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Bradley Stoke in Bloom prize winners announced

Posted on Thursday 18th September 2014 at 8:59 pm by Sara Messenger

Maureen Hopkins (left) receives the 2014 Bradley Stoke in Bloom 'Best Front Garden' award from Sara Messenger and Cllr John Ashe (Mayor of Bradley Stoke).

An update from Sara Messenger of the Bradley Stoke in Bloom group.

Our annual Best Front Garden competition was judged at the end of July and it gives us very great pleasure to announce the winners! First place has again been awarded to Maureen Hopkins, who impressed the judges with the quantity and quality of plants and the character of her front garden. We could see that gardening is a labour of love for Maureen and her personal warmth and charm is reflected in her garden. With 92½ points, second place went to Alisa & Richard Aquilina, the judges were impressed by their flourishing pots; and with 89 points third place was awarded to Margaret Howdle with her colourful hanging baskets.

We had only planned a 1st prize, but were so impressed by the gardens we saw that we decided to also award a 2nd and 3rd place this year. 1st prize is a trophy engraved with the winner’s name, a meal for two voucher donated by the Harvester Restaurant and a £25 garden voucher donated by Almondsbury Garden Centre. For both 2nd & 3rd, the prize is an engraved dibber; 2nd place will also receive a £10 garden voucher donated by Almondsbury Garden Centre.

Thank you to these companies, to Timpson’s for the large discount given on the trophy engraving and to Mayor John Ashe for handing out the prizes.

Our Best Planted Pot competition had an unforeseen hitch. We had asked everyone to bring their pots to the carnival for judging, but with no parking allowed on site it became impractical to carry them there. So that the engraved trophies don’t go to waste, it has been suggested that we re-run this as a Winter Planted Pot competition. Watch this space!

More: Help us tidy up The Common East on Saturday (20th Sep)! »

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Shutters stay down at Phones 4u store as firm enters administration

Posted on Monday 15th September 2014 at 9:17 pm by SH (Editor)

The Phones 4u store at the Willow Brook Centre in Bradley Stoke, Bristol, pictured on 15th September 2014 after it had been announced that the mobile phone retailer had been put into administration.

The shutters stayed down at the Phones 4u store in Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre today (Monday 15th September) after it was announced that the mobile phone retailer had been put into administration.

The picture was the same at more than 550 other Phones 4u stores across the country, leaving a total of 5,595 employees (including those at concessions within Currys and PC World stores) with an uncertain future.

The store closures follow a decision by mobile network EE to stop selling phones through the Phones 4u chain, following similar moves by Vodafone, O2 and 3.

Accountancy firm PwC, confirmed this afternoon as administrator for the Phones 4u business, issued a statement saying:

“This is a very sad day for the business and the many people working there. In light of our impending appointment the directors understandably took the decision to close all the shops today and sent many staff home.”

“Our initial focus will be to quickly engage with parties who may be interested in acquiring all or part of the business, and to better understand the financial position and options for the company. The stores will remain closed while we have these conversations.”

“We will also be talking to network operators and suppliers, and trying to access funds to pay for the costs of the business, including wages.”

“These conversations will determine whether we can re-open stores and trade, and also if and when we can pay the arrears of wages to employees. Our hope is that we will be able to pay all the outstanding wages arrears.”

More: "A sad situation," says Willow Brook manager »

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“Annoying” noise traced to solar farm construction site on Trench Lane

Posted on Saturday 13th September 2014 at 10:06 pm by SH (Editor)

Entrance to the site of an under-construction solar farm at Grange Farm, Trench Lane, Frampton Cotterell, Bristol.

An “annoying beeping noise” heard by hundreds of Bradley Stoke residents since the beginning of September is almost certainly coming from a site on Trench Lane where a massive solar farm is being constructed, The Journal can reveal.

The irritating noise has been commented on by more than a hundred readers on The Journal’s Facebook page since 6th September (see post #1, post #2), who have variously described it as: “loud and annoying”, “like aliens (or a spaceship)”, “a strong beeping”, “like drilling through marble with a blunt pneumatic drill”, “like a movie sonar ping” or “like the Apple Facetime ringing noise”.

Investigations by The Journal’s editor (yesterday) and Journal reader Gary Lewis (today) have both traced the noise to Grange Farm on Trench Lane (between West Country Water Park and St Mary’s Old Boys RFC), where a 19MW solar farm is being constructed on a nine-field 37ha (91 acre) site.

According to a planning application approved by South Gloucestershire Council in January, the facility will comprise up to 95,000 solar panels mounted on metal frameworks.

The noise, which can be heard through the working day Monday to Friday and also on Saturday mornings, is believed to be coming from machines that are being used to hammer thousands of metal stakes into the ground, to a depth of between 1.2m and 1.5m.

Readers have reported hearing the noise in Bowsland Way, Campion Drive, Cooks Close. Dewfalls Drive, Grange Close, Perrys Lea, Westfield Way and near the Willow Brook Centre.

More: Firm says pile driving will continue for "at least another week" »

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Brook Way consultation “a costly waste of time,” says disgruntled neighbour

Posted on Thursday 11th September 2014 at 8:59 pm by SH (Editor)

Hard court at The Brook Way Activity Centre in Bradley Stoke.

Residents of properties neighbouring Bradley Stoke Town Council’s Brook Way Activity Centre have voiced concerns that a working group set up to examine ideas gathered in a public consultation on the future of the site is giving too much weight to responses that suggested the construction of a new building.

The working group was set up in April, following publication of the consultation results, which showed that 59 per cent of respondents wanted to see improved car parking at the site, with just 20 per cent suggesting a “new building” of some sort.

Holding its first (private) meeting in April, the working group reported back to the Youth Committee in June, saying it “had agreed that whatever happens on the site, parking consideration must be a priority”. Councillors then directed that a meeting/series of meetings should be arranged to give residents who had suggested a new building on the site the opportunity to express their views in person.

Town Clerk Sharon Petela later explained:

“Emails were sent to the 56 people who responded to the public consultation suggesting a new building on the site, asking if they would be willing to meet with the working group to discuss their ideas in more detail. Only 12 responses were received. The 12 people who responded were then invited to a [private] meeting at Brook Way Activity Centre on Thursday 14th August.”

Residents of properties adjoining the Brook Way site were also invited to attend the meeting.

The Journal has learned that just two organisations, the 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group and Incredible Kids, sent representatives to the meeting, which was also attended by five residents from The Common.

More: New Scout building and cinema/media centre discussed »

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Tour of Britain to pass along Winterbourne Road tomorrow (10/09/14)

Posted on Tuesday 9th September 2014 at 8:07 pm by SH (Editor)

Friends Life Tour of Britain: Stage 2 rolls out of Knowsley. [Credit: The Tour on Flickr; link:]

South Gloucestershire is gearing up to welcome some of world’s top cyclists as they journey through the district tomorrow (Wednesday 10th September) as part of the Tour of Britain race.

Stage 4 of the race stretches from Worcester to Bristol. The riders are expected to enter South Gloucestershire shortly after 2pm as they cycle through Charfield, Cromhall, Bagstone, Rangeworthy, Iron Acton, Frampton Cotterell, Winterbourne, Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Filton.

The riders will come down Beacon Lane from Winterbourne, passing under the motorway bridge and arriving at ‘Rabbit Roundabout’ at around 2.51pm. They will then travel along Winterbourne Road and Gipsy Patch Lane before turning south down the Gloucester Road (A38) towards Filton. The stage finishes on The Downs in Bristol, where the riders expected to arrive at around 3.20pm, after climbing up bridge Valley Road from the Portway.

Timings are approximate and could vary by plus or minus 20 minutes or so. For live updates, visit the Stage 4 Live Coverage webpage or the follow the Tour of Britain Twitter feed.

Rolling road closures controlled by the tour’s organisers will be in place throughout the event to minimise disruption and to keep spectators safe as they try to catch a glimpse of Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins and sprint rider Mark Cavendish.

Each section of road is likely to be closed for around 20 minutes and First Group has warned that bus services 18, 73, 81, 82 and 319 are likely to be delayed as the race passes through the Stoke Gifford area.

The 2014 Friends Life Tour of Britain started in Liverpool on Sunday 7th September and ends in London on Sunday 14th September.

More information and related links:

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