live here and creating positive change for the future. “Everything created will go into a shared library online.” Participants are automatically entered into the Summer Stars and Changemakers competitions - prizes range from £100 to £1,000 and a mentoring session. Bridging Histories is an initiative of the We Are Bristol History Commission and University of Bristol. To find out more go to www.

BS3 Helping Others Come and listen to our guest speakers BS3 Helping Others is a local community group whose purpose is to bring individuals and the community of BS3 together, through connecting volunteers to local charities. They resumed their face-to-face meetings in the Tobacco Factory at the end of June. Since then they have welcomed a variety of speakers who have come to talk about the community groups or charities they're part of and the opportunities for volunteering with them. The group has lots of interesting speakers lined up for September and October, including BS3 Repair Cafe, Way out West, Improving Lives for Older People, Fare Share and RSVP West. Meetings are every Monday from 6.30-8pm and Tuesday from 10.30am-midday in the Tobacco Factory cafe-bar.

Everyone is welcome to attend to listen to the speakers and to meet other like-minded people. The group produces a directory of volunteering opportunities which can be emailed to you or you can pick up a paper copy at a meet-up. If there aren't speakers then the meet-ups still happen and group members can help you find something which interests you and where you can use your skills. Get in touch by email if you want to find out more (, check the Facebook page (www., or just turn up at one of the meetings.

The Theatre and Entertainment Luvver Where to enjoy theatre this month By Jacqui Ham, Acting Out ow everything has opened up, this is Super September! There is so much excitement and entertainment available this month in Bristol, so without further ado, let's crack on: Bristol Open Doors is back 10th-12th September. It’s never been easier to be a tourist in your own city and explore places you don’t normally get to see. This year there are over 60 specially curated adventures - get an explorer wristband and you can travel on first bus for free: bristolopendoors. The Theatre on the Downs, running till 2nd October, is a festival of theatre, family work, circus and poetry. Programmed by The Wardrobe, it is an exciting and ambitious project featuring new work from artists across the city. Also, a great excuse to pop in for some drinks and food at Breaking Bread: Tobacco Factory bring us


Destiny. She’s gonna be an MTV Base backing dancer, you watch. If J-Lo can make it outta the Bronx, then Destiny can make it off the Hill Rise estate in Chippenham! A one-woman semi-autobiographical show: shows/destiny-2/ And be our guest at the Bristol Hippodrome as it excitingly reopens with Disney’s amazing Beauty and the Beast: www. And following that, perhaps it’s just my age, but I cannot tell you how excited I am to be a beauty school dropout for Peter Andre in Grease: grease/bristol-hippodrome/ Top pick: Grease at Bristol Hippodrome, 21st September – 25th September.

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September 2021


News High Sheriff keen to connect with local charities and organisations A long-standing Knowle resident has been appointed as the High Sheriff of Bristol. Susan Davies, who is originally from Bedminster, was appointed to the position in March and is keen to connect with local groups and charities who are doing amazing work across south Bristol and beyond. The High Sheriff role is the oldest civil position apart from the monarch and dates from the 7th century. They are royally appointed to represent each county for one year. It is a voluntary position, with no expenses paid. High Sheriffs represent the Queen’s interest in law and order, and all the emergency services, and support charities and organisations - especially those working with children and young people, ex offenders and vulnerable people, and initiatives working towards crime

prevention. Susan said: "I would love to connect with any local groups or charities where I can meet with the many volunteers doing amazing work in the city." Please send her an invitation if you would like her to visit: and follow her on Twitter @hSheriffBristol.


What's On - September 2021 Aug 23 - Sept 19 Iron Island: the SS Great Britain Refloated. This summer, the iron ship floats again as Limbic Cinema brings the sea back to the SS Great Britain. Dive down into the Dry Dock to discover a new, immersive theatre experience, combining poetry, sounds and digital projections. More info: www. Sept 30 - Oct 16 The UK’s biggest celebration of contemporary circus – Circus City – returns with a 4th biennial line-up of ticketed and free indoor and outdoor events interweaving circus skills with music, film, theatre, dance and more. Times, dates & venues vary. See for details. Oct 1 Fun Quiz at St Paul's Church, Coronation Road, starting at 7:30pm, team of 4, £5 per person including light supper. All very welcome.

TUTION AVAILABLE • Latin • Greek • Classical Civilisation • Ancient History Beginners/GCSE/A-level DBS approved Mr A McInnes, Sylvia Ave Knowle, 07436 711528 CHURCH OF CHRIST, ST JOHN'S LANE, BS3 5AY Currently meeting every Sunday: • 9:00 Worship • 10:15 bible classes for all ages • 11:30 Worship Currently holding two morning services to accommodate more at a social distance For details or help: Jason 07795560990 • Have you got an event you'd like included in our What's On section? Email sales@southbristolvoice.


Code Red: Climate emergency needs leadership

LAST month’s United Nations report couldn’t have been clearer on the climate emergency: it’s Code Red for humanity. Unless world leaders take urgent action, our planet carries on heating up, meaning more devastating floods, more fierce heatwaves, more vicious wildfires. The easiest thing for decision-makers would be doing more of the same when it comes to economic growth and jobs. Some say that’s what created this global crisis. But leadership isn’t about taking easy decisions – quite the opposite. Radical and creative thinking is long overdue. As a teenager growing up in our area, I remember a slogan of the time: “Think globally, act locally.” That couldn’t be more apt. I’m sticking firm to my commitment to oppose Bristol Airport’s proposed expansion. That isn’t about stunting economic growth, as some may paint it, it’s about taking urgent, pragmatic local action to protect our irreplaceable planet. Of course we need more jobs here as we emerge from a brutal pandemic, but in green industries, not airports, investing in projects to help meet our ambitious goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. This month I’ll launch a £20 million Green Recovery Fund, in line with the commitment I made to you during the spring’s Metro Mayor

election. You’ll hear more about this soon. In four months since becoming Metro Mayor I’ve given funding to several other environmentally-focused projects. Bristol’s biggest visitor attraction, Brunel’s SS Great Britain, bagged money from the West of England Combined Authority, which I lead, for a heat recovery device to stop its hull rusting. Made by Husk, a Bristol company customising kitchen cabinets, received a grant for LED lighting and solar panels. Pentagon Play, a Bradley Stoke playground equipment firm, got money for energy-saving improvements to its building. Embracing pedal power, I secured £248,000 from the government for electric bicycles which make it easier to get around, leaving cars at home without having to be a lycra-clad fitness fanatic! Look out for details of taster sessions, training courses and loan schemes. That fits well with work just starting on a new cycling and walking trail, made possible by a £1 million grant from the West of England Combined Authority, around the stunning Chew Valley Lake, which is visited by thousands of people across our area, including me and my dog, Angel. Anticipating future challenges and finding solutions has always been key to progress, and there’s great work in that respect going on locally. At S&B Automotive in Bedminster I met

Metro Mayor

Dan Norris

writes for the Voice apprentices being trained to service the electric vehicles of the future, removing roadblocks to achieving the plan to end petrol and diesel car sales by 2030. In a few weeks’ time COP26, the UN climate change conference, begins in Glasgow. We’ll be reminded again of what looms unless we take collective action. Just over 10 years ago I was Environment Minister: it was clear there was an emergency back then, but now it’s even more urgent. Code Red is real. It’s humanity’s greatest crisis. Let’s work together here in the West of England to play our part in beating it.

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September 2021



The Wicked Witch of Knowle

In witch it's madness

bumped into one of my doggy walker familiars. She has wild ringlet hair that matches her dog. In fact, her pooch won a ‘Looks most like owner’ award at my road’s street party. Their hair/fur is a colour that words cannot describe, it’s unusual. Mrs Ringlets has an ingenious plan to overcome this. When wanting some matching carpet recently, she marched the dog to Red Lion Carpets, pointed to her and said “I would like a carpet in this colour please”. Mrs Ringlets was telling me how crazy she is feeling. Freedom Madness had set in. She’s forgotten how to interact with people. Cringing, she told me about a trip to the new framing shop on the Wells Road. She spent half an hour telling the owner details which sane and rational people keep to themselves. “I just couldn’t stop talking,” Mrs Ringlets frowned at me, her eyes intense


“I went home and wept with embarrassment”. I sympathised whilst slowly backing away. I saw her again recently and asked how her Madness was going. She told me brightly that it had almost gone and she thinks she’s over it. I narrowed my eyes and whispered, “that’s because you’ve given it to me.” She giggled and as we parted, she called “I’m going to be laughing all day.” It is not funny. I try to go swimming at the

Jubilee Pool every day. usually seeing the same faces. Just lately I’ve been chattering to these faces, interrupting their flow and causing lane jams. I was chasing one in the fast lane, Mrs Smiley, who paused, tipping pool juice from her goggles. I smugly showed off my super-duper goggles. They are pricey, designed for sea swimming and I love them. I suggested she might like to try them. Mrs Smiley, smiled, thanked me, shook her head and shot off. I chased her, catching up in the shallow end. I whipped off my goggles and waved them in her face. “Try them.” I insisted. Panic filled her eyes. A slight frown creased her brow and her smile turned downwards. She did not want to try my goggles. She wanted me to leave her alone. I was a weirdo. Another one of my pool familiars, Mrs Legs (she has an

enviable pair), was just about to jump in when I chose that moment to shout up: “How are you?” She wobbled, recovered, removed her earplugs and spat out her snorkel. She told me that things were not great as her cat had died that week. To make her feel better I told a story about one of my doggy friends. He had taken his collie to the vets for his final journey. He was cradling the dog in his arms, weeping. Just as the needle of death was inserted, the dog lifted his head and licked the tears from my friend’s cheek. “Ohhh” sobbed Mrs Legs tears instantly filling her goggles, lip quivering. What had possessed me to tell that story? It must be the Madness. The curse of this Freedom Madness was given to me and I need to work out a spell to shove it onto someone else. You have been warned.

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September 2021




with Ade Williams

Health benefits of art


ave you seen the beautiful art piece on the Bedminster Pharmacy shutters? Why did Bristol artist Zoe Power (one of Bristol’s Six Sisters) produce it? She said: “I designed the pharmacy piece wanting to make the pharmacy and space feel uplifting and welcoming, and bringing bright colours and illustrative imagery, particularly on a quite grey high street, knowing it can change how people feel and interact with public space.’’ As part of our shared life experiences, art and health have been at the centre of human interest from the beginning of recorded history. Historical records also tell people have used pictures, stories, dances, music and spoken words as part of their healing rituals. Health psychologists have found that arts can be used in various ways to heal emotional injuries, increase understanding of oneself and others, develop a capacity for self-reflection, reduce symptoms, and alter behaviours and thinking patterns. Engagement with creative activities can reduce stress and depression, and serve as a vehicle for alleviating the burden of chronic diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, and heart conditions. While music engagement and its benefits are

Ade Williams of Bedminster Pharmacy discusses how pharmacies can help people with a variety of health conditions, and ease pressure on the NHS widely known, did you know that expressive writing (poetry, storytelling, writing a journal) can control pain, depressed mood and pain severity? Movement-based creative

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expressions and dance, as well as textile work, card making, collage, pottery, watercolour, acrylic, have all been shown to improve the quality of life in cancer patients. The consensus is clear that art benefits wellbeing, whatever form the creative expression or vehicle. Even better, it is not only creating the work but observing and engaging with it actively or passively that is good for us. Zoe mentioned that as she was painting our shutters, children would come up to the shutters to give the painted hand a hi-5, with adults pointing out some of the images and patterns. It is truly in children some of the most profound and long-lasting impact of art and creativity is observed. Zoe said: "Creating a welcoming atmosphere is important to a pharmacy, as is making its presence known on the high street. A pharmacy can hold a lot of importance in people’s lives when they are vulnerable. All of the staff at Bedminster Pharmacy work so hard to make people feel welcome and to listen - I want the artwork to reflect that and to give the staff a sense of pride when they come to work every morning.” Thank you to all those who make our community a healthier, caring, and sharing place through their creative actions, contributions, and appreciation.

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September 2021




Nature-inspired art raises money for eco charities By Lindsey Cole A Knowle artist has created a Nature’s Alphabet after being concerned about climate change. Chrissy Holmes got back into art after having her second child. “I wanted to study the natural world and try and preserve its beauty as I’ve been deeply concerned about the environment for many years,” she said. “Painting the alphabet was a meditative process. It helped me focus on nature’s beauty as I was able to deal with my own fears about its future.” Chrissy who works part-time at Bedminster’s Zero Green shop, wanted to address her fears and do something positive for the planet so she is donating all profits from her work to two Bristol-based environmental charities. Tree Aid is a land regenerative charity and plants trees and restores soil across the dry lands of Africa. “They’re doing really exciting work. They’re one of the main charities involved in the Great Green Wall, which is a huge scale project planting a living tree wall across the breadth of Africa. This will prevent further desertification and improve livelihoods in the surrounding areas,” she said. The artist is also raising money for Avon Needs Trees, which has bought two areas of land in Bristol and rewilding it. “I’m immensely proud to be able to help two great

Chrissy Holmes' eco art is being sold to raise money for environmental charities. Image, Hounsome Photography charities which are helping the future of our planet,” she said. Chrissy has already managed to raise £245 for the charities and hopes to raise even more by stocking her work in more shops.

Her prints and cards are currently available in Zero Green, Fox and West and her Etsy page: ChrissyHolmesArt

'Talking Trees and Other Stories'

Be part of something amazing!

A local artist has teamed up with The Sundial Kitchen at Amba House in Totterdown to showcase her exhibition of paintings. Ben O’Neill, who has lived in Knowle for more than 20 years, will be donating all the proceeds from her paintings to the Forest of Avon Trust to support their tree planting programme. Since retiring from her career as a teacher, Ben has spent much of her time painting and writing. During Lockdown she enjoyed visiting many of our local woodlands and became preoccupied with trees, not only their aesthetic qualities but also the latest scientific discoveries that reveal extraordinary facts about them, for example, there is

Planning is underway for the 10th Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade and the team behind the event are calling on local streets and community groups to get involved. After the pandemic prevented the annual parade going ahead last winter, BWLP's organisers are determined to light up our streets once again and have set the date of January 8 2022 for the special anniversary event. Organisers say that the parade will be a "celebration of the creativity, inclusivity and wonderful spirit of BS3". To take part, registration costs £50, which pays for up to two members of a group to attend a lantern-making workshop and insurance for group members in the parade. Food packaging suppliers, Wyatt & Ackerman, of North Street are offering a discount on materials - you need tissue paper and paste. Bemmy Lanterns will provide willow at a small cost. To get your PROPERTY MAINTENANCE registration form, email:

evidence that trees have senses and can communicate. Ben's exhibition, ‘Talking Trees and other Stories’ is an opportunity for us to reflect on these life affirming and mysterious connections. Join Ben for the opening night on September 10, 7pm to 10pm. Free entry. All welcome. The exhibition runs until September 26.



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September 2021



Letters to the Editor


Email letters to or post to 111 Broadfield Rd, Knowle, BS4 2UX. Please keep letters brief, no more than 250 words - we reserve the right to edit letters

How I've been serving you since my election It’s been 100 days since I was proud and honoured to be elected Metro Mayor for Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset. I wanted to let Voice readers know what I've been doing to serve them, and of course, to seek feedback on how together we can make the West of England even better over the coming months and years. We all know how amazing our part of the world is and I'm working to make sure everyone else does too - not just nationally but also globally. One of my first decisions was to invest £1 million in our talented creative freelancers who’ve really suffered as a result of the pandemic but who have sadly been excluded from government support. They help make our region the special and unique place it is. I’ve met artists, musicians, designers and many others who can now keep the show on the road and our region on the map.

I promised a Jobs and Skills Summit with people both in and out of work, employers, training providers and trade unions. I’ve delivered on this and I’m really excited by the possibilities for new green jobs. I've been working hard to get more cash into the region. We've got an early win: securing a big increase from the government in transport funding – at least £500 million. We now need local councils and our

wonderful communities to do their bit. The necessary change won't come overnight and won’t be easy, but this significant investment should help beat the traffic queues and reduce pollution and help us hit our ambitious 2030 local environmental targets to help save the planet. The best thing about being Metro Mayor for 100 days has been the kindness and enthusiasm of the wonderful people right across the West of England. Please keep stopping me in the street to say hello and tell me your hopes and ideas (and I don't mind the odd grumble!) Please keep emailing and writing to me too. I won’t always get everything right, but I promise to continue working hard for you. Ours is the best region in the UK - the area where I have grown up and am so proud to call home. I’m determined it gets even better, not just for some, but for all of us. Dan Norris, Metro Mayor of the West of England

Grants for green local projects More than £1,600 was raised for local community groups, following the success of Bedminster's Secret Gardens event in July. The money is available for local community groups to apply for in the form of small grants. Groups can apply for up to £200, they must be based in the Greater Bedminster area and the money must be spent on gardening or environmental related projects. The closing date for applications is September 30 2021. For more information and an application form, please email laura_murgatroyd@hotmail. com. The organisers would like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part and supported Bedminster's Secret Gardens.

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South Bristol Voice September 2021  

South Bristol Voice September 2021  


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