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Dancers picked THREE girls from a dance school in Alveston have been picked to perform with the English Youth Ballet. PAGE 5

£14 million for schools revamp TWO secondary schools whose dire condition was revealed in a BBC documentary will receive £14 million for improvements. PAGE 2

Art showcase Martin Abrahams with his daughter Jess after she completed a parkrun while undergoing chemotherapy. She died aged 6 after fighting leukaemia for four years.

Running in memory of Jess A FATHER who lost his youngest daughter to leukaemia is taking on his first ever marathon to help the charity which helped his family through their “nightmare”.

Martin Abrahams, from Thornbury, will run in the London Marathon in memory of his daughter Jess, who died from leukaemia when she was just six

years old. He will be raising money for Charlton Farm hospice near Bristol, which is run by the Continued on page 3

WORK by more than 70 artists from Thornbury and the surrounding area will feature in the Severn Vale Arts Trail. PAGE 7

Rugby Club through to cup final THORNBURY RFC are through to the 2019 Combination Cup Final following a passionate and gutsy semi-final triumph under floodlights at Cleve. PAGE 30

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April, 2019


£14 million upgrades for Castle and Marlwood TWO secondary schools which had the dire condition of their buildings revealed in a BBC documentary will receive £14 million for improvements. The money for Castle in Thornbury and Marlwood in Alveston is part of £78 million capital investment earmarked for 20 schools over the next four years in the latest South Gloucestershire Council budget. Castle School Education Trust runs both secondaries and chief executive Will Roberts said he was “delighted” at the news, adding: “The condition of our school buildings has become an increasing problem over the years, with an urgent need for investment to ensure the sustainability of both schools for the local community into the future.” He said the funding followed “two years of work behind the scenes” and said plans for the work would be finalised over the next few months.

“We anticipate that some of the most urgent works will be able to start this summer, with the whole project phased over three years,” said Mr Roberts. Exactly how and where the money will be spent is still to be decided. The original plan at Castle was to ‘remodel’ facilities to offer more pupil places and enable the sixth form to be moved from Gloucester Road to the main school site. But a report presented to the council in March acknowledged that if land was used on the main school site for a sixth form, the school might not have enough space to expand years 7-11, as demand for places rises. At Marlwood there is a surplus of places and the report said the site needed to be rationalised to ensure the school is sustainable. At the same time, a brand new free special school is to be built at the Marlwood site, which could share some

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CSET chief executive Will Roberts (left) with council leader Toby Savage resources and facilities with the existing secondary school. Both schools have buildings in a poor state and a backlog of urgent repairs. Marlwood also has some “very specific challenges presented by a building which has suffered from a lack of sufficient investment over many years,” the report said. Another feasibility study will now be commissioned by the council to come up with a ‘masterplan’ for both schools by July. A spokesperson for the Castle School Friends association said: “While we welcome this investment in our local schools, this lump sum for building projects doesn't address the cuts to staff, including those who previously provided pastoral care to the children, and won't help provide fundamental equipment such as textbooks, paper and pencils.” A spokesperson for the

Friends of Marlwood School said: “FOMS is very happy that South Glos has decided to invest in the school and make the buildings so they are fit for purpose for the future, however this is after years of neglect.” Council leader Toby Savage said: “Castle School and Marlwood are pillars of the community in the Thornbury area and this funding will give them a much-needed boost. We have worked hard to ensure that this investment into schools, the largest ever made by this council, benefits as many children as possible.” Primary schools are also set receive investment, with £190,000 going to Crossways Infants and Juniors to replace their water systems, £50,000 for a new roof at Oldbury-on-Severn Primary School and £80,000 for Olveston Primary for rewiring the ‘old school’ building and replacing heating.

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April, 2019



n NEWS From page 1 charity Children’s Hospice South West. Martin, who is 41 and a selfemployed business analyst, said: “When my wife Mel and I lost Jessica to leukemia a number of charities had helped us, but one stepped in and guided us through our nightmare first week – CHSW. “I just don’t know what we would have done without them. At a time when our world was crumbling, they knew just how to help. “We had never been to their Charlton Farm hospice before but they took us all in, fed us, helped us through all the steps of arranging Jess’ funeral, gave our other daughter Zoe sibling support, offered us kind ears and lots of cake. They are still helping us now with bereavement days.” Children’s Hospice South West supports families who are caring for children with lifelimiting illnesses. It has three hospice sites, Charlton Farm in in Bristol, Little Bridge House in Barnstaple and Little Harbour in St Austell. Services to families are free and paid for almost entirely through voluntary contributions. Martin, who was born in Yate and went to Chipping Sodbury

School, has set up a JustGiving online fundraising page so supporters can make donations to the charity in memory of Jess. It can be found at on the JustGiving site. Writing on the page, he said the charity had supported his family through “the worst time of our lives” when Jess died in January 2017, having fought leukaemia for four years. Martin is hoping to raise at least £4,000, and has already reached just over £3,000 in online pledges. He also takes a treadmill – which he refers to as his ‘dreadmill’ – to shopping centres in Bristol and South Gloucestershire to raise awareness, as well as funds. In the past two months he has raised more than £1,400 on visits to Cabot Circus shopping centre in Bristol, the Willowbrook Centre in Bradley Stoke and Asda at Patchway. His next visit was due to be to Yate Shopping Centre on March 23, supported by his wife Melissa and eldest daughter Zoe. Martin says running has become essential to help him come to terms with Jess’s death. He said: “I run as it has Photo: a part of my therapy. I become Huwnever John run a marathon but have now is the right time, as I want

Martin Abrahams is touring shopping centres with his treadmill to give something back and help those still fighting for their loved ones, still giving quality time whenever they can – running for precious lives.” CHSW community fundraiser Frances Kenneally said: “Martin has set himself a huge challenge in running a marathon, but he is determined to meet his target

and spread the word about the vital work we do at the same time. “We wish him every success at the London Marathon and will be there on the day to cheer him on!” To support the family go to fundraising/CHSW-4JRA.

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Jess fought leukaemia for four years

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April, 2019


New petition against homes A CAMPAIGN group is calling on people to sign a new petition against plans for a potential development at Buckover. The petition, lodged by Trapp’d (Thornbury Residents Against Poorly Planned Development) on the South Gloucestershire Council website, also asks the council to re-draw the greenbelt around the town. A spokesperson said: “We have really had enough of large scale housing developments in and around Thornbury, the most damaging of which would be the proposed 3,000 houses at Buckover. “This petition is timed to allow us to get as many signatures as possible ahead of the Examination in Public of the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP), which we understand is scheduled for May of this year. The JSP proposes Buckover as a Strategic Development Site as well as a “maximum of 500 houses” in Thornbury.” Trapp’d argues that it needs to convince JSP inspectors that people feel strongly that there should be a maximum number of homes and the best way to do that is by gathering as many signatures as possible. It has 470 so far. The spokesperson said the Buckover plan would turn Thornbury into “a dormitory/commuter town for Bristol, resulting in unsustainable levels of population, congestion, pollution and Co2 emissions”. Trapp’d is also concerned about the impact on school places, doctors and dentists’ surgeries and parking. You can find the petition at on the South Gloucestershire Council website.

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE: Thornbury Voice is independent. We cannot take responsibility for content or accuracy of adverts, and it is advertisers’ responsibility to conform to all relevant legislation. We cannot vouch for any services offered. Opinions are not necessarily those of the editor. Thornbury Voice is distributed each month to local residents. If for some reason you do not get a copy, please get in touch or collect one from local pick-up points. Feedback is welcomed, call Richard On 01454 800 120 or

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 Thornbury Voice, contact the publisher using the details above. We aspire to follow the Code of Conduct of the NUJ (National Union of Journalists), which holds journalists to a high standard of behaviour. Further details of the complaints process can be found on the Voice website here, or can be obtained by contacting the Publisher.

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April, 2019




Girls are heading for the big stage THREE pupils of a South Gloucestershire dance school have been picked to perform in a company of the nation’s most talented youngsters. The girls, who train with Sharon Phillips’ School of Dancing in Alveston, have been selected to take part in the English Youth Ballet’s summer production of Swan Lake at Cardiff’s New Theatre. Laura Evans, 13, and her sister, Sophie, 11, from Olveston, and Katy Partridge, 10, from Bradley Stoke, had to audition to win a place among 100 children who will dance alongside professionals. The company stages full-length classical ballets in regional theatres, offering opportunities to young dancers outside London. They rehearse for six hours a day for two weeks in the summer before staging the production. Laura said: “It’ll be an amazing opportunity, especially because I’ll be learning more about ballet.” Her sister Sophie said: “I am most looking forward to learning to be better at my ballet and wearing the costumes!” Katy said: “I’m very excited about the opportunity to perform on the big stage, and to learn from the older, experienced dancers. I’m very nervous, but looking forward to meeting new friends as well.” Sharon Phillips teaches the girls ballet, tap and contemporary dance at her dance school, which holds lessons in Alveston and Patchway. She said: “It’s just a lovely opportunity for them to be part of a massive cast and from my understanding, there were quite a few hundred people that auditioned.” English Youth Ballet lets parents watch the auditions, which Melinda Evans, mum to Laura and Sophie, and Katy’s mum Hannah, described as nerve-wracking. But having already had experience of performances with the dance school, the girls were confident under pressure. Melinda said: “The girls are excited and really looking forward to it. They are really

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Talented dancers (left to right) Laura Evans, Katy Partridge and Sophie Evans proud of themselves and feel that it’s a real achievement.” Hannah said Katy’s love of dancing overrode any last minute nerves. She said: “Katy has been dancing with Sharon since she was two and a half years old. She’s sporty but dancing is absolutely her passion, and she wants to be a dancer when she grows up. “This is the first big audition she’s had and

we didn’t expect her to get in. I was saying to her ‘what a lovely experience, just go and enjoy it’. So when she got in, we were chuffed for her.” English Youth Ballet wants young dancers to get a taste of what it’s like being part of a professional ballet company – from the audition, to learning the choreography, to performing.

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April, 2019

Care is rated good at Thornbury home A CARE home in Thornbury has received a ‘good’ rating in all areas from the care watchdog. Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission visited the Grace Care Centre in Whitebridge Gardens at the end of January, their first visit since its registration just over a year ago. Their report, which has just been published, looked at whether the home is safe, effective, caring responsive and well-led. The home can accommodate and care for up to 51 people, but 23 were living there at the time of the inspection. It is run by the Orders of St John Care Trust, which hailed the result as an “exceptional achievement”. The CQC report said: “There were enough staff to safely provide care and support. Checks were carried out on staff before they started work to assess their suitability to support people in a

care setting. “Everyone we spoke with agreed that staff were caring and kind.” The report included comments from residents. One said: “Staff make time to interact, even the non-caring staff such as the handyman and reception staff. I really like the whole organisation’s approach to care” Another told the CQC: “It’s different to being in my own home but I like living here, because they look after you like family.” A relative of a resident told inspectors: “The home offers a good level of care to mum and all of the people here are lovely.” Inspectors noted that care was ‘person-centred’, with referrals made to other professionals where needed. In some cases, support had been changed to more accurately reflect people’s needs.

Staff at the Grace Care Centre in Thornbury Efforts were made to get to know residents before they arrived, and activity coordinators worked hard to plan meaningful activities based on that knowledge. Inspectors spoke to five families, eight residents and 11 individual employees during their visit. They observed how people were spending their time and how they interacted with staff in the home.

The centre’s home manager Peter Moore said: “We are delighted with the result of our CQC inspection. Every member of the team has worked so hard to achieve this and it is fantastic to see their passion and dedication being acknowledged in this report. Grace Care Centre is a wonderful place to work and to live and I am very proud of the whole team for making this so.”

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April, 2019




Art trail showcases talent THE work of more than 70 artists from Thornbury and the surrounding area will feature in an artistic showcase. Shops, galleries, pubs, museums, libraries, churches and private homes are among the venues where people will be able to see works as part of the Severn Vale Art Trail. Forming part of this year’s Thornbury Arts Festival, it’s an opportunity for people to see the work of new and more established artists from the area and talk to the artists themselves. The trail takes visitors in and around Thornbury and nearby towns and villages, to see individual artists’ work and group exhibitions. The work on display ranges from watercolours and oil paintings, to photographs, enamel and glass

work, jewellery, basket weaving, pottery and wood carving. The trail is open from Friday May 2 to Sunday May 12 and most venues are set to open from 10am until 4pm, with the art on show for sale. A taster of the work on the trail will be displayed at Papilio at Heritage on Thornbury High Street, from Friday April 26 to Sunday April 28. Brochures of the trail are available at Thornbury Town Hall and other outlets and you can also see a virtual gallery and download the brochure online at the Thornbury Arts Festival website, at You can also get more information from Eryl Daniels of Thornbury Arts Festival on 01454 419688 or email eryl.

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April, 2019



Gardening days spruce up schools DOZENS of parents and friends of pupils at Castle and Marlwood schools turned out to help spruce up the grounds on their inaugural community gardening days. At Castle, volunteers from Thornbury in Bloom worked with the school’s friends association to transform the area in front of the main reception by weeding, pruning, mulching and litter picking for many hours. Castle School Friends are now aiming high by entering a competition for a Royal Horticultural Society community award. A CSF spokesperson said: “Special thanks are due to Sheila Forsythe from Thornbury in Bloom, Tony Sansum from the Thornbury Garden Shop, Matt from Ironman Scrap who cleared scrap metal for us and will donate to CSF from any sales, as well as all the loyal and trusty volunteers.” Anyone who wants to get involved should message the group through its Facebook page or email cas-enquiries.tcs@cset. with the subject line CSF. The Friends of Marlwood School secured the loan of a digger for their gardening day, driven by a former pupil who works for the company ADD Plant. Andrew Tregenza, who heads up the gardening team, said: “We have a long-term plan to grass over some of the borders to help us improve the maintenance of the site. We very much appreciated the support of Charlie from ADD Plant. He was able to dig up the roses and

Volunteers spent hours gardening at Castle School shrubs in a few hours, when it would have taken us days with our spades!” The parents were joined by members of #WeAreMarlwood, a Facebook page for alumni to help the school. A rose border was dug up, with roses replanted alongside other donated plants. Students cleared and weeded borders, despite high winds from Storm Gareth. FOMS secretary Saffia Bullock said: “These gardening mornings are so satisfying. It’s great to see the impact we can make and it lifts both students and teachers to see the site looking tidier. We might not be able to repair buildings or replace windows, but we can improve their day to day environment and help

Volunteers at Marlwood the Marlwood community feel appreciated. This is what FOMS is all about.” The next event for FOMS is

Marlwood’s Got Talent on April 26, while CSF will hold another gardening day on April 6.

Police stationed at school A POLICE officer has been given a base at Castle School to give the force a “regular, meaningful presence” there. The Thornbury secondary school has been hit by two arson attacks and vandalism outside school hours over the past four months. Avon and Somerset police confirmed that the school had offered its local beat manager a space to help “build positive relationships” with pupils. A spokesperson said: “We’re committed to maintaining positive relationships between our neighbourhood teams and local schools. One way we’re doing this is by making sure schools have a named contact within the neighbourhood team. “Castle School in Thornbury has given their local beat manager PC Natalie Jones accommodation to enable her to have a regular, meaningful presence at the school. “She has already been speaking to pupils in assemblies about affecting young people and the town."

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Your local hockey club, Thornbury Hockey Club is running Back to Hockey sessions each week. Fun, social and free sessions for beginners and returning players

When: Every Thursday Time: 7-8pm Where: The Castle School Astro Pitch, BS35 1HT Come down to enjoy fitness, skills, game play, fun and friendships. For more information: email: Website: Facebook: ThornburyHockeyClub




n NEWS Rise in charges ‘slipped through’ RISES of up to 20 per cent in charges for a variety of South Gloucestershire Council services have been “slipped through”, opposition councillors claim. Larger than usual hikes in fees for renting DVDs from the library, compost bins, brake tests and planning application fees have been approved by the council’s cabinet. Council policy is to raise its discretionary service fees and charges by five per cent each year but a series of far higher increases have been approved this year. The timing of the decision, after the final council meeting before elections in May, has prompted criticism from Liberal Democrat councillors, who also pointed out that green waste charges were still in place despite a promise in 2015 to phase them out. A spokesman for the council said it keeps its fees and charges under “regular review”.

April, 2019

Tractor fans ready for action VINTAGE tractor fans are gearing up for the start of the spring season of tractor runs. Enthusiasts who own older and historic models are set to take part in road runs, ploughing and mowing contests. The Berkeley Jessie May Charity Tractor Run returns on Sunday April 14. It starts at the Coach House in Ham at around 10am, travels past Michaelwood to North Nibley, Tortworth and Tytherington, on to Eastwood Park Garden where drivers stop for lunch, then on to Oldbury and back to Ham. Two weeks later on April 28, the Sodbury Vale Annual Road Run takes place, starting at Berkeley Hunt Kennels. The half way stop is Eastwood Garden Centre, again at lunchtime. Enthusiasts have also been putting their machines to use after being given permission to practise their ploughing skills on

A vintage McCormick tractor in action a farmer’s filed at Awkley, near Tockington. The McCormick, Massey Ferguson and Fordson

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April, 2019




Pre-school’s dedicated staff praised AN INSPECTOR has praised the “passionate manager and dedicated staff” of a preschool near Thornbury. Ofsted visited Tytherington Pre-school in January and its report rates the setting as ‘good’ overall. The report praised the staff for creating a welcoming and stimulating environment, where children are happy and learn through a wide range of activities. The inspection process involves examining five areas: leadership and management, teaching and learning, children’s development, behaviour and welfare, and outcomes for children. The setting is then given an overall grading of either outstanding, good, requires improvement or inadequate. Ofsted said that since its last inspection in 2016, the preschool had given staff training to raise standards in teaching. Children with special educational needs and disabilities receive the right support, and the manager accurately analyses the progress of each child. Inspector Jan Harvey said children were encouraged to be independent, getting ready for PE by undressing and dressing themselves, and serving their own snacks and drinks. It highlighted how effectively children are settled in when they first start, with staff supporting their emotional and physical well-being. The inspector said the parents she met were happy, adding: “Parents particularly welcome the detailed daily feedback they exchange with staff and the photographs in the children's learning records, which helps them to see children's enjoyment in the activities provided.” To further improve, the pre-school was asked to involve parents in finding ways of building on children’s learning at home, and to continue to build stronger relationships with other settings. Pre-school committee chair Victoria

Youngsters at Tytherington Pre-School Barker echoed the inspector’s praise for the staff. She said: “As chairman and parent of a child at Tytherington Pre-School, I would like to thank our passionate manager and dedicated staff team who make Tytherington Pre-School the warm, nurturing and caring environment that we all wish our children to experience, and the recent Ofsted report is really credit to their hard-work and

enthusiasm. “We are pleased the Ofsted inspector noticed how children’s emotional and physical well-being is well supported, and that children make good progress in learning and development; one of our core beliefs is that this best takes place when children are safe, happy and able to play and develop their independence.”

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April, 2019


Zoe takes to streets again A THORNBURY teenager has addressed young demonstrators at a climate change protest she helped to organise. The Voice reported last month that 14-year-old Castle School pupil Zoe Bonnett right had organised the first Youth Strike for Climate in Bristol. Four weeks later around 1,000 students left schools and colleges to join in a second demonstration. This time Zoe co-led the demonstration with Katie Hodgetts, 23, a masters degree student. Joined by a samba band, they marched to College Green. Some of their chanting was inspired by protestors in South America to acknowledge that they are part of a global movement for change. Zoe took to the podium and addressed anyone who might be complacent about climate change, saying: “Change is coming whether you like it or not.” The Bristol strike took place along with similar events across the UK and in over 80 countries around the world.

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Pupils’ action on plastic WHILE older children are protesting over climate change, primary school pupils in Thornbury are taking their own action to help the environment. Year 4 pupils at Crossways School have been making ecobricks as part of learning about plastic and its impact on our environment. Ecobricks are plastic bottles which are packed with plastic waste that cannot be recycled and might otherwise end up in landfill or even oceans. The idea of using the filled bottles for building programmes started in Guatemala in 2014. Ecobricks which are used to build furniture and even walls of people’s homes need to weigh 220g and be stuffed so densely that they can take someone’s weight without changing shape. At Crossways, the bricks will be used to build something in the school grounds. When former Thornbury mayor Helen Harrison came in to meet the children they talked to her about their ecobricks and read a poem to her about recycling. She was even given a brick to take home.



April, 2019



Search for future leaders Award for Danielle A TEENAGER from Thornbury has won a national Lions Young Ambassador award for her service in the community. Danielle Hawkins, 19, right won through rounds at local and then district level to win the Shipshape Award. Danielle went to the Thornbury Youth Club KRUNCH and now works with the club, enabling it to fulfil its aims of helping young people in the community. Up against 10 other candidates In the final round of the competition, Danielle gave a presentation about her involvement in the community, leadership qualities, and how she had given her £500 bursary received as a district winner to KRUNCH. Her award is shipshape in more than just name – Danielle has won a week on a tall ship to develop her leadership skills. A Thornbury Lions spokesperson said: “We would like to congratulate Danielle for accepting the challenge and doing so well.”

Young leaders on a previous Rotary course THORNBURY Rotary Club is offering the town’s potential leaders of the future the chance to hone their skills in a challenging outdoor course. Two free places are being offered to 16 to 18 year olds from the town or the surrounding area on the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) course, which promises to give them the opportunity to challenge themselves through practical and theoretical tasks, as part of a team. Rotary pays the £520 cost of each place, and participants need to be reasonably fit and prepared to face challenges. The entire group of 40 will come from across the greater Bristol and Gloucestershire area. Guy Rawlinson, from Thornbury Rotary, said: “It is not an outdoor adventure programme, but activities include a ropes course, canoeing, climbing, and orienteering. These challenges, backed by theory, are used to give participants the opportunity to put their learning into practice in a safe and supportive environment.” Rosie Spooner went on the course in 2008, when she was 17, and a young leader with a local cadet group.

She described it as an “incredible experience”, adding: “I learnt all about the different skills/styles of leadership and gained a lot of confidence. “RYLA led to further opportunities, including travelling to India for an International RYLA, and volunteering in an Indian street school. Since I was a participant on the course I was lucky enough to volunteer on RYLA, which then led onto my becoming a tutor on this course.” “I love seeing the impact this course has on participants. Experienced tutors have supported many individuals over the years to overcome their biggest fears and achieve huge goals. It is amazing to see the positive effect RYLA has on participants afterwards.” Thornbury Rotary President Derek Baker said: “We believe that those attending acquire skills which will help them in their future careers.” The course takes place at the Dean Field Study Centre at Parkend near Lydney on the edge of the Forest of Dean from July 23 to 28.


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April, 2019



FREE VALUATION DAY SATURDAY 13TH APRIL 2019 10:30am – 4pm Thornbury Castle, The Tudor Hall, BS35 1HH WE WANT: Jewellery, Watches, Gold, Fine Art & Antiques. Experts also on hand to value: Vintage Toys, Ceramics, Autographs, Clocks, Paintings, Furniture, Books, Ephemera, Coins and anything else you'd like appraised. Bring your items along for a FREE no-obligation valuation by one of our experts.

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April, 2019



Digging into the past for 40 years METAL detectorists who started their own society to uncover the area’s underground history are celebrating 40 years of discoveries. The Severnvale Historical Research and Detecting Society, known as SHRADS, aims to use the buried items members find to increase our understanding of historical events. The society has uncovered items from pre-history, such as flints, and many items from Roman and medieval times. Anything over 300 years old is logged on a national database. Several musket balls found indicate historic hunting, as well as conflicts that have occurred. It’s known that several Civil War skirmishes took place in the area, and when the finds are mapped, it shows where these events took place. Members of the group have also found items from far more recent history.

Chairman Nick Keeler said: “One of my more interesting finds was a silver christening bracelet, which I found near Charfield. Inside was inscribed the name of the recipient and, through a local appeal, I managed to track down the owner and reunite her with the bracelet. She had lost it some 40 years earlier, whilst playing in the field where I found it.” The society started out in 1979 on the Berkeley estate, with support from its farmers, but it now covers a larger area, with both farmers and landowners giving permission for members to search their land. It’s rare for a find to be of major historical importance or to be worth a lot of money, but if it is then the farmer and landowner get an equal share with the finder. The group can be seen out detecting most Sundays in nearby villages. Nick said: “Not only does

Members of the Severnvale Historical Research and Detecting Society out detecting in the countryside metal detecting add to the local history of the Severn Vale but it also gives members an opportunity to exercise, reduce stress, spend time in the countryside and engage in social events. The hobby also allows us to connect with people.” SHRADS also supports local

charities, raising over £2,800 for St Peter’s Hospice, as well as making donations to the Great Western Air Ambulance and the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Society (RABI). For more information go to online.

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April, 2019

Wearing a rarity on your wrist? A FABULOUS 17th century silver charger plate and a rare Omega wristwatch both created some intense bidding at Stroud Auction Room's March sale. Sharing the top spot on the list of highest selling lots, each went under the hammer for £4,000. The Charles II charger was hallmarked for London 1661, with later embossed decoration, possibly Georgian or Victorian, caused interest among silver dealers and collectors across the country, while the Omega Speedmaster Professional gentleman's chronograph wristwatch had a determined following from those who recognised an unusual timepiece. Saleroom manager and watch specialist Stuart Maule said that, of the many variations of Omega Speedmaster, only a few are rarities. "You have to know what you are looking for," he said. "This watch had been valued at £1,500-£2,000 by another auction house but

when it was brought in to us, we recognised its true worth. There is a lot of interest in wristwatches at the moment and I am always happy to take a look at a watch anyone is thinking of selling." Also doing well in the specialist watch section was an International Watch Co military pilot's wristwatch, with ministry broad arrow to the black dial and a green NATO style canvas strap (£1,600): any military watches are particularly sought after at present. Stroud Auctions is becoming synonymous with selling jewellery – thanks to the knowledge and expertise of jewellery specialist Alexandra Bowkett – and the March sale once again notched up some excellent results. Among them were a platinum ring set with a cushion cut natural untreated cornflower blue sapphire, surrounded by brilliant cut diamonds, which sold for £2,200. Georgian, Victorian and vintage pieces continue to sell well, with good costume and paste jewellery

This rare Omega Speedmaster Professionalwatch sold for £4,000 also holding its own, especially in original boxes or packaging. Perhaps the most surprising specialist section was textiles, where a pair of Georgian embroidered ladies shoes with cut steel buckles made £2,000, a Georgian quilted bodice sold for

This 358-year-old silver plate attracted interest from across the country. £1,900 and everything, from 1920s flapper dresses to more modern designer bags, was snapped up. The next sale at Stroud Auction Rooms is on April 3 and 4, when the specialist sections will include ceramics, glass. books, ephemera, stamps, pictures, tribal art, musical instruments and vinyl. Viewing will be on Tuesday, April 2 and on sale days. For more details see the advertisement below.

STROUD AUCTION ROOMS Entries now invited for our upcoming auction on May 8th & 9th

including guns, weapons, medals, militaria, sporting, taxidermy, toys, motoring & transport

Royal Air Force/ Royal Flying Corps WWI Distinguished Flying Cross medal group Sold for £12,200

Edwinson Green of Cheltenham and Gloucester 12 bore over and under shotgun. Sold for £4300

A collection of shotgun cartridge re-loading tools Sold for £1400

FREE valuations every Friday & Saturday at our saleroom, at your home by appointment or why not email us a photograph to We are regularly ranked no 1 in the country for the number of online bidders

Unit J, Bath Road Trading Estate, Stroud, GL5 3QF

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01453 873800



April, 2019


n WHAT'S ON IN OUR AREA March 27 n Alveston Local History Group, Alveston Methodist Church, 7.30pm. Christine Cole will talk on the subject William Blathwayt of Dyrham Park – Imperial Fixer and the American Colonies. Visitors welcome. £2.50 at the door. March 31 n National Garden Scheme garden opening at Rock House, Elberton, BS35 4AQ. 11am-4pm. Admission £3.50, children free. Two acre garden with pretty woodland vistas and many snowdrops and daffodils, some unusual. Spring flowers, cottage garden plants and roses. Old yew tree and pond. Limited wheelchair access. Plants for sale. April 2 n St Peter’s Hospice – Fun With Flowers: St Peters Hospice Severnside support group spring flower demonstration, Thornbury Methodist Church Hall at 2.30pm. Demonstrator Hilary Legg will show how to have fun with a bunch of supermarket flowers and how to make the best of them. Books, Bring and Buy Table, and Raffle. Entrance £5, includes cream tea. Tickets available from the Town Hall from March 4. April 6 n Big Spring Clean with Thornbury Litterbusters. Meet at Rock Street Car Park, near the car entrance, at 9.30am. Please come and help! April 9 n Eastwood Gardeners' Club. Labour Saving Plants, with Don Everitt. Cossham Hall, Thornbury, at 7pm. Visitors are welcome April 13

n Armstrong Arts Group presents an illustrated talk on women artists by art historian Lynne Gibson from 7.30pm. Tickets £8, including interval nibbles, on sale at Thornbury Town Hall or by calling 01454 418573. April 13 n Local children's author Sarah Baker will sign her books at WHSmith in Thornbury High Street from 10am-2pm. April 15 n Thornbury Methodist Church, High Street, open during Holy Week from Monday to Thursday from 11am to 1pm each day and extending a warm welcome to all. Minister Simon Edwards will lead a short time of prayer each day between 11.45am and noon. Warm welcome and reflective atmosphere, with displays of the life of the church within our community. April 25 n Avon Organic Group talk, Principles of Organic Gardening, with Chris Collins, head of horticulture, Garden Organic, 7pm, The Station, Silver Street, Bristol BS1 2AG. Cost: £5, including refreshments. All welcome. More details at www.groworganicbristol. org. May 1 n Thornbury and District Cancer Research UK committee coffee morning, Alveston Methodist Church Hall, 10.30am-noon. Homemade cakes, jams, chutneys, used books, jewellery and crafts for sale. Admission £1.50, including tea/coffee and biscuits. Please come along and support us in raising funds for this very

worthwhile charity. May 15-18 n Thornbury Methodist Players return with their production No Dinner for Sinners – A comedy by Edward Taylor. Thornbury Methodist Church Hall, 7.45pm each evening. Tickets £7, available by calling 01454 414749 or 01454 600503, on the door or from any member of the drama group from April onwards. All proceeds from the opening night performance to Cancer Research UK. May 11 Writing and Mindfulness Day Join us for an exploratory day using Mindfulness and images to stimulate and cultivate the writer in you. Venue: Frenchay Village Hall Saturday May 11th from 10.00 - 16.00 £45 per person (including a light lunch and refreshments) Numbers limited so to book a place please contact Rebecca at or call 07941 51174 May 19 n Armstrong Arts Group presents saxophonist Lydia Kenny, Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year 2018, afternoon concert at Cossham Hall. Call 01454 412272 for details. May 22 n Alveston Local History Group, Methodist Church, Greenhill, 7.30pm. Speaker Claire Connor, SS Great Britain and the trip to Melbourne. Visitors welcome, £2.50 at the door.

We would love to publicise your event Send details of your events and activities in the following format:

WHAT IT IS WHERE IT IS WHEN IT IS in no more than 40 words: email us at: contact@thornburyvoice.

REGULAR EVENTS Monday n Armstrong Hall Cossham Hall World Dance 7-10pm n Belly Dance classes Beginners 7.00pm, Improvers 8.00pm, Methodist Church Hall (upstairs) with Anna 07971234236 or term time only

n Yoga for beginners at Armstrong Hall, 6:30-8pm on Mondays. £6. All kit provided. Contact Moira 07703 536700

What's on at Thornbury Library

Opening times

Staffed Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm. Saturday, 9.30am to 12.30pm. Open access seven days a week between 8am and 7.30pm. Storytime and Rhymetime for babies & pre-schoolers (term time only): Storytime, Mondays 2pm-2.30pm. Rhymetime, Fridays 10.30am-11.00am. A great way to meet other local parents, new faces always welcome – and it’s free. No booking required, just turn up – we look forward to seeing you!

Easter Eggstravaganza: Free Holiday Craft Session for children. Drop in anytime between 11am and noon on April 8 for free family fun, aimed at primary school-aged children. Adult supervision required. Sight Loss – Information, Advice and Support: First Thursday of the month, 10.30am-12.30pm. Vision West of England offers information, advice and support to anyone living with sight loss. If you, or anyone you know would like more information on services for people with sight loss, then drop in any time between 10.30am and 12.30pm on Thursday April 4.

To advertise, contact Richard on 01454 800 120

Craft & Chat: First Thursday of the month 2pm-4pm. A chance for people who love crafting to get together and share inspiration. No charge and no booking required. Just turn up and bring your craft project with you. New faces welcome.

Carers Support Centre Drop In: First Wednesday of the month 9.30-11am, supporting unpaid carers and former carers who have been out of work for more than 12 months to move closer towards their employment and training goals. An advisor from Carers Support Centre will be here to give free advice

and support, drop in anytime between 9.30am and 11 am. Computer Support Volunteers: Drop-in without an appointment on Monday mornings 10amnoon to see Mike, our computer volunteer, who can help with quick enquiries. If you need more intensive support, book in to see our computer volunteer Chris on Thursday mornings at 9.30, 10.30 or 11.30am. Sessions with Chris must be booked in advance – enquire in person at Thornbury Library or email thornbury.



n WHAT’S ON IN OUR AREA Tuesday n 11.00 am - 1.30 pm Armstrong Hall - Excell Room Recycled Teenagers Lunch Club n Sunbeams toddler and parent group Thornbury Methodist church hall Every Tuesday 1.15pm to 2.45pm in term time Time and space to share themed activities with your children ( 0 to 4 years) Contact janet_mann@ or margaretcrocombe60@gmail. com n Thornbirds, Thornbury W.I. meet on the third Tuesday of every month, 7.30pm at the Methodist Church Hall, Thornbury. We are a friendly group offering a range of speakers over the year as well as well as a variety of social activities. Visitors are always welcome so why not come along and find out about our programme for 2019. n Ladies Shiatsu Massage Sports Rehabilitation Clinic in Iron Acton every Wednesday between 3-8 pm. Naturally restore your energy levels and improve your overall health and lifestyle. Contact Anna on 07487 511516 or email anna@ for more information and to book your treatment session. n Get Singing. A community choir for anyone who loves singing. All abilities welcome. See for more information. Turnberries, Thornbury. Tuesday 7.30 - 9.00pm (term time only). Wednesday n 2.00 pm Armstrong Hall Cossham Hall Tea Dance 01454 412060 n 2.00 pm. Armstrong Hall, Committee Room Lip Reading Classes


n Growing Ideas Garden Club meets at 7.30pm on the first Wednesday of the month from September to June (with a break at Christmas) in the Watkins Room in the Old Grammar School Rooms, Chipping Sodbury. Annual Subs are £15.00 and visitors pay £3. We are a friendly club and by no means all expert gardeners. We enjoy sharing what knowledge we do have and welcome visitors to any of our meetings. For more information come to a meeting or phone Naomi Gathercole on 01454 314476. n Ladies Shiatsu Massage - Sports Rehabilitation Clinic in Iron Acton every Wednesday between 3-8 pm. Naturally restore your energy levels and improve your overall health and lifestyle. Contact Anna on 07487 511516 or email anna@ for more information and to book your treatment session. n Torn Paper Collage for Wellbeing: Turnberries Thornbury Wednesdays12.30-2.30pm. For more information or to reserve a place on these courses or other courses available throughout South Gloucestershire Please contact Jane Thomas, Community Learning Development Worker Tel: 07860 181352 Mob: 01454 864687 Email: jane.thomas2@southglos. n South Glos Aspies, a weekly pub social for adults on the autistic spectrum, meets from 7-11pm at the Malthouse, Thornbury High Street. Friends and family of those on the spectrum are also more than welcome. Board games, skittles, darts, informal conversation and outdoor activities, weather permitting. More information from robert@, george@ or at www.

April, 2019

Thursday n 8.00 pm. Armstrong Hall Ceroc Dance n Avon Harmony are a Ladies A Cappella / barbershop chorus. We welcome visitors for a no obligation taster session. We rehearse at the dance studio, Fairfield High School, Allfoxton Road, Bristol BS7 9NL. Every Thursday evening 7.30pm 9.45pm. Tel: Mary 07954170532. n Stokes Singers, a mixed voice community choir meet every Thursday during term time at Coniston Community Centre, Patchway BS34 5LP from 7.30 to 9.30pm. New members are welcome to try their first 2 rehearsals free of charge. For more information go to www. or phone Membership Secretary Liz on 01454 614148 n The Arts Society Severn Valley meets third Thursday of the month, 7pm for 7.30pm start at Bradley Stoke Community School, Fiddlers Lane. Lectures plus special interest days, gallery, garden and museum visits, trips abroad. More details online at £6 charge for visitors – contact to ‘try before you buy’. n Scrapbooking for Wellbeing. Turnberries in Thornbury. Thursdays 12.30pm-2.30pm. Friday n 2.00 pm. Armstrong Hall Committee Room Canasta Club n Folk Companions meet 7.45pm9.15 pm, term time only, at The Chantry, Thornbury. Call 01454 414952 or email iain.d.gray@ for more details. n1.30pm Zumba Gold at Thornbury Leisure Centre Saturday n Thornbury parkrun is a free, weekly, 5km run or walk, organised entirely by volunteers and taking place every Saturday at 9am on the Mundy Playing Fields. Register once, print your barcode and just turn up. See thornbury Sunday n Thornbury Ramblers walk. See for details, or ring 01454 413924 n The Alternative Sunday Lunch, Butchers Hook, High Street We provide a smorgasbord of food and ask others to bring in homemade/homegrown contributions to share out with everyone in an informal, open-table style Sunday lunch. Suggested donation of £6 per person with all profits to charity. Every Sunday 1pm.

Got News? Call Richard 0n 01454 800 120

Two coaches for Brexit protest

ORGANISERS of transport for protesters heading to the latest People’s Vote march ordered a second coach to cope with demand from people in Thornbury and Yate. Local People’s Vote campaigners said the first one to the event sold out in a few weeks. The Put it to the People march, calling for another referendum on the Brexit deal, was due to take place in London on March 23, with national organisers predicting that hundreds of thousands of people would take part. Supporters in Bristol and Bath hired a train to take protesters to the event. Jackie Quarrell from the group said: “Last October over 700,000 people marched for a People’s Vote on Brexit. Things have got a lot worse since then.” The People’s Vote campaigners recently had a visit from former Transport Secretary Lord Adonis, pictured, who gave a speech at Castle School. The Labour peer told audience members the current political situation was a crisis which threatened future generations. He also told the audience time spent in Westminster passing provisions for a no-deal Brexit was taking time and focus which could be far better spent on other critical issues. The peer called for a long extension of Article 50, which set the timetable for the UK to leave the EU by the end of March, and a second referendum with the option to remain in the EU.



April, 2019



Don't live with back pain

Guy Oldring is the Clinical Lead and Owner of The Thornbury Clinic. Guy has been working in private practice for over 10 years, along with leading sports clubs such as Bristol Rugby and Manchester United Soccer Schools.

Over the past 12 years I have seen so many people with back pain. Some are due to contact on a sports field and many are due to lifting something that little bit too heavy. However, the most common statement I hear is: “There was no initial cause, I have had it for years and just learnt to live with it.” When I hear this, my response is always: “Why?”

Most people, when you speak to them, believe that back pain is something that is common (which it is) and something you just live with (which you absolutely shouldn’t). The thing with back pain is that once you start to experience it and worry about it, then the symptoms tend to get worse. We also naturally stop moving when things are sore. Put these two issues together with no specialist advice and chronic back pain then appears. Whilst seeing a medical professional is always going to be beneficial, there are a few things you can do yourself. If you are suffering with severe back pain, pins and needles down the legs or shooting pain down the legs, I would always suggest a full assessment of your issue. However, for those with that annoying back pain that is always there and never seems to settle, these three things can really help:

is bad. Try to gently keep your back moving and continue with gentle exercise, like swimming or cross training. You may find it starts to get easier. However, if you do find your pain getting worse then I would always suggest booking an appointment with a medical professional. The best rehabilitation programme is a unique one designed specifically for you!

2. Stretch

OK, I know this is boring and everyone rolls their eyes at me when I say this. However, if you have very tight and sore hamstrings it will pull on where they originate, at the base of the pelvis. This in turn can rotate the pelvis and cause back pain. Similarly, tight quads and hip flexors can do the same on the front. Spending 1 minute, 3 times a day, stretching both your hamstrings (the back of your

thigh), glutes (your bum) and quads (the front of your thigh), can really help.

3. Foam roller and tennis ball

Using a foam roller, the upper back will mobilise through the spine and increase range of movement. This in turn reduces the pressure you put on your lower back and can decrease pain. Also, sitting on a tennis ball and loosening your glutes can also reduce muscle tension in the lower back and help to reduce pain. Whilst I completely understand that having back pain can be very debilitating and it is always tempting to just pretend it is OK, I always advise my patients that a short-term pain to improve the mobility and flexibility of your back is always worth the long-term gains.

1. Do not avoid movements

There is always a tendency to avoid certain movements when your back is sore. One of the most common movements is flexion (touching your toes). Whilst I am not suggesting we all start repeatedly bending forward, I am suggesting avoiding a movement

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April, 2019

A guide to pre-owned cars with Richard Cooke

Second hand Style Aston Martin Vantage: Room for your Beretta EXCITING but uncertain times over at Aston Martin (plus ca change). The company posted a loss of £68 million for 2018, whilst balancing preparation for the launch of the DBX, their entry into the crowded luxury SUV market. Add to this the relaunch of the evocative Lagonda brand, as an all-electric offering made in Wales, and it is clear that Aston needs to keep selling traditional sports cars to the wealthy to pay for all this development. The Vantage has been on sale for a year now, and I can’t think of another supercar more deserving of your hard earned cash/pension fund assets/ house equity. In fact, let’s get price out of the way now: the Vantage starts at £120,000 – but my test model had a staggering £38k of extras. I wouldn’t want to do without any of them, so the price of entry is nearer to £160k. After a year of depreciation you can take

maybe £35k off that price, so get saving. Part of what makes this car special is the covert introduction of so much technology. The engine is a bang-up-to-date 4.0 V8 from Mercedes AMG, producing 510bhp and yet returning around 25mpg in normal traffic. The limited slip differential is electronic, a first for Aston. The suspension and engine have three progressively different modes controlled from buttons on the steering wheel, ranging from relaxed (relatively speaking, it is still called ‘Sport’) to the barking, popping and fizzing ‘Track’ mode. And maybe as importantly, the Vantage looks brand new when compared to what has come before – wider, brawnier and simply more modern. Inside, the Vantage is really very roomy. Head, elbow and legroom are all excellent. Aston have commendably not bothered

to fit pointless rear seats, freeing up interior space whilst making the car shorter than a Porsche 911. It also looks, smells and feels opulent. The leather clearly came from cows, the carpets are indulgently deep, the switches bespoke. Special mention to the huge and tactile aluminium gear paddles and also the sun visors, which I’m convinced take inspiration from a pair of Gucci horsebit loafers I used to own. The boot is big enough for two suitcases, the tiny parcel shelf folds back to accommodate your diplomatic bag and there’s room under the armrest for a Beretta. What surprises, and in a good way, is the number of buttons. Instead of relying solely on a screen with endless sub-menus, Aston has put the key controls (and that includes gear selection) on the dashboard. The idea is that in ‘progressive’ driving you can quickly jab the button you want

without taking your eyes off the road. How old fashioned and yet eminently sensible – this simply must be safer than gawping at a touchscreen whilst on the move. And move this car does – with all that power and a weight of 1.5 tons it was always going to be quick. On Cheltenham back roads around HR Owen, I was never going to be able to test the top speed of 195mph, but 0-60 in 3.6 seconds felt about right. The engine is incredible, full of torque and able to pick up effortlessly in any gear. You will never need more speed on the road. The 8 speed ZF gearbox and the ride really won me over – the former is lightningquick when using the paddles, relaxing but still immediate when cruising around town. And in all three suspension settings the Vantage rides beautifully, with grip to spare from wide but surprisingly compliant tyres. In summary, this car is a triumph – it looks as cutting edge as any other road car on the market, makes fine use of the best components available and goes like a dream. On the used market you can pick up a 2006 example of the previous V8 Vantage for just £25k but I’ll be amazed if the current model ever falls to such levels of affordability. That’s because the Vantage feels like a collector’s car straight from the factory, and will hopefully help fund more of the good stuff Aston still have planned. Aston Martin Vantage: £115,000 for a 2018 model with 2k miles

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April, 2019





National cross-country win for Tockington Manor

Support for hunt

YOUNG runners from Tockington Manor School joined 55 other prep schools from across the country for the National Prep School Cross Country Championships at Malvern College. The school has taken part in the championships every year since its inception in 1989. All of the runners performed incredibly well on a gruelling hilly course. Tockington Manor Under-11 Boys’ team won the Small School Trophy for the third successive championships, while the Under-13 Boys’ right, also won their category, giving the school two national champion teams from the event. The other age group teams entered from the school also did well, with the Under-13 girls finishing third and the Under-11 girls sixth in their respective categories.

Dear Editor, I HAVE just read the article in the Voice regarding the petition from the Severn Vale Hunt Saboteurs calling for a ban of the Boxing Day Hunt meeting in Thornbury. I understand the subject has strong feelings on both sides of the debate and my letter is not in support of either side, it is only to keep this traditional spectacle for the very many people who obviously enjoy it, as can be seen by the numbers crowding Thornbury High Street. I take exception to the way the minority believe they can ruin the pleasure of so many people. This can be seen by the cheers, applause and smiles of the crowds that line the High Street. It seems that these days the minority can override the majority, presumably because they are the more vocal and this PC world doesn't want to rock the boat. Name and email address supplied.

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April, 2019


Your vote is vital – whoever you cast it for

Luke Hall MP writes for Thornbury Voice

ON Thursday May 2, just a month from now, residents across Thornbury, Alveston and the surrounding villages will have their opportunity to elect their representatives on South Gloucestershire Council. Your votes, and who you elect will determine who runs the council, as whichever party has the most councillors, forms the next council administration. In the UK we often take for granted this opportunity to elect our most local representatives, those with the power to effect, campaign and implement ultralocal changes. Voting in these elections is so important because sometimes it’s the local issues that can often frustrate us all most, but as busy people, we often find that the amount of people who vote is around half that of that of a

general election. Local elections are particularly important as your local councillors have a crucial and direct say over issues that directly affect our daily lives, such as schools, libraries, getting pot holes filled, leisure centres, transport, parks, healthcare and recycling. All of these services impact our immediate environment, and it is your local councillor that helps determine how funding for these resources are allocated. Your local councillor has the capacity to significantly improve the area that you live in, therefore it is vital that you turn out to cast your vote. South Gloucestershire has recently undergone councillor ‘boundary changes’, meaning that the upcoming elections are imperative in defining our sense of community, and a notable

opportunity to elect new names and fresh faces at a district level. South Gloucestershire is divided into community groupings known as wards and each ward is represented by one, two or three councillors. The former Thornbury North ward and part of the Thornbury South and Alveston wards now form the new Thornbury ward, which will be represented by three councillors following the elections. It is crucial for every resident’s voice to be heard. Your neighbours may be relying upon you to vote, so it’s important to make sure yours counts, whoever it may be for. If you have any further concerns or questions regarding the upcoming elections, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me at



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April, 2019



A marathon fundraiser for MS Inspirational runner David Elliott spoke to The Interchange about his multiple sclerosis and charitable fundraising efforts for this year’s London Marathon. YOU'LL hear plenty of inspirational stories as we approach the London Marathon in April, but there aren't many people who can inspire both new and experienced runners as David Elliott does. The 47-year-old only took up marathon running after he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001. He admits he didn't really exercise at all before he was diagnosed, and received help and advice from the West of England MS Therapy Centre in Bradley Stoke. David said: "I had quite severe pins and needles down my left arm. I had no idea it was MS. I was a typical man and ignored it, but my mum made me go to the doctor. My daughter was born two days before I was diagnosed – it wasn't a good time." For the first year he found having the condition debilitating, both mentally and physically, and all he wanted to do was sit down at home. However, all that changed on the tenth anniversary of being diagnosed.

Peter Elliott in action and, below, his London Marathon medals "In 2011 I celebrated having MS for 10 years by running the London Marathon for the first time. The main reason for running was to try and help newly-diagnosed people with MS realise that being diagnosed doesn't mean a life of incapacity. "I was 30, had a young family with two young girls. I worked all week, had Friday night curries and was relatively inactive." It was through the MS Trust and

wife Susan that David's new active lifestyle kicked in. She saw the trust undertook fundraising treks to Peru, which she really fancied. David booked it without her knowledge, they loved it and it led to trips to the Great Wall of China and a mammoth trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro in 2009 for David. "It was brilliant,” he said, “but the only way of training for the altitude was by running and getting your heart rate up to 180.” Somebody suggested he did a 10k run for MS sponsorship and his running career "snowballed".

David was soon donning his running shoes and venturing out. In 2009 he started off gently with the Bath half-marathon, as well as other distance races. "My previous treks to China and Kilimanjaro taught me a lot about sharing, and where I'm quite private about my feelings regarding MS, I feel that it is important to let others know, especially recently diagnosed MS people – I don't like the word sufferers – that life doesn't end as soon as you're given the news.” David believes that running and exercising has kept his MS largely at bay. "I've been relatively free of any symptoms since I ran my first London Marathon in 2011,” he said. "I don't want to get all holistic but, basically, get out there and do exercise. I honestly do believe that running has kept my symptoms at bay. "I feel a bit of a fraud, having MS but very few symptoms!" David has run eight London Marathons in a row, with the ninth in sight. His ultimate goal is to get the tenth under his belt. His best time in London was 3 hours 30 minutes in 2014. He said: "I've never been able to get near it since. I've accepted that now and just enjoy it, though it's hard, as I'm very competitive." David admits he gets very tired but says that could be his hectic life just as much as the MS. He has managed to move from injections of Capazone to Tecfidera tablets for his condition. "I could quite easily get into a depressive state, but getting out there in the fresh air really helps,” he said. "I would say to anybody, you can do it, any goal is achievable – a 5km walk, swimming 20 lengths, running a marathon or simply getting enough energy to get out of bed is achievable, as long as you have the self-belief and determination.”

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April, 2019

Recycling bags set to disappear RECYCLING bags are set to disappear from the streets, as they will no longer be supplied to South Gloucestershire residents. The council has decided that in future, it will only provide green boxes for storing and collecting recycling. Some residents already only use boxes for their recycling. The council says that people who have green and white bags can continue to use them until they wear out and it will use up its existing stocks of spares, but will not buy any more. It says the move will save £100,000 a year, reduce plastic waste and cut the area’s carbon emissions. The bags are imported from China, are not recyclable and usually only last a year to 18 months before they need to be replaced. The boxes are recyclable, last longer and are made in the UK. The council says the boxes are also safer and easier for collection crews to use because

they can be hooked onto the side of collection vehicles to be emptied. But more than a third of residents who replied to a 12week consultation which ended in January were opposed the abandoning bags. Many older or disabled people who responded said they did not think they would be able to take their recycling to the kerbside if their bags were replaced with boxes. The council says it provides an assisted collection service for people who need help. Paul Hughes, the council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “Moving to more environmentally sound boxes for recycling makes sense for the places we live, for the crews who collect our waste and potentially saves the council significant funds. “Our success in delivering on our Waste Strategy – driving down waste sent to landfill and driving up the amounts we can

divert to recycling – has always been a joint venture between the council and the community. I am sure that this will be just the latest and not the last time that we work together to keep South Gloucestershire clean and green.”

Anyone who needs a new recycling box or to apply for an assisted collection can do so via the council’s website, by calling 01454 868000 or visiting a one stop shop.


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April, 2019



History of the Saw Mill THORNBURY Saw Mill was a noisy, dangerous place to work – but also brought benefits to the town. In 1886 timber merchant Edmund Cullimore, of Yew Tree Farm, Newton, acquired a large area of land behind St John Street. By 1888 he already had a timber yard, saw mill, carpenter’s shop, stables and sheds on the site. The saw mill specialised in producing timber from English elm and larch, for coffins, pit props and boxes to hold tinplate metal sheets produced by the smelters at Avonmouth and South Wales. The long horse-drawn wagons that brought the timber were famous in the town. But the mill was dogged by fires. A Gazette article of September 1891 records a fire in a hayrick adjoining the mill, with a more serious fire following in October 1899, in a large shed containing valuable machinery. Although there was a tank containing 25,000 gallons of water on site, the fire was so close and burning so

fiercely that the men could not dip their buckets into it. Edmund and his employees had to rebuild much of the mill. In July 1937, another fire caused an explosion which threw a metal cylinder weighing up to 20 tons through the roof, 200ft into the air and into a garden adjoining the engine house. The accident rate at the saw mill was notorious, even for a time when industrial injuries were all part of the job. It was said that you could tell who worked there by counting their fingers. In May 1917 one worker, William Penduck, was crushed and killed by the drive on the lathe. Piles of timber, stacked to dry, provided tempting if rather dangerous dens for young children sneaking in to play, while the inky black tar pools also had a fascination for the young, who threw sticks and stones into them. The saw mill had an unexpected advantage for Thornbury. Waste wood was

Saw Mill owner Edmund Cullimore, in the bowler hat, with workers after a fire in 1899. burned to create electricity, using a gas powered engine, which provided more electricity than the mill needed. Neighbouring properties were given the opportunity of receiving electric power. It was later extended to the cinema, workhouse and Morton

Mill. We are not sure when the mill closed but, as local elm became less useful, it appears to have been run down and in 1958, properties on the site were sold to the building firm, Voiseys.

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April, 2019

Fascinating end to town's festival THE final night of the Thornbury Arts Festival promises to be one to remember as the golden anniversary year ends with a cabaret evening called Everything’s Coming Up Roses. Every song will have a floral connection, performed by soprano Liza Pulman and accompanied by Joseph Atkins on the piano. Liza is part of the cabaret trio Fascinating Aida and is well known for her powerful voice and witty banter. As part of the trio, she has received three Olivier Award nominations. She will perform a range of songs from Tiptoe through the Tulips, You Don’t bring Me Flowers Any More and Bette Midler’s The Rose to Noel Coward, some Flanders and Swann and

works from the repertoire of the appropriately-named Blossom Dearie. Her show comes from the Edinburgh Festival, where it was a huge success. Liza’s father was Jack Pulman, the famous screenwriter who adapted I Claudius for the small screen. Her mother was the actress Barbara Young, well known for playing the role of Nora Batty’s sister in The Last of the Summer Wine. Joseph Atkins, Liza’s accompanist and her musical director for another of her shows, is also a composer. He has recently worked with Opera North. Last year he had a successful run in New York’s Brits Off Broadway Festival, and appeared at the Durham Brass Festival.

The festival runs from Friday April 26 to Saturday May 4. Programme details, including the Eisteddfod and the Art Trail, can be found on

the arts festival website www., where it is also possible to buy tickets.

Young talent at Cossham

The sound of success

SAXOPHONIST and Gloucestershire Young Musician of the year 2018 Lydia Kenny is set to perform at Thornbury’s Cossham Hall. Organisers say Lydia, right, from Cam, has exceptional musicianship as well as an “easy charm and empathy with audience members”. The performance takes place on Sunday May 19. For more information, call 01454 412272. Before that, art historian Lynne Gibson will give a talk on women in art on April 13, with tickets available by calling the Armstrong Arts Group on 01454 418573 or at the Town Hall. Both events aim to raise money for the Armstrong Hall Redevelopment Fund.

OLVESTON Parish Players are celebrating a smash hit with their production of The Sound of Music. The show at the Olveston and Tockington Parish Hall sold out within three weeks of tickets going on sale in January – a record for Sarah Wiggins, as Maria, leads the seven the group – and received von Trapp children in song some rave reviews. The production was directed by Linda Evans, with Chloe AllsoppJones as musical director and Jill Harris as choreographer. It marked the 60th anniversary of The Sound of Music being performed on Broadway for the first time.

Methodist Players return THORNBURY Methodist Players are staging a charity first night as they return with a production in May. The players will perform No Dinner for Sinners – A comedy by Edward Taylor at Thornbury Methodist Church Hall from May 15-18, starting at 7.45pm each evening. The play centres on a London stockbroker whose girlfriend refuses to pretend to be his wife as he prepares to host a dinner for his firm’s international director, who strongly disapproves of unmarried couples living together. As he desperately seeks someone to stand in, a series of hilarious miscommunications follow. The players have chosen Cancer Research UK as the recipient for all proceeds from the Wednesday night performance. Tickets cost £7 and are available by calling 01454 414749 or 01454 600503, on the door or from any member of the drama group from April onwards.

Got News? Call Richard 0n 01454 800 120


April, 2019




Post office reopens

A VILLAGE post office which closed almost two years ago is set to reopen. The Alveston branch in Greenhill Parade closed in May 2017, with “operational reasons” cited as the reason.

The new post office was set to reopen on March 25 at the same location, with services provided at an open counter next to the till. There will be a new postmaster, providing the same range of services as previously.

Opening hours will be Monday to Saturday 7am – 9pm. Post Office area network change manager Jane Jenkins said: “We are delighted to be restoring a post office at Alveston with convenient opening hours.”

New appeal for Izzie POLICE have taken to TV to make a new appeal for information about a dog stolen from Thornbury. Thieves took seven-year-old black Labrador-Staffordshire Bull terrier cross Izzie from Eastbury Close at about 2.50pm on January 17. Izzie was off-lead, ran over to bushes and failed to return when called. Her owner found her collar and saw a rusty white van driving away. Her owners have offered a £1,000 reward for information leading to Izzie’s return and the appeal for information has now been shared on the BBC Crimewatch Roadshow programme. Izzie is black but has a distinctive white stripe on her chest. Police believe she may now be thinner and greyer than she is in the photo. Anyone who can help should call 101 and give the crime reference number 5219 011 89

Jewellery stolen JEWELLERY was stolen from a house in Hyde Avenue, Thornbury, after an intruder forced their way in through a window. The break-in happened on March 1 between 11am and 5pm. A lawnmower was also taken from the garden shed. Crime scene investigators examined the premises and police also carried out house-tohouse enquiries. Anyone with information should call 101 and quote the crime reference number 5219 045 774 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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April, 2019

Ultra Marathon challenge for TRC runners of three TRC runners joined the masses for the Grizzly – 19 miles of mayhem through the East Devon countryside. In blustery conditions, 2,000-plus runners set off from Seaton seafront with the usual mix of hills, cliffs and water crossings awaiting them. Joanne Plumbley was the first TRC runner to cross the line in 424th place overall and 59th woman, in a good time of 3 hours 31:56 mins. Kevin Cundy and Hugh McPherson were in lockstep throughout the race and finished with identical times of 4 hours 22:12 mins, in 1,023rd and 1,024th. The first 10k road race in the club’s annual championships started with the Minchinhampton 10k on March 10. Nick Williams carried his off-road form onto the tarmac to finish 2nd overall in 37:13 mins, with Hannah Kinloch Haken 4th woman and 37th overall in 45:58 mins. Saturday’s TRC parkrun

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results included 4 runners on the home course. Kevin Arnold ran 23:27 mins, followed by Louise Warren 25:54 mins, Colette Jackson 27:40 mins and Richard Jackson 27:53 mins. At Chipping Sodbury, Kevin Wood ran 22:29 mins, Christopher Pritchard 26:49 mins and Emma Pritchard 29:03 mins. Paul Saville ran Grangemoor

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in 20:03 mins and Pamela Macleod finished Severn Bridge in 37:15 mins. The next TRC beginners’ course starts on March 27. To come along and find out what the fuss is about, email beginners@ to sign up. Matt Johnstone

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Nancy Harding, Jim Williams and Sarah Andrews run the Green Boy Ultra Marathon

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THE 30-mile Green Boy Ultra Marathon is one of the latest challenges taken on by Thornbury Running Club athletes. The club’s Jim Williams, Nancy Harding and ex-member Sarah Andrews ran the anticlockwise horseshoe-shaped run from Keynsham to Ashton Court following the Community Forest Path on March 2. Jim, Nancy and Sarah completed the course in 6 hours 17 mins in 27th, 26th and 28th place, respectively, out of 54 runners. Nancy was returning from an injury, but her marathon running pedigree shone through, as she also won the ladies vets’ top prize. Rachel Murphy took on her first marathon since the sunbaked London Marathon last year when she flew out to take part in the Barcelona Marathon on March 10. She paced her effort well to finish 13,818th, in a time of 6 hours 1:36 mins. A smaller than usual team

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April, 2019




Thorns keep title challenge alive THORNBURY Town are maintaining their challenge at the top of the Hellenic League Division One West table with seven games left to play. A weekend away from league action to play a Supplementary Cup quarter-final against Fairford Town – which Thorns won 5-2 after extra time – left them 6 points behind top-of-thetable Easington Sports but with two games in hand. A stop/start couple of months has seen games postponed for various reasons unconnected with the weather and, in fact, Town went six Saturdays without a game. Midweek cup fixtures have at least helped to maintain fitness levels, although they made their exit from the Subsidiary Cup at the hands of Malmesbury Victoria and the Floodlit Cup at Ardley United. League fixtures have proved to be more profitable, with two wins and a draw from the three games played since the beginning of February. A local derby against Tytherington Rocks saw Town beat them for the fourth time this season, although the 2-0 result – courtesy of two second-half goals from leading scorer Craig Lancastle – was much closer than previous scorelines.

Action from Thornbury Town's clash with Easington Sports. Picture: Ed Barson Photography

Another local derby against Almondsbury on March 2 saw Town secure an emphatic 4-1 win in front of a crowd of over 100. The day had started well, with Assistant Manager Nathan Irwin being presented with the Hellenic League Team of the Month Award for December before the game. The team then celebrated the occasion by playing some of their best football of the season, with Matt

Davis grabbing a hat-trick and Asher Budd scoring the fourth. On March 9 Thorns made the trip to Banbury to play Easington Sports and a tight, wind-affected match ended 0-0 – the first time that either side had drawn a game this season. Both sides had chances and penalty appeals rejected. This first season at this level of football has been a learning curve for all at the club, but

the committee are keen to strengthen and move the whole club, from junior to senior level, forward. To this end they are holding a workshop at the clubroom at the Mundy Fields on March 25, from 7pm, for anyone looking to help develop the club, increase participation and increase links with the town. Malcolm Carr

Mark a champ at 50 A MARTIAL arts instructor has won two medals at his first competition in 26 years. Mark Anthony James, of Frontline Martial Arts school in Alveston, picked up a silver and a gold medal in the full and semi-contact continuous sparring contests respectively at the 11th Annual Chung Do Kwan British Tae Kwon Do Championship, which was held at the SBL sports centre in Oldland Common. Retired electrician Mark, who lives in Downend, has trained in WTF Olympic style Tae Kwon Do at the Alveston club for 30 years, under instructor Grand Master Simon Evans (7th Dan), and has been teaching for around 22 of those. He is a 4th dan master in the sport.

To advertise, contact Richard on 01454 800 120





April, 2019

Thorns battle through to cup final

Action from Thornbury's semi-final win wide. Thornbury returned to attacking in the Cleve ‘22’ and twice the forwards drove over from a lineout but the referee decided the ball-carrier was held up. At the third time of asking time the touch judge convinced the referee that Thorns’ Luke Panting had scored. Thorns led 8-5 at the break

and seven minutes into the second half Dan Hussey ran hard into space, drew the cover and passed to Alfie Richardson, who used pace and great determination to go around the last defender and in for a try. The conversion didn’t quite get there, but Thorns were now 13-5 up. After both Jake Wood and Harry Glew received yellow





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cards Cleve made their numeric advantage tell and went over for a try to cut the deficit to 13-10. Thorns just had to close out the game but when Cleve responded quickest to a knockon and charged up to the Thornbury line, a converted try put them 17-13 up. But in stoppage time lock Tom Constable, who had celebrated his 19th birthday the day before, acrobatically stole ball at a lineout and Jake Wood then created a half yard of space for Harry Glew to come through the first line of defence, show good feet and pace to ease past two further players and touch down for an outstanding try, to make the final score 18-17. Thornbury are now in only their second Combination Cup Final, and play Weston-superMare on April 25, probably at Dings Crusaders’ Shaftesbury Park. Dave Fox

Cleve RFC 17 – 18 Thornbury RFC THORNBURY are through to the 2019 Combination Cup Final following a passionate and gutsy semi-final triumph under floodlights at Cleve. Thorns were by far the better side on the night but were unable to make their superiority tell on the scoreboard and went behind in a tense final few minutes, only to score a great try in stoppage time. Cleve, in the bottom three of the league above Thornbury, looked to deploy their muscular game but Thornbury’s defence was tight and Cleve began to give away penalties, with Jake Wood kicking one in front of the posts for a well-deserved 3-0 lead. Cleve secured possession after the restart and, after the forwards had driven several times Thorns defence was too narrow and wing Brandon Hart scored an unconverted try out


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Profile for Thornbury Voice

Thornbury Voice April 2019  

Local newspaper packed with news, views and advertising for the residents and businesses of Thornbury and the surrounding villages. This mon...

Thornbury Voice April 2019  

Local newspaper packed with news, views and advertising for the residents and businesses of Thornbury and the surrounding villages. This mon...