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Hamish is seeking his ‘forever home’ (and so are his chums!)

Posted on Thursday 19th October 2017 at 8:29 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Hamish.

This article comes from a group of friends working together to help our “next-door neighbours” – currently living under a hedge!

Many readers will be aware of the incident reported in the press last year, where four tiny, new-born kittens, were found in a council recycling collection bag. Thanks to the kindness of the South Glos collection team, the kittens were placed into care, at Rowe Veterinary Hospital

These fortunate little ones turned out to be the latest members of a rapidly growing colony of around twenty or so stray and feral cats, who were living rough under hedgerows, in our Bradley Stoke area.

Feral cats are the offspring of stray or abandoned pet cats and, as the result of pet owners’ failure to neuter their animals, it allows them to breed, uncontrolled. Unneutered female cats can become pregnant from the age of four months, while a single female can be responsible for 20,000 descendants within five years!

Within our group of female and male cats, the boys would viciously fight over fertile females, inflicting serious wounds on each other. Undernourished young females would become pregnant, at as early as three to four months, physically unable to produce healthy kittens and totally unprepared as to how to care for them. Many kittens would simply be abandoned, to die.

The colony had been of long-term concern to our neighbours. Most were generally upset by the nasty mess the cats made around their homes and gardens. Some had tried to help, by offering food, while others befriended individual cats, taking them into their homes, as pets. Meanwhile, the core colony continued to breed and multiply, at an alarming rate!

Our rescue-plan came together towards the end of 2016. With approval of near neighbours, and the invaluable support of Bristol and Wales Cat Rescue and Cats Protection Bristol, we ventured into our programme of regular night feeds and hopeful captures.

More: Five cats still living out in the open »

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Tanning salon on the cards for Willow Brook

Posted on Wednesday 18th October 2017 at 9:17 pm by SH (Editor)

Archive image of mall unit 8 at the Willow Brook Centre trading as a Santander agency in 2011.

A retail unit at Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre which has lain vacant for the past three years looks set to reopen soon as a tanning salon after planning consent was granted for a change of use.

Mall unit 8, between Ocean estate agents and Reflections hair salon, last traded as an agency of Santander bank, alongside mortgage and insurance specialists The Mortgage Market.

The recently granted planning application was made on behalf of The Feel Good Group, which operates the Tanning Shop brand, under whose banner the store is expected to operate.

A planning statement submitted with the application notes that the unit has been extensively marketed since the Santander agency closed, but no potential retail or Class A2 (financial services) operators have shown serious interest.

The statement adds: “The proposed tanning salon use will undoubtedly positively add to the diversity of uses on offer in the town centre and will ensure the long term vital and viable use of the premises.”

The Feel Good Group is an established operator of tanning salons, with shops throughout the UK and particularly in London. Each shop provides both UV and sunless tanning booths and staff are trained to promote responsible tanning and UV exposure. The shops also stock a range of tanning products including tanning SPF, fake tan products, skin care and body products.

In approving the application, the responsible council planning officer noted that the proposal would not result in the loss of a retail unit within the town centre, as the previous Class A2 use was not principally retail. Additionally, it was noted the proposed tanning salon would have a retail element, with tanning products displayed and sold within the salon. On this basis, it was not considered that the proposed change of use would detract from the retail character and function of the centre.

The consent granted allows the salon to open between 9am and 8pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm on Saturdays and 11am to 6pm on Sundays. A total of five new jobs will be created, two full-time and three part-time.

The Journal understands that contracts are yet to be signed for a new lease, but as we went to press it was noted that a “coming soon” webpage had already been created for the Willow Brook Centre branch on the Tanning Shop website.

Photo: Archive image of mall unit 8 at the Willow Brook Centre trading as a Santander agency in 2011.

This article originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 34). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

UPDATE (18/10/17): Shopfitters have commenced work within the unit.

UPDATE (19/10/17): A press release issued today by The Tanning Shop says their new Willow Brook store is “scheduled to open in November”.

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Council supports ladies’ football team

Posted on Tuesday 17th October 2017 at 9:54 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of BSLFC's Martin Lee receiving a sponsorship cheque from Cllr Paul Hardwick.

Bradley Stoke Ladies’ football team has started its third season in the Gloucestershire County Women’s Football League, playing its opening match on Sunday 17th September.

The season had already got off to a great start with the news that the squad had successfully secured funding through South Gloucestershire Council’s Member Awarded Funding scheme, which supports local voluntary community groups.

Team manager Martin Lee said:

“The club would like to thank local South Gloucestershire Councillors Paul Hardwick, John Ashe, Roger Avenin and Brian Hopkinson for supporting and sponsoring the application. Special thanks to Paul who managed the process for our application on our behalf. The money will be used to purchase new football kit for the team.”

The photo above shows the Bradley Stoke Ladies’ squad with Cllr Paul Hardwick presenting the cheque to manager Martin Lee and coaches Ross Lee, Matt Smith and Mark Tickner.

The Bradley Stoke Ladies’ squad trains every Tuesday at Bradley Stoke Community School. Any players interested in joining the club can email Martin Lee at mlee1@btopenworld.com for further information.

This article originally appeared in the October 2017 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 17). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Opticians bowl over club with support

Posted on Saturday 14th October 2017 at 11:45 pm by SH (Editor)

Photos of Julie Rafferty (Specsavers Bradley Stoke) with members of the bowls club.

Bradley Stoke Bowls Club (BSBC) has received £500-worth of sponsorship from three local Specsavers opticians stores – in Bradley Stoke, Filton and Cribbs Causeway. The money will mainly help pay for the continued development of different bowling opportunities for both new and experienced bowlers. The stores are also donating Specsavers mugs and umbrellas to help keep spectators warm and dry during tournaments.

Store director Ed Stanleigh said:

“We’re delighted to be supporting the Bradley Stoke Bowls Club for their 2017 season. They’ve been part of Bradley Stoke for seven years now, and we’ve been involved right from the beginning. It’s something that’s important to the local community, so we’re very happy to offer our continued support.”

Robert Bertram, chairman of Bradley Stoke Bowls Club, said:

“We’re very grateful to Specsavers for their ongoing support. Their sponsorship will help us with the development of bowls in the Bradley Stoke area and provide additional benefits for players and spectators to relax and enjoy the tournaments and friendly matches.”

The sponsoring Specsavers stores can be found at the Willow Brook Centre (Bradley Stoke), Church View (Filton) and The Mall (Cribbs Causeway).

More: Photo caption and second photo »

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Ocean Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.
MOT and servicing at LCM Automotive, Filton, Bristol.
Oasis Driving School, Bristol.
Chiropractor, Patchway, Bristol BS34.