Archive for July, 2013

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Youngsters watch as bulldozers move in to start work on new church and community centre

Posted on Wednesday 31st July 2013 at 1:28 pm by SH (Editor)

Children watch work getting under way at the Old Barns site in Stoke Gifford.

Youngsters from a Stoke Gifford pre-school and nursery took their buckets and spades to watch work begin on a new church and community centre.

The children, from St Michael’s Church Pre-school and Nursery, donned hard hats and hi-vis jackets and took their buckets and spades to see diggers at work on the site of the Old Barns in North Road, Stoke Gifford.

The derelict site is being transformed into a 600-seat auditorium, meeting rooms and other facilities, which will provide much needed conference space for schools, charities and local businesses as well as wedding receptions and other celebrations. It will also serve as a resource for the wider region, within easy access of the M4 and M5 motorways and next door to Bristol Parkway Station.

The contract has been won by Bristol-based building contractor Bray & Slaughter.

The new church and community centre is key to the church’s £5.5m Heart of the Community project, which also includes refurbishing the Old School Rooms adjacent to the Old Barns and renovating the 14th century church, next door to the pre-school and nursery. Ten percent of all money raised by the congregation will be used to fund similar projects overseas.

The congregation has already raised £2 million in one-off donations and pledges over the next five years towards the project. The church plans to raise the rest of the money from fundraising events, grants and the generosity of individual and corporate donors.

More: Church has a long history of serving the local community »

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Firefighters tackle blaze at Simmonds View takeaway and supermarket

Posted on Thursday 11th July 2013 at 8:49 pm by SH (Editor)

Fire at McColl's supermarket, Simmonds View, Stoke Gifford. [Photo: Andrew King]

More than 40 firefighters tackled a blaze at the Summer Palace Chinese takeaway in Stoke Gifford earlier today (Thursday 11th July).

The alarm was raised shortly after 11am, and Avon Fire & Rescue Service received more than 20 calls about the incident.

Some witnesses reported seeing flames reaching some 60 feet into the air.

Crews arrived at Simmonds View where they found a well-developed fire in the roof space of the takeaway, which lies within a terraced block.

There are no reports of anyone being injured as a result of the fire, which soon spread to the neighbouring McColl’s convenience store.

Both premises have been badly damaged.

The fire service reports that two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were deployed, while four jets and one high pressure hose reel were used to fight the fire.

Two aerial appliances were also at the scene, and thermal imaging cameras were used to identify any other areas which might require attention.

Adjacent properties were checked as a precaution.

The fire is believed to have started accidentally.

Photo: Flames leap from the roof of the McColl’s store [Photo credit: Andrew King]

More: Photo showing the aftermath of the blaze »

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Bristol Parkway multi-storey car park work to finally get under way

Posted on Wednesday 10th July 2013 at 11:03 am by SH (Editor)

Artist's impression of a proposed new multi-storey car park at Bristol Parkway.

First Great Western (FGW) has announced that construction of a new three-storey car park at Parkway Station will commence on Saturday 13th July and continue until March 2014.

The project, which will provide an additional 710 parking bays at the station, was originally due to be completed by March 2013. Work was scheduled to start last September, but, despite builders’ cabins being erected at the site, construction failed to commence. No explanation was given by FGW, but The Journal understands that “issues with the contractor” are to blame for the ten month delay.

FGW says the project will provide “much needed parking space” that is “essential if Bristol Parkway is to retain its strong connectivity with London”.

Speaking on BBC Radio Bristol earlier this week, a Network Rail spokesperson said passenger numbers in the Bristol area are expected to grow by 44% by 2019.

During construction, the main car park will be closed, with alternative parking available at the nearby Parkway North car park (10 minutes by foot). A shuttle bus will operate between the two sites every 15 minutes between 6.45am and 6.30pm.

Access to the existing west and decked car parks will be changed a number of times during the project and passengers are advised to allow more time for their journey to and from the station while the work takes place.

Local residents plagued by on-street parking in the vicinity of the station claim the new development will do little to alleviate the problem unless the station reduces its car parking charges (currently £6.90/day).

More: £13m scheme part of record investment in railways »

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