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Bronze for Abigail at Euro championships

Posted on Saturday 28th November 2015 at 9:39 pm by SH (Editor)

Abigail Hipkiss (left) and Tiana McClurg, pictured after being presented with their bronze medals at the European Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships.

A gymnast from Stoke Lodge who represented Great Britain at the European Acrobatic Gymnastics Championships in Germany at the end of September has returned from the competition with a cherished bronze medal.

Abigail Hipkiss of King Edmund Gym Club, who competed with Tiana McClurg in the women’s pair 13-19 age category, had travelled to Riesa with few expectations, but the pair rose to the occasion in commendable fashion as they claimed fourth place overall (out of nine high-class nations), in the knowledge that one of three qualification events undertaken, the balance routine, had reaped them a deserved bronze medal.

Although Abigail has won British titles in the past, she says she was “overjoyed” to achieve her lifetime ambition of representing Great Britain, and to then win a medal was “the icing on the cake”.

Abigail has been with King Edmund since the age of 18 months, when she attended gym tots classes. She trains for around 20 hours per week, over five days, increasing to around 28 hours per week in the build up to a major competition.

“Belonging to a club that can see you through from start to finish with great coaches has been a fantastic experience and long may it continue,” she enthuses.

Combining her hobby with work, Abigail is presently employed at Yate International Gymnastics Centre, home to King Edmund, on a government-sponsored apprenticeship scheme, run in conjunction with the club.

Abigail plans to continue training at the level she is at, allowing her to gain more experience and hopefully win another medal at a major tournament. She says she would like to continue her coaching career and stay in the sport after competing, so she can give something back to a sport she so clearly loves.

The King Edmund club runs recreational gym sessions at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre on Fridays between 3.55pm and 4.45pm. For more information, please phone 01454 320662.

More: Photo of Abigail and Tiana performing at the championships »

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Vodafone award boost for Scout band project

Posted on Wednesday 25th November 2015 at 10:16 pm by SH (Editor)

Representatives of the 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group are presented with their Vodafone Community Connection Award at the Vodafone store in Bradley Stoke.

Vodafone and the Bradley Stoke Journal are pleased to announce that the 1st Bradley Stoke Scout Group’s ‘marching band project’ has been selected to receive a £1,000 Vodafone Community Connection Award, following the call for nominations in our September magazine.

Winning the award means the Scout group will be able to begin practice sessions for its own marching band from January next year, with the eventual aim of taking part in the town’s annual Remembrance parade and other community events in Bradley Stoke, such as the community festival and carnival.

Speaking after the winning nomination was chosen, Sophie Merritt, Sales assistant at the Bradley Stoke Vodafone store said:

“We were pleased to receive such a good number of deserving nominations for our local Community Connection award. I’m delighted that the money is going to a project that will benefit the wider community in Bradley Stoke, as well as enabling the Scout group’s members to take part in a new activity.”

The money will be used to purchase drums and trumpets for the new band, which will be coached by Richard Shepherd, a Beaver Scout leader who is a qualified music classroom teacher, and another leader who is also a music teacher.

Katherine Robinson, Beaver Scout leader, commented:

“We’re very grateful to have been selected to receive this award from Vodafone. We were really enthusiastic to start this project, but didn’t have the resources to do it. This money will enable us to finally get the project off the ground.”

The Scouts have already received support from the 37th Kingswood Drum Corps and there are plans for members of that highly successful marching band to mentor some of the novice players in Bradley Stoke.

Vodafone’s Community Connection Awards, launched in 2014, have already made a difference to more than 45 local communities across the UK. Selected by local Vodafone staff and aimed at supporting local causes, the awards have been used to help support everything from new equipment for soup kitchens and day centres for the elderly to helping people with disabilities take part in sporting activities.

Photo: Representatives of the Scout group are presented with the award at the Vodafone store in Bradley Stoke. L-r: Richard Shepherd (assistant Beaver Scout leader), Ajit Deb & Sophie Merritt (Vodafone sales assistants), Joy Harrison (Scout group assistant treasurer) and Katherine Robinson (Beaver Scout leader).

This article originally appeared in the November 2015 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, 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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Local events to explain proposed changes to waste collection service

Posted on Tuesday 24th November 2015 at 10:29 pm by SH (Editor)

Diagram showing the average volume of black bin waste in a 240 litre bin and the same waste in a 140 litre bin. (South Gloucestershire Council, 2015).

Bradley Stoke residents have two further opportunities in the coming days to hear more about proposed changes to South Gloucestershire Council’s waste collection service that could see a significant reduction in the size of the black ‘residual waste’ bin provided to households.

In an effort to reduce waste, increase recycling rates and make further savings of £1 million per annum by 2019, the council is proposing a series of measures that include:

  • Increasing the recycling collection frequency to weekly, on the same day for all material
  • Replacing the current recycling bags with containers
  • No longer requiring residents to sort the different types of recyclable material (this would be done by collection crews)
  • Replacing the existing 240 litre black bin with a smaller 140 litre bin for most households (the bins would continue to be collected fortnightly)

No changes to the subscription-only garden waste collection service are included in the proposals.

Full details of the proposed changes are detailed in the council’s draft Waste Strategy 2015-2020, which is currently the subject of public consultation that runs until 15th February 2016.

Residents are invited to hear a short presentation on the proposals at a meeting of Bradley Stoke Town Council’s Planning Committee on Wednesday (25th November). The meeting takes place at the Jubilee Centre BS32 8HL, starting at 7pm.

They can also find out more at a roadshow being held at the Willow Brook Centre on Saturday (28th November), between 10am and 5pm.

Image: Diagram showing the average volume of black bin waste in a 240 litre bin and the same waste in a 140 litre bin (excludes recyclable waste placed in black bins that could have been recycled – on average 52% of the bin content, according to council figures for 2014).

Consultation page: South Gloucestershire’s Waste Strategy 2015 – 2020

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CBeebies’ Andy Day lights up Bradley Stoke

Posted on Monday 23rd November 2015 at 11:56 am by SH (Editor)

Andy Day switches on the Christmas lights at the Willow Brook Centre in Bradley Stoke, Bristol.

Five lucky families won back stage passes to meet CBeebies presenter Andy Day at the Willow Brook Centre’s Christmas switch-on event on Saturday (21st November).

The Armstrong, James, Jones, Smythe and Stodgell families all won a competition run by Willow Brook on Facebook to meet Andy before he switched on the lights.

Crowds of Bradley Stoke residents gathered at Willow Brook to enjoy the host of fantastic entertainment at the Christmas event. Circus entertainer Steve Kaos wowed audiences on his stilt bike. Balloon sculptors Balloonatic were a hit with their pop art. And a roller skating robin and Christmas pudding got everyone into the festive mood.

The fun packed day was compered by Bradley Stoke Radio with live music in the town square and food from Bert & Gerts. Local musician Julia Barrella – the winner of the Bradley Stoke’s Got Music talent competition also performed at the event.

Santa took hundreds of present requests in his grotto and then joined Andy Day to switch on the Christmas lights at 5pm.

Willow Brook centre manager Andy Wynn said:

“It has been a fabulous day to start the festive season at Bradley Stoke. Everyone has really enjoyed the entertainment, food and festivities.”

On Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th November, a Christmas market will give shoppers lots of present ideas with unique handmade and vintage gifts.  The market will be open from 10am to 5pm (4pm on Sunday).

Photo: Andy Day switches on the lights [Credit: Dave Betts Photography]

More photos on the BSJ Facebook page.

Source: Press release from the Willow Brook Centre.

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Planning issues delay new skate park build

Posted on Sunday 22nd November 2015 at 9:21 pm by SH (Editor)

Visualisation of the proposed new skate park at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre.

Work on a £250,000+ project to construct a new concrete skate park in the grounds of Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre could finally get under way within the next few weeks, subject to planners at South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) granting approval following a protracted evaluation of the town council’s planning application.

At the time funding was secured for the project in early 2014, the council said it was hoping to have the new facility up and running in time for the community festival in June 2015, but by the time a contractor was appointed to build the park, the projected completion date had already slipped to the end of September.

The planning application for the new park was eventually submitted in mid-June, at which time the council said it expected work to “start immediately after the school holidays” and be completed by Christmas. However, following negative comments received from SGC’s landscape architect, who saw the proposal as “trying to shoehorn too much into a too small space”, the design had to be re-worked.

Additionally, objections from a small number of local residents concerned about potential noise levels from the new skate park (which would be closer to their properties than the existing park), led to the council being asked to commission an acoustic survey at a cost of £1,500. The results of that exercise were inconclusive, with the experts concluding the construction of a 2-metre acoustic barrier to the south of the site would ensure there was “no material adverse impact upon neighbouring residents whilst the proposed skate park is [operating] at maximum capacity”. However, correspondence aired at a town council meeting in October suggests that SGC will not insist on the construction of an acoustic barrier, but will instead impose a condition that requires one to be retro-fitted should any “substantiated statutory noise nuisance complaints” be received within a year of the park opening.

More: Opening time restrictions and 24-hour CCTV »

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