This independent website, founded in January 2012, aims to bring you a comprehensive round up of stories from the police, local councils and community groups in Stoke Gifford.

Corbyn in Stoke Gifford to rally the FaBS troops

Posted on Tuesday 20th November 2018 at 9:00 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Jeremy Corbyn, Mhairi Threlfall and Dawn Butler on stage at the St Michael's Centre, with enthusiastic supporters in the background.

Around 250 members of the Labour Party packed into the St Michael’s Centre in Stoke Gifford on Thursday 11th October to hear a motivational speech by leader Jeremy Corbyn, in support of Mhairi Threlfall, the party’s new candidate for the Filton and Bradley Stoke (FaBS) seat.

The members-only event was organised as part of a day-long visit to Bristol by Mr Corbyn in connection with Black History Month, during which he visited the Alone with Empire exhibition at City Hall and met civil rights campaigner Paul Stephenson (known for his role in the Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963).

Also addressing the Stoke Gifford meeting was Labour’s shadow minister for women and equalities Dawn Butler, who earlier in the day had joined Mr Corbyn in announcing plans to set up a new educational trust to promote the teaching of slavery and the struggle for emancipation.

Labour supporters in FaBS were buoyed by the performance of their previous parliamentary candidate Naomi Rylatt, who, in the 2017 general election, recorded a 15 percentage point increase in the party’s share of the vote and reduced current MP Jack Lopresti’s majority to just over 4,000. This was despite Mr Lopresti’s share of the vote increasing by three percentage points to almost 50 percent. The constituency now ranks fourth in Labour’s list of target seats in the south west, which likely explains the reason for Mr Corbyn’s visit.

Speaking after the meeting, Ms Threlfall said:

“It was fantastic to welcome Jeremy to Stoke Gifford. Before speaking to members, I discussed the key issues facing our local area with him – namely policing, education and transport.”

“Crime levels hit a high in Bradley Stoke in June. Cuts have meant we have lost a significant number of police in our area – so we discussed a commitment to community policing and the vital work they do.”

More: Ms Threlfall will henceforth focus exclusively on FaBS »

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Local historian remembered through naming of new street

Posted on Sunday 18th November 2018 at 5:26 pm by Laura Mortimore

Sharon Ubank.

A local resident who passed away earlier this year is to be remembered by having a new street named after her. Sharon Ubank Close will be a new road in Little Stoke and will serve as a reminder of the work that Sharon did for the local community.

Many residents of Stoke Gifford will remember the Stokes Standard, a series of booklets about the local history, in and around the area, produced by local historian Sharon Ubank in the early 1990s, capturing the oral history of the area from older residents.  The Standard not only covered historical matters, but articles about the local flora and fauna, helping residents to understand more about the local trees, plants and insects, and of course the obligatory ghost, Hugo who, in the 1920s rode his phantom horse along Worral’s lane.

The Stokes Standard.

Sharon also celebrated the area’s history in her books ‘A Ring of Rooks, stories from Little Stoke Farm’ and ‘Landscapes of the Past’. She arrived in Stoke Gifford in 1983 from Fishponds and was an enthusiastic conservationist. Local resident and fellow historian, Adrian Kerton, spoke of her ability to discuss local history with a passion and fervour rarely seen:

“Sharon once delivered a fascinating talk on the Saxon Path running from Bradley Stoke into Stoke Gifford. What was amazing was how Sharon was able to captivate her audience without any slides or illustrations, her power of description and enthusiasm were all that was required.”

Sharon is sadly no longer with us, having passed away at the age of 57 in July, but her memory will be retained as South Gloucestershire Council, with the agreement of her family, will be naming a new road in Little Stoke, off Collins Avenue, as Sharon Ubank Close. The idea originated from Adrian, who has been consulted on suitable new street names in the past.

More: Book planned by Sharon to be published posthumously »

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Public meeting called to discuss planned two-year roadworks on Gipsy Patch Lane

Posted on Saturday 17th November 2018 at 7:10 pm by SH (Editor)

Photomontage of the proposed replacement railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane, looking westwards

Stoke Gifford Parish Council has called a public meeting to discuss the impact of planned major roadworks on Gipsy Patch Lane which are expected to require the road to be fully or partially closed for around 21 months.

The works, which centre around the railway bridge near the Station Road junction, are associated with the Cribbs Patchway MetroBus Extension (CPME) scheme, which will provide a direct express bus link between Bristol Parkway Station and The Mall bus station via the forthcoming new developments on the Filton Airfield site.

Works planned on Gipsy Patch Lane include the demolition of the existing railway bridge, the construction of a new railway bridge to provide a widened carriageway, footways and cycle lanes and works to lower the highway beneath. Works to widen Gipsy Patch Lane between the junction with Titan Road and the junction with Bush Avenue are also planned.

The closure of the road is expected to have a significant impact on traffic flows on roads through Stoke Gifford and Bradley Stoke as motorists seek alternative routes. It is anticipated that a shuttle bus will be provided to mitigate the impact on non-motorised users.

According to the latest information released by South Gloucestershire Council, the road closures will commence in July 2019 and last until March 2021. A full closure of the road at the site of the railway bridge will be needed for 344 days between January and November 2020.

The public meeting has been called unilaterally by the parish council with a view to forming a stakeholder liaison group, as required by a condition on the CPME planning permission. The aim of the liaison group will be “to exchange relevant information, to respond to local comments and to maintain good community relations”.

More: Details of the public meeting on Monday 19th November 2018 »

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Celebrations mark 200th junior parkrun in Little Stoke Park

Posted on Thursday 15th November 2018 at 10:31 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of participants gathered at the start of the 200th junior parkrun event.

Anyone walking their dog or taking an early morning stroll through Little Stoke Park shortly after 9am on Sunday 7th October may have been surprised to see scores of children dressed as cartoon characters running enthusiastically around the perimeter of the park. It’s not exactly the usual time of day to host a birthday party, but this wasn’t a child’s party, rather, it was a special celebration to mark Little Stoke Junior Parkrun’s 200th event.

Although the venue’s main weekly 5km parkrun event folded in 2016 after the parish council withdrew permission for free use of the park (amid widespread criticism from the running community both locally and nationally), a 2km junior parkrun continues to be staged at 9am every Sunday, attracting an average of 60 youngsters in the 4 to 14 year-old age range.

Photo of a cake produced to mark the 200th junior parkrun event.

Children taking part in the milestone event were given the option of completing it in fancy dress and were treated to a specially prepared 200th birthday cake baked by one of the volunteer organisers.

Junior parkrun is open to all and taking part is very straightforward: having signed up for free on the parkrun website and printed their personal barcode, runners turn up at Little Stoke Park shortly before 9am on Sunday, listen to the run briefing, take part in a short, fun warm-up routine, run a lap and a bit of the park, then have their barcode and finish token scanned so that the results can be processed and published later.

There are those who come to achieve a new personal best or a new milestone (and have a free wristband awarded for running the equivalent of a half, full or ultra-marathon). Then there are those who love coming for social reasons – new friendships are formed and kids run together, play in the park and spend more time with one another outside of the Sunday run.

One participant, Ruby, aged 11, said: “I like going to junior parkrun because it’s fun and it keeps you fit and healthy.” So far, she has taken part in 45 junior and 11 standard parkruns and volunteered on eight occasions.

More: Parkrun is inclusive – no matter what your background or abilities »

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Railway upgrade work around Bristol Parkway Station.
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