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The Works set to open soon at Willow Brook

Posted on Monday 18th June 2018 at 11:51 am by SH (Editor)

The Works: New store opening soon at the Willow Brook Centre, Bradley Stoke.

Discount retailer The Works looks set to open at Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook shopping centre by the end of June.

A statement placed on the centre’s Facebook page this morning (Monday 18th June) reads:

“We are delighted to announce that The Works will be joining us at Willow Brook. Their shopfitters are hard at work and they expect to be trading by the end of the month.”

Stores in The Works group sell books, toys, gifts, stationery and arts & crafts materials, with over a million products being sold every week (according to the firm’s website).

The new outlet will be housed in the mall unit previously occupied by Vodaphone, which ceased trading on 26th February this year.

‘Mall Unit 1B’ has had a chequered history since the Willow Brook Centre opened in October 2008. It remained vacant until the first tenant, Panasonic UK, began trading in December 2010. The electrical store closed down in mysterious circumstances in February 2013, only to be replaced by Phones 4u in the autumn of that year.

Phones 4u  lasted less than a year before its parent company went into administration in September 2014. The store reopened under the Vodafone banner a few months later.

Image: Photomontage with main image showing shopfitters at work in the unit on 15th June 2018.

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St Chad’s pupils help create ‘memory path’

Posted on Monday 18th June 2018 at 11:11 am by SH (Editor)

A 'memory path' being installed at St Chad's Primary School, Stoke Lodge.

The pupils of St Chad’s Primary School in Stoke Lodge went back to the Stone Age with a school-wide adventure during May.

Amongst many other lovely items on in the school grounds, the wooden pagoda which stands facing the main entrance gets a lot of attention. The school has been looking at ways to create a mud-free path around the outside of the hexagonal shaped building because as well as being a place that pupils enjoy sitting in the shade, chatting with friends and just relaxing. It is also a very popular ‘tag base’ which means that you will often see pupils chasing each other around its sides. The outcome of this has been, of course, that the grass wears away quickly and although the school wants the pupils to have fun, this is not so much fun in the rainy wintertime. The Friends of of St Chad’s proposed creating a stone walkway around the school’s pagoda and this idea evolved into creating a ‘memory path’.

Each pupil was given a stone pebble to take home and decorate in a way that they felt symbolised themselves and symbolised what the school stood for. When they were returned, there were designs from the simple to the extremely complex, but each representing one pupil in St Chad’s school. Mr D Lippiatt, a parent of two children at the school and the owner of D J Lippiatt Carpenters and Builders took home the nearly 300 stones and varnished each one by hand.

After digging out and laying the groundwork, the pupils were treated, a class at a time, to coming and setting their stone into the wet concrete.

The path is now set and waiting to cure, and after one last varnish, there will be a small piece of everyone currently in St Chad’s Primary School for many years to come.

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Meet the new mayor: Councillor Ben Randles

Posted on Sunday 17th June 2018 at 9:11 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Cllr Ben Randles (right) being congratulated by the previous office holder, Cllr Andy Ward.

Councillor Ben Randles has been elected as the new mayor of Bradley Stoke.

He was formally handed the chain of office on Wednesday 9th May at Bradley Stoke Town Council’s annual general meeting.

Ben, who represents the Lakeside ward, was first elected as a town councillor in a by-election in October 2013. He has chaired both the Finance Committee and the Youth, Leisure and Amenities Committee, as well as being the press spokesperson for the past four years. He takes up his role with the unusual ‘claim to fame’ of being the first councillor appointed to the position of mayor who was born after the formation of the council in 1992!

Ben has lived in Bradley Stoke since his family moved here in 1997 from Chichester, West Sussex; attending Baileys Court Primary School, The Ridings High School and the University of the West of England. He remembers seeing Bradley Stoke as a building site and has fond memories of spending time on the local nature reserve and enjoying being outdoors in the area as a child.

Ben has always been interested in local politics and local governance. While in secondary school, he become old enough to vote for the first time and is grateful that the school was very keen to promote politics and encourage the students to get involved. However, his first engagement with politics started even earlier, back in primary school as an elected member of the School Council. Ben recalls a significant memory:

“I remember being in school (Year 5) on the day of the attacks in New York on 11th September 2001. My teacher at the time, Mr Higginson, attempted to explain to a group of 9-year-olds what had happened and why things like that happen more generally across the world. He explained how we in the UK express our differing ideas in a non-violent way through democracy. Given, it’s not always that simple, but it really struck a chord with me.”

More: Looking forward to ceremonial responsibilities »

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New information panels installed in Three Brooks nature reserve

Posted on Saturday 16th June 2018 at 1:49 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the panel unveiling in the community orchard. L-r: Jamie Bowkett (senior ecologist, Wessex Water), Robin Jones (chair, Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group) and Cllr Rachel Hunt (chair, South Gloucestershire Council).

A set of five new interpretation panels has been installed at places of particular interest within Bradley Stoke’s Three Brooks Local Nature Reserve.

The panels were funded by Wessex Water, which has recently completed a major tunnelling project within the reserve, as part of the Frome Valley Relief Sewer scheme.

The information on the panels was put together by volunteers from the Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group, who wanted to raise awareness about the plants and the wildlife – including swans and slow worms – which can be found within the reserve.

The interpretation panels have been placed around the reserve at separate locations, with each describing a different habitat. There is one at the lake, one on the Tump, one in the community orchard (behind BSCS), one in Savages Wood and another in Bowsland Meadow.

The panel in the community orchard was formally unveiled by Cllr Rachael Hunt, the newly appointed chair of South Gloucestershire Council, on Tuesday 22nd May, in the presence of several members of the conservation group.

• For more information, visit www.three-brooks.info

Photo: Panel unveiling in the community orchard. L-r: Jamie Bowkett (senior ecologist, Wessex Water), Robin Jones (chair, Three Brooks Nature Conservation Group) and Cllr Rachel Hunt (chair, South Gloucestershire Council).

More; Photo of the interpretation panel at the lake »

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