Local historian remembered through naming of new street

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.

Sharon’s brother, Andy Stafford, said:

“2018 has been a dreadful year for our family. On 8th July we lost Sharon to cancer. Losing my sister at such a young age has left a massive void in our lives. Her children Dave and Elliott, her husband Phil, her step children Caroline, Jenny and Chris, myself and my mum cannot believe she’s no longer with us. But, on the day of Sharon’s funeral, Dave received a text asking whether the family would be happy if South Gloucestershire Council was to name a new street after her in Little Stoke.”

“Naming a road after Sharon is amazing. Her work in the community, including saving a Saxon-aged gulley from developers some twenty years ago is just one of many things she has achieved. She has written books about the area and she had planned to publish a book she had written about a Saxon Path used by pilgrims which runs through Little Stoke. We will posthumously publish the book, called Saxonpath, soon.”

“We are so proud of what Sharon had achieved and cannot believe that a cul-de-sac will be named after her, allowing her name to live on in the place where she loved to live.”

More information about the Stokes Standard and the Saxon Path can be found on Adrian Kerton’s ‘History of Stoke Gifford‘ website.

If you would like a street named after someone, please contact your local parish council.

Living Landscapes plaques about the Saxon Path.

Photo: Living Landmarks plaques on the Saxon Path.

This article originally appeared in the October 2018 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal news magazine (on page 23). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, 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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