Farewell to parish clerk Steve Shield

Posted on Saturday 11th January 2020 at 8:12 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Cllr Keith Cranney (right) bidding farewell to departing parish clerk Steve Shield.

After nearly 22 years working in local government within South Gloucestershire, with the last nine years as parish clerk and responsible financial officer for Stoke Gifford Parish Council, Steve Shield recently left his post to take up a new position as town clerk of Sherborne in Dorset.

During his time in post, Steve was instrumental in moving the parish council forward, maintaining strong professional working relationships within the council, as well as connecting with many residents, hall hirers, park users, and local organisations in Stoke Gifford.

Steve was successful in obtaining a significant amount of external funding which has contributed towards building improvements, improved sports provision, improved infrastructure and an investment into new street furniture across the wider parish.

Current parish council chair Cllr Keith Cranney commented:

“Our best wishes go to Steve and his family from everyone associated with the parish council and I personally thank him for his outstanding contribution to the parish over many years.”

Photo: Cllr Keith Cranney (right) bids farewell to Steve Shield.

This article originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 14). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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End of year treats for Little Stoke Beavers

Posted on Thursday 9th January 2020 at 10:02 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Beaver Scouts ready to board the Santa Express.

On Sunday 8th December, ten excitable Beavers from the 1st Little Stoke Scout Group met at Bitton Station, as part of a district organised event to meet Santa on the Santa Express. As the Beavers boarded the train, for many a first experience of riding a steam train, they were thinking carefully about all the things they were thankful for and what they would like to ask Santa for. Once seated on the train, the train pulled out from the station with a puff of smoke and the journey began. Santa visited each carriage speaking with the Beavers and handing them gifts. The children then got to enjoy tasty star cookies or mince pies.

As the train returned to the station, the Beavers from across the district set off on the next part of their adventure, a short walk along the cycle path to a local church hall, where they enjoyed playing games, before they settled down to enjoy the Christmas story.

This term both the Cub and Beaver sections have been busy making the most of their amazing outdoor area. Both sections have been focusing on the importance of thinking about animals at this time of year and have been making their own bird feeders to hang either at home or in the grounds of the Scout hut.

The Cubs have celebrated a fantastic end of the year with a Christmas-themed Flip Out Party. Flip Out is a giant inflatable adventure zone, with neon and UV lighting. All the Cubs and leaders had an amazing time, jumping, climbing, bouncing and exploring. Team spirit and support was demonstrated by all, as some of the areas are pretty high and challenging. The evening was finished off with hot dogs and pizzas. Martina and the leaders would like to express their thanks to all the adults who supported in the planning and running of this event.

Looking ahead to 2020, the Scouts are busy planning their next camping adventure, while May sees the Avon Jamboree.

If you would like any more information on getting involved with 1st Little Stoke Scout Group, please contact Group Scout Leader Tony Edmonds on 07957 880503 or email tonyedmonds108@yahoo.com

Photo: Beavers at Bitton Railway Station, where they boarded the Santa Express.

This article originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 24). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Replacement railway bridge takes shape as road closures loom

Posted on Sunday 5th January 2020 at 8:05 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the replacement railway bridge under construction.

Barely visible to passing traffic, the giant concrete structure that will soon replace the narrow Victorian railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane is slowly but surely taking shape within the adjacent site compound of Network Rail’s contractor Alun Griffiths (see photo, above).

Assuming all goes to plan, the completed 4,500 tonne replacement bridge will be manoeuvred into position during a nine-day closure of the railway line currently scheduled to commence on 11th April.

Ahead of this, a planned eight-month full closure of Gipsy Patch Lane, at the railway bridge, is due to commence in March. The precise date is still to be revealed, but online traffic planning tool One Network suggests it will be 5th March 2020.

Piling work to create foundations that will support the new bridge at its four corners began on 4th November 2019. It appears to be running a little behind the originally announced schedule, but the project team insist that the overall scheme remains “on time”.Photo of a giant bored piling machine working on the south-west corner foundations.

At the time of writing in mid-December, the initial sheet piling was nearing completion on all four corner sites and bored piling had begun on the first (south-west) corner (see photo, right).

The first phase of overnight piling took place from 2nd to 5th December and weekend work, including piling, on 14th/15th December.

The piling work is expected to continue until the end of January, with construction of the new bridge continuing until the end of February.

No piling or construction work will take place between 24th December 2019 and 1st January 2020 inclusive.

As we went to press, it was announced that the junction of Station Road and Gipsy Patch Lane will be closed to all vehicles for approximately two weeks from Monday 6th January. Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to access Station Road via Gipsy Patch Lane during the closure. A signed diversion route for vehicles to reach Station Road via Little Stoke Lane and Clay Lane will be in operation.

More: Temporary traffic signals to be trialled at Braydon Avenue »

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Running for MIND: Ben’s year-long challenge

Posted on Tuesday 31st December 2019 at 11:36 am by SH (Editor)

Photo of Ben Johnson (left) with fellow ‘3k a day’ challenge participants Aaron and Jack.

A New Year’s Eve challenge, made under the influence of a few celebratory drinks with friends, turned into a life-changing fitness quest for one SGS employee.

South Gloucestershire and Stroud (SGS) College Students’ Union engagement officer Ben Johnson and two of his friends made a pact back on New Year’s Eve 2018 to run 3k every day throughout 2019 to raise money for the mental health charity MIND.

The challenge has been a difficult one for Ben to persevere with: “Before starting this challenge, I could run for about 20 minutes before getting tired. I’ve always played football so was physically fit, though I really had to adapt to continuous running, which was difficult. I was a little chubby around the edges and definitely didn’t have a stable and healthy diet, enjoying the occasional pint and over indulging in luxury treats.”

However, not to be beaten by each other, the three friends have persisted with the challenge and on Monday 16th December, we met with Ben as he completed day 350. Ben said: “I try to alternate my route by location and distance to keep it interesting. In the mornings or evenings, I often run around the Clifton area where I live and at lunchtimes I’ll run around Filton where I work. The good runs are at weekends when I may escape to the hills or out in the countryside. Although running downhill has caused me a lot of stress to my shins.”

With the end of the challenge now only two weeks away, the friends have raised a staggering £2,358 for MIND and look set to reach their target of £2,500 by the end of the year.

Ben added: “We have run with terrible hangovers in Alcudia and Rome, sometimes in 40 degree heat. The lads, Jack and Aaron, have even had to run during the Glastonbury Festival and also on a skiing holiday!”

When asked about the motivation behind this mammoth challenge, Ben said: “Every year, one in four of us will experience a mental health problem. MIND believes that no one should have to face a mental health problem alone. Neither do we. That’s why we have decided to do something both unique and challenging to raise money for a great cause that is close to our hearts.”

“MIND and mental health is a big factor in my life and running everyday has really helped on days where I’ve felt blue. We hope we can give something back to such an amazing cause.”

You can follow the final stages of their challenge on Facebook (@3KadayforMind) and Instagram (@runningformind), and donate online at www.justgiving.com/Aaron-Hearn

Photo: Ben Johnson (left) with fellow ‘3k a day’ challenge participants Aaron and Jack.

This article originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal magazine (on page 25). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH (except August), to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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