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Stoke Gifford Toy Library proving a big hit

Posted on Tuesday 18th December 2018 at 10:33 pm by SH (Editor)

 Photo of the Toy Library decorated with a Children in Need theme. Photo of the Toy Library decorated with a Halloween theme.

The Stoke Gifford Toy Library has been open since the beginning of September 2018 and has so far proven to be a roaring success. The phone box, located opposite The Green on North Road in Stoke Gifford, is proving very popular with the local community as there has been a high turnover of items and sometimes too much stuff to fit inside!

Although it is hard to say how many people have been using the Toy Library, many people have been contacting the 2nd Stoke Gifford Rainbows to ask about the project, wanting to donate items or just commenting on what a nice idea it is. The ‘Stoke Gifford Toy Library’ Facebook page has 197 followers, and their Facebook ‘reach’ has peaked at 3,152 which is very impressive. Currently, the library contains plenty of toddler and pre-school toys, but it doesn’t have many for older children. The Rainbows are now looking for donations of board games, puzzles and other things that older children would be interested in.

Alix, leader of the 2nd Stoke Gifford Rainbows, has been really pleased with the response from the public, saying:

“The box is very well looked after by the public – initial fears that we may be vandalised haven’t come to pass so far. The majority of toys don’t get returned (which isn’t a problem, as we have plenty), however those that do are fine to be borrowed again; we’ve not had anything returned which has had to be thrown away.”

Since the Toy Library has been open, the Rainbows and Brownies have been decorating it to different themes. As you walk by, you may have noticed colourful butterflies, spooky Halloween decorations and bright red poppies. The phone box is currently decorated with an array of colourful spots which were put up to represent Children in Need on Friday 16th November. The Rainbows and Brownies are planning new themes of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and ‘Christmas’ throughout December and then ‘Chinese New Year’ in January.

More: Groups starting to think about their next projects »

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Hundreds remember the fallen at Stoke Gifford ceremony

Posted on Tuesday 18th December 2018 at 10:09 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the wreath layers at the Stoke Gifford Remembrance ceremony.

Sunday 11th November saw hundreds of people attend the Remembrance Day commemorations at the cenotaph on The Green in Stoke Gifford. The turnout is thought to have been one of the largest ever, with police estimating a crowd of between 500 and 600 people.

The service was started by local ministers and included the traditional Act of Remembrance which involved the Exhortation, the Last Post, two minutes silence, Reveille and the reading of the moving Kohima Epitaph taken from the Kohima 2nd Division Memorial.

After the service, a number of wreaths were laid at the cenotaph by members of local youth groups including; Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, Rainbows, Brownies and Guides. Flag bearers Leah and Claudia and wreath layers Sienna, Imogen and Ruth represented the Rainbows and Brownies of Stoke Gifford at the service. Alix, leader of the Rainbows said:

“I’m so proud of the girls for representing Rainbows and Girlguiding at the Remembrance service. Leah was an excellent flag bearer, and Sienna and Imogen laid our wreath really well. All the girls painted clay poppies which are now on the memorial – so even if they weren’t able to be there on the day, our Rainbows remembered the fallen.”

For Andrew Phelps, Scout leader, it was an emotional and poignant ceremony as he led his groups to the cenotaph to pay their respects. He said:

“The Remembrance Day parade in Stoke Gifford was a great success and a fitting tribute to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. The 1st Stoke Gifford Scout Group, comprising of two Beaver colonies, two Cub packs and two Scout troops, paraded at The Green in Stoke Gifford after marching with other uniformed groups from the village. The OSR flag was carried by Oliver Dron and the wreath ceremony party included our very own Alison Emsley, in her Scout uniform, laying the wreath for the ladies of Stoke Gifford.”

“The Old School Rooms Scout troop has been researching the fallen on the memorial as part of their Poppy Badge. I’m sure, like me, they were going through the names of each and every one of the brave men from Stoke Gifford who gave their lives so that we could have a better today.”

More: Schoolchildren place wooden Remembrance crosses at the war memorial »

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“Fantastic” fireworks at St Michael’s School

Posted on Tuesday 18th December 2018 at 9:41 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a crowd of people watching the fireworks display.

This year’s fireworks display at St Michael’s School took place on Saturday 10th November. Starburst Fireworks put on a show that thoroughly impressed the 1,300 people who attended and DJ Jay Dormer, from ‘Make it a Success’ mobile disco, entertained the crowd with great music.

Although the number of people who attended was lower than the previous year, most likely due to the weather, the event still raised an impressive £2,000. This money is going to be used towards replacing some old playground equipment that is no longer safe for the children to play on. The school’s Parent, Teacher and Friends Association (PTFA) are hoping that this will be done in the new year, especially if they receive any additional funding from the Aviva Community Fund.

The PTFA has received some fantastic feedback from the event, including:

  • “All we can say is AWESOME and THANK YOU to all those involved with making the event such a brilliant spectacular.”
  • “Tonight’s firework display was brilliant, best yet!”
  • “Great evening as always, the fireworks, music and organisation were 10/10.”
  • “We have been to Disney World and seen their fireworks show and nothing has ever come close to that. However, I think they might have some stiff competition now from St Michael’s in Stoke Gifford!”

More: Event organisers thank volunteers and sponsors »

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Emotive displays mark Armistice anniversary

Posted on Saturday 8th December 2018 at 7:37 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Tommy silhouettes on the walls of two adjacent cottages.

November has been a very special and emotive time for people across the whole country as the signing of the Armistice treaty 100 years ago has been remembered. In Stoke Gifford, this important piece of our history has been marked with a number of different poppy displays going up on and around The Green in the centre of the village.

Tommy silhouettes

Andrew St Quinton is a local carpenter who lives in one of the cottages facing The Green. His mother, who lives next door, has some beautiful fairies in her front garden and she asked Andrew if he would be able to make her something to go in the garden for Remembrance Day. Using the Tommy silhouette for inspiration, Andrew used freehand to draw an outline and then carved the figure. Although it looks like it is made of cast iron, like the original Tommy silhouettes, Andrew actually used his carpentry skills to make it out of wood. When Andrew’s wife saw the silhouette, she wanted one for their house as well and so the project began.

When the silhouette was put in the garden it blended into the garden too much so Andrew decided to put them up on the walls so that they would stand out against the white background. He then decided to try different shapes, including a figure kneeling down and a cross. Andrew said:

“It has been really good to mark the 100 years with a special display, especially as I have many friends and family who have served in the armed forces – this is my tribute to them. They were quite easy to make – I completed them all over the course of a long weekend. And now that we have them, it can become a tradition that we put them up every year for Remembrance Day”.

More: Giant poppies on lampposts and yarn bombers’ knitted poppies »

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