Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Family History Fair at BAWA this weekend

Posted on Thursday 26th September 2019 at 5:23 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of a previous Family History Fair.

Attention all family history enthusiasts and those thinking about starting on their research! Put Saturday 28th September in your diary. The Bristol & Avon Family History Society will be holding its Family History Fair at the Bristol Aerospace Welfare Association (BAWA) Leisure Centre, Southmead Road, Filton.

Logo of Bristol & Avon Family History Society.

The day will be an opportunity for anyone who needs help or advice on family history matters to have face-to-face sessions with local experts and representatives of Bristol & Avon Family History Society and other societies including Devon, Gloucestershire, Gwent, Hampshire, Dorset, Somerset & Dorset, Weston-super-Mare & District, and Wiltshire. Over 30 exhibitors have signed up to attend.

Representatives from Bath and Bristol Archives will be on hand to give information and advice. A number of local history societies and museums will also be attending to allow visitors to gather more information on the work and living conditions that their ancestors may have experienced. New and second-hand books, postcards, maps, family history CDs, software and accessories will be available from a range of commercial exhibitors.

The Bristol & Avon society itself will be launching its new CD of transcriptions and indexes of Bristol Apprentices Books in the Bristol Archives covering the period 1532 to 1724.

There will be free introductory talks on ‘Starting your Family History Research’ and ‘Using the Internet’. These will be aimed at those who want to get started on researching their families. These will start at 10.30 am and attendees will be given free informative handouts, magazines and other useful research and recording tools.

There will also be a number of other talks during the day, the subjects including the suffragette movement and its effect in the Bristol / Bath area and Canadian research.

More: Update on Know Your Place mapping project »

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Community transport charity celebrates 20th anniversary

Posted on Thursday 26th September 2019 at 12:18 am by SH (Editor)

Photo of Dennis Rogers and guest of honour Shirley Holloway cutting the 20th anniversary cake.

Friday 2nd August saw over 70 guests attend an event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a charity which provides accessible transport to people across the Five Stokes area and beyond.

Attending the event at the headquarters of Four Towns and Vale Link Community Transport in Frampton Cotterell were members of the charity, local councillors, representatives of other local community groups as well as Four Towns employees both past and present.

Four Towns started in 1999 in a small office in St Peter’s Church, Filton. Volunteer car drivers used their own cars to help transport people to clubs, medical appointments and on shopping trips. They eventually got enough funding to be able to purchase their first ever minibus. Four Towns has flourished ever since and currently has 28 vehicles in its fleet and a work force of over 30 employees including drivers, passenger assistants, management and office staff.

In later years the charity was based in Scott Park, Patchway, before making the move to Frampton Cotterell in 2016.

Dennis Rogers, chair of Four Towns, and guest of honour Shirley Holloway opened the celebrations with speeches on their own time spent working within the organisation over the years.

The event then continued with both Dennis and Shirley cutting a cake that had been specially made for the occasion.
There was also a chance for guests to learn more about the history of Four Towns, with a display featuring many key moments and interesting facts captured throughout the years.

A Four Towns spokesperson said:

“It was lovely to celebrate the achievements of the charity and share great memories and experiences from everyone involved. We would like to say a massive thank you not only to our guest of honour Shirley Holloway and chair Dennis Rogers, who presented such wonderful speeches, but also to South Gloucestershire Council for all their continuous support.”

More: Find out more about the services the charity can offer »

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Public left in dark over proposed roundabout improvements

Posted on Monday 16th September 2019 at 8:31 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Great Stoke Roundabout (a.k.a Rabbit Roundabout).

The results of a public consultation on proposed capacity improvements at a major roundabout on the border between Bradley Stoke and Stoke Gifford will not be released until just one week before a funding decision is made on the £2.3m scheme, the Journal can reveal.

The consultation on the proposed work at Great Stoke Roundabout (a.k.a. Rabbit Roundabout) took place in February and March 2019 and it was stated that a feedback report would be prepared and published ahead of a decision being made by South Gloucestershire councillors on “proceeding with the scheme and seeking funding from the West of England Combined Authority (Weca)”.

The consultation documents also stated that, subject to receiving funding, “construction could commence in autumn 2019 and … take one year to complete”, which raised concerns the work might run concurrently with planned road closures on Gipsy Patch Lane from early 2020 in connection with the scheme to replace the railway bridge.

However, the response to a recent enquiry submitted by the Journal has revealed that the Weca funding application has already been made, raising questions about South Gloucestershire Council’s (SGC’s) commitment to genuine community engagement.

In response to our enquiry, an SGC spokesperson said:

“Earlier this year, the West of England Combined Authority (Weca) approved an outline business case for a preferred scheme to increase vehicle capacity and reduce queuing times at Great Stoke Roundabout in Stoke Gifford. We ran a public consultation, including several drop-in sessions during February and March 2019, and invited people to fill in a questionnaire about the proposed scheme.”

More: Decision on funding expected in October »

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Your chance to get into singing this September

Posted on Monday 9th September 2019 at 9:23 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of choir members pictured prior to their 2019 summer concert.

After a well-earned summer break, Stokes Singers are keen to tune up for the start of our new season when weekly rehearsals start again on Thursday 5th September.

Singing is what brings us all together, writes founder member Sue Callow, and we can’t wait to meet up and get going. I really miss my singing family and it will be good to see everyone again and catch up on the news.

Singing is frequently in the media these days. The Sing Up Foundation ( reports that singing lowers cortisol and relieves stress and tension, as well as boosting confidence. Singing is a mindful activity as it needs you to switch off from your busy thoughts and focus totally on what you’re doing.

Singing is also a great social activity which creates a strong sense of community, and learning a new skill is a proven way to keep the brain in good shape.

Singing strengthens the immune system so it could be the perfect way to ward off those bugs that come with the cooler weather and, as an aerobic activity, it increases overall health. It sounds like an all-round winner!

If you love to sing and would like to give a community choir a try, why not come along to a Stokes Singers rehearsal? Our current venue is Coniston Community Centre in Patchway, which is a welcoming, accessible building with free car parking right outside.

We’re very fortunate to have not one but two talented musical directors who are a great partnership. Sian Walters and Philip Lawrence are both trained teachers and professional musicians and, although their styles are very different, they work well together to make rehearsals fun but challenging. They both have a wealth of knowledge of singing techniques and are able to offer advice to both experienced and novice singers on how to get the best from your voice.

More "September is a great time to join us" »

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