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Community Reports ~ March 2010

St Thomas à Becket
Pucklechurch W.I.
Happy Circle
Would your child like to come to playgroup?
Parish Council Chairman's Notes
Notice of the Annual Parish Meeting
Produce Show
Pucklechurch Folk Dance Club
Community Association News
PCA & Social Club Senior Members' Party
Your Local Safer & Stronger Community Group Needs You!
Good Neighbour Scheme


St Thomas à Becket

Easter and Holy Week Services

Sunday, 28th Mar Palm Sunday - 10am, Family Communion

Thursday, 1st Apr Maundy Thursday - 7.30pm, Holy Communion

Friday, 2nd Apr Good Friday - 10am, All-Age Worship
Friday, 2nd Apr Good Friday - 2-3pm Last Hour on Cross

Sunday, 4th Apr Easter Sunday - 10am, Family Communion

St James the Great, Abson

Sunday, 4th Apr Easter Sunday
11.30am, Holy Communion

Dates for Your Diaries

        Sunday and Monday, May 2-3, Scarecrow Competition

        Sunday, May 23rd, Messy Church, 3.00pm

        Friday to Sunday, June 11-13, Flower Festival

        Sunday, June 13, Revel Service, 6.30pm

        Saturday, July 10, Church Garden Party



Pucklechurch W.I.

December’s gloomy weather was lifted by the WI at our Christmas get-together. An American supper was followed by a re-run of the Hi-De-Hi show from our award-winning Revel float. This was followed by a member who gave us her own interpretation of the Sugar Plum Fairy. All great fun.

In January 2010, our chapter celebrated WI's 73rd birthday in style with a fish-and-chips supper, followed by a sing-along of show tunes, accompanied by John Sexton on the accordion.

We are now looking forward to another exciting year of interesting speakers, social events, and outings. We hope that the three new members who have been invited to join us will come along to the meeting in February, when we will all learn how to be budding scientists.

Norma Pratt, President



Happy Circle

This is the time of year when you get your diaries out and put in the Happy Circle trips for 2010. Everyone is welcome, and unlike everywhere else we are keeping our cost down to £10 a trip. Trips are as follows:


  • May 4th, Exmouth
  • June 1st, Totnes & Dartmouth cruise (Dartmouth market day)
  • July 6th, Bournemouth
  • August 3rd, Minehead
  • September 7th, Weymouth
  • October 5th, Hereford

All these trips leave from Dennisworth bus shelter or the Community Centre at 9am and return at 7pm.

There's also our special Christmas shopping trip:

December 4th, Clarks Village, Street, Somerset, 10am to 6pm

Liz Archibald



Would your child like to come to playgroup?

We have some spaces left for September 2010.
Why not pop in and have a look for yourself?
We are in the Community Centre on Abson Road.

Come in for a visit -- we are open 9.15 to 11.45 each day
or visit our web site at

or call George Wynter on 07736713730
See you soon!

Registered charity 1032634
Ofsted number 136060



Parish Council Chairman's Notes

Bus Shelters

Since the current Parish Council was elected in 2007, we have spent much time and money on trying to improve facilities throughout the parish. We have provided additional bus shelters to help keep those waiting for buses dry in wet and snowy weather. In the last few months there has been an increase in graffiti on several shelters, and this has been expensive to remove, taking money away from other amenities we would like to provide.


The Council have been pleased to receive a grant from Cory Environment Trust (from the landfill tax) to enable us to complete the fencing around the Hill View Road side of the Rec. The grant of £7,900 was very generous. It would have been difficult to fund the fence from the existing 2009/10 budget without severe cuts in other areas of spending.

New Beat Manager

PC Chris Skelton has now moved from Boyd Valley and his replacement is PC Simon Topps. We look forward to meeting PC Topps in the near future and wish him a successful time with us and the other parishes in Boyd Valley. We also have a new PCSO for our area, Hugh Barnes. If you see either of these officers in our Parish, please make them welcome!

Street Lighting

Following encouraging trials in other villages, the Parish Council will be examining if we should switch off some street lights between midnight and 5.00am. The Community Plan showed that 52% of people responding wanted lights left on, while 43% were in favour of switching them off for part of the time. For anyone interested in the experiences of Charfield in South Gloucestershire, there is a meeting in Yate on the 10th March to discuss them (full details elsewhere in this issue).

Budget for 2010/11

The budget for the coming financial year was set at the January meeting and an increase of 1% was agreed on our parish precept. The precept is the part of your Council Tax that we receive to run the Parish.

Omar Beg, Chairman



Notice of the Annual Parish Meeting

Wednesday, 26th May, 7.00pm

Village Hall Meeting Room

Purpose of the Annual Parish Meeting

All Parish and Town Councils throughout England are required by law to hold an annual parish meeting at this time each year. The purpose of calling this meeting is so that the Council can explain what it has been doing over the last year and provide an opportunity for community groups and electors to share information on activities and items which they consider are important to the people of Pucklechurch Parish.

Who can attend the meeting?

Anyone may attend but only registered electors of Pucklechurch may speak.

Will I be able to ask questions and make suggestions?

Yes, any registered elector may ask questions of the Council. These will usually be answered by the chairperson, by the parish clerk, or a designated councillor. An elector may also make suggestions and comment on anything pertinent to the people of the Parish of Pucklechurch. This will be welcomed and is the whole purpose of the meeting.

Who will chair the meeting?

Omar Beg, the Chairman of the Parish Council, will chair the meeting. If he is not able to attend, the meeting will elect a chairperson from amongst those electors present.

Will parish councillors be there?

Usually the parish councillors do attend and will speak if need be. But the purpose of the meeting is to enable the electors of Pucklechurch parish to have their say. Councillors will listen with interest and, as electors themselves, also have the opportunity to raise questions and make comments if they wish.

Will notes be taken of the meeting?

Yes, a written record of the meeting will be taken and will be presented at a future meeting of Council for their consideration. The minutes will be published on the Pucklechurch Community Website. The minutes for the 2008 meeting may be viewed at

How long will the meeting last?

As long as necessary (within reason). It depends on those present, the number of questions, and the length of the discussions. Generally, the meeting lasts no longer than 2 hours.



Produce Show

The annual Produce Show, staged jointly by the Pucklechurch Gardeners' Club and the Pucklechurch Women's Institute, will take place on Saturday, 11th September 2010, in the Scout Hut.

The schedules for the show will be available at the beginning of May from the members of the Show committee. The number and type of classes will remain the same as last year.



Pucklechurch Folk Dance Club

The Pucklechurch Folk Dance Club meets in the Community Centre on alternate Tuesdays from 8pm to 10.30pm. We usually have about 40 dancers, and new members are always made to feel welcome.

We held our annual Christmas Dance in December, and uniquely for the district, we held a dance and bring-your-own supper on New Year's Eve. In January the club celebrated its 33rd birthday. All these dances were very successful and enjoyed by everyone.

This year we intend to hold a Summer Dance on the 26th June in the Community Centre. We will have a caller to help newcomers through the dances and an excellent band. Everyone is welcome to join us. For more details and tickets contact our secretary, Fred Huntley on 0117 977 4745.


Revel Logo 23x29mm03The Revel Committee are busy making preparations for this year's Revel Week, which starts on 11th June with the Beer Festival and finishes with Revel Day on the 19th (although a few Revel events will take place outside this week). Our theme for the parade this year is "Celebrations", so do start getting your ideas together for a float or walking entry in the procession. This year the African Sambistas will be taking part in the procession, along with our own newly formed Pucklechurch Majorettes. The African Sambistas will also be performing in the arena.

 If you or the firm you work for would like to sponsor an event or advertise your firm on the field on Revel Day with a banner attached to the railings around the field, please contact Elaine at

Two years ago we held a "newcomers' evening" to welcome new residents to our area. We are planning to hold another one at the Rose and Crown on May 20th, to which our volunteers will also be invited. If you are not on our list of volunteers and are able to help out during Revel Week or be a marshal for the procession, please contact Elaine on 937 3105 or Angela Hallett on 937 4252.

We hope you took lots of pictures during the snowy weather. Remember there will be another photo competition in the summer and an exhibition in October. As you go through the year, print off any photographs you are really pleased with and put them in an envelope so that when competition time comes round, it won’t be a mad dash to find some photos.

Elaine Stone, Revel Chair



Community Association News

Many thanks go to Bob Hyde of the Makeover Team, who came to a council meeting and gave a clear exposition of the progress towards the renovation of the Community Centre. We hope the full report from the team will be with us very soon.

At the same meeting, the Council decided to charge for the storage of articles in the Centre, and proofread the new PCA brochure. It was a heady meeting.

The good news is that Anna Sharpe, our booking clerk, reports that bookings are up, with a only few vacancies during the week or weekends.

Except for the Pensioners' Party, put on in conjunction with the Social Club, it was a quiet three months. May the next three months be so gentle.

There are rumours that there might be a Youth Club starting in the Community Centre, organized by South Glos. Watch this space!

Best wishes to all who have helped.

Alan Holder



PCA & Social Club Senior Members' PartyCIMG2680 200

On Sunday, January 17th, the Pucklechurch PCA and Social Club jointly hosted their annual Christmas meal for all senior members.

As always, it was very well attended. The food and wine was excellent and much appreciated, served as usual by committee members in their best evening attire. After the meal, there was a disco of ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s music, which had a great many people up on their feet dancing.

This party is a lovely village occasion enjoyed by everyone who attends.



Safer-Stronger03Your Local Safer & Stronger Community Group Needs You!

South Gloucestershire's 20 Safer & Stronger Community Groups are all about working together to improve your local community. The groups enable you to have your say about the services that your community needs and receives.

These groups have been set up as part of the South Gloucestershire Council's Community Engagement initiative and Neighbourhood Policing Model. Their members include people who live and work in the area and representatives from South Gloucestershire Council, the local police, Avon Fire and Rescue, the Primary Care Trust, Town and Parish Councils, and other local organisations. The aim is to:

  • Work together to ensure that local communities are safe and pleasant places to live, work and play
  • Give local people a greater voice and influence over local decisions and the priorities of the service providers
  • Support actions and initiatives that meet local needs

The next meeting of Boyd Valley Safer & Stronger Community Group is on:

Tuesday, 1st June, 7pm
Pucklechurch Community Centre

If you are unable to attend a meeting but would like to know more, please visit your group’s webpage at Here you will be able to become a member of your local group, view agendas and minutes from meetings, and gain access to more information about the issues and projects in your area. Alternatively, you can contact your Safer & Stronger Communities Officer on 01454 864625.



Good Neighbour Scheme

The cold weather brought difficult times for a lot of people this winter. The Good Neighbour Scheme (GNS) was able to help during this time. Volunteers undertook a variety of tasks to help out, including picking up shopping on behalf of those who were unable to leave their homes or the village or just popping in to see their neighbours to stop them feeling isolated by the cold.

South Gloucestershire Council has a road show providing information about emergency planning, whether for an incident or severe weather conditions. The GNS is arranging for the road show to come to the village. Invitations will be issued to the Good Neighbour Scheme volunteers, but if anyone else is interested in attending, please contact one the scheme co-ordinators at or 07961939574.

Now the weather has improved, please remember that we are still here to help. We'll consider helping anyone in the village with any task. Perhaps you have a neighbour who doesn't have friends and family who are local -- we can put them in touch with a volunteer who could pop round regularly to see how they are and provide some company. We now also have a volunteer who is a gardener and can help with work in the garden and general garden maintenance.

If you would like help from the Good Neighbours or know of someone who would benefit from the scheme, please contact us at or 07961939574.

Larisa Hunt





We have awarded a lot of badges recently, and some of our Beavers have earned the Chief Scout’s Bronze Award, which is the highest award you can get at Beavers. Congratulations to those who achieved this. Recently we created a lovely mosaic tile, which will soon be in place outside the Scout Hut for all to see. At the moment we are looking forward to a Beavers' Zoo Day in May. Can’t wait! If you are looking to enrol your son or daughter, we have a very short waiting list at the moment. We try to get new Beavers on board very soon after their 6th birthday, so move fast if you want a place! If you would like to join us, please contact Sarah on 957 1266. And if you can lend a hand, do speak to one of the leaders.


To raise funds for Sports Relief, Cubs are currently doing physical exercise at the start of each evening for the next four weeks, which will also to go towards our fitness badge. We are increasing our navigational skills, learning how to use maps, and we have all drawn maps of the areas around our houses. To put this into practice, we had a walk around the village using maps to help develop our map-reading skills. Soon we will be doing mini pioneering. This involves using lolly sticks to make structures to hold weights, etc. (We have to eat the lollies first though, which will be the most fun!) Other activities coming up include climbing, swimming, and a visit from the police who will tell us about personal safety. If your son or daughter is between 8 and10½ and interested in joining Cubs, call Steve on 0787 213 7609.

Scouts new logo colour02

After their Christmas break, Pucklechurch Scouts have learnt how to make boxes from old Christmas cards, done some work towards their Promise Challenge, and learned how to build a fire and cook a simple meal on it. In the coming weeks, we'll be off hill walking again in the Brecon Beacons and learning to use a bow and arrow. Once it's a bit warmer, we will start dinghy sailing and camping again. As always, look for more information and pictures on our website We still have a few places left in the troop if you are aged between 10 and 13. If you would like to join us, we meet on a Wednesdays, from 7.15-9.00pm. To join Scouts, call Tony on 957 4119.

The Group Executive -- We made another step forward on improving the hut recently with the installation of hand dryers in the toilets. We were fortunate to have received a donation from the Revel Committee, which was enough to pay for one of the heaters, so thank you to them! It was great that the PCA cut back the bushes and trees around the hut just before Christmas. This has improved both security of the hut and safety for the Scouts and Guides, so on behalf of them, a big thank you to the PCA and to the Parish Council for funding this work.

And finally, the Scout Hut is available to hire for private small parties, with all income supporting our cause. To find out more about hiring the hut, call Gail on 937 2838.

Dale Dennehy



Guides_Girlguiding logo09

Tea with Lady Baden-Powell

Guides have a story-gathering project on, which is encouraging our current members to research, visit, and listen to former members’ tales of their Girlguiding days.

When Lady Baden-Powell returned to England in 1941 after her husband’s death, she had nowhere to live, and slept on the floor of the Girl Guide Association headquarters in London. On hearing this, a friend intervened with the result that, in view of her husband’s great service to our country, Lady B-P received a Royal Warrant stating, "I hereby authorise The Lady Baden-Powell by The Grace and Favour of the King to hold the keys and Possession of the Apartments in His Majesty’s Palace of Hampton Court…"

Recently I met Marcia, whose father’s cousin Annie was housekeeper to Lady B-P.  In 1945, just after the war had ended but with rationing still in force, Marcia, aged 15 years, went with her parents to visit Annie. She remembers climbing a very steep flight of stairs to reach the beautiful, spacious apartment.

Marcia’s eyes nearly popped out of her head when she saw the beautifully laid tea on a huge round table. The cutlery was gold! And what’s more, there was huge pile of chocolate éclairs (a rare sight in post-war Britain). Lady B-P joined them for tea, insisting that Annie did too. When the éclairs were handed round, Marcia, being brought up properly, took just one. Lady B-P chatted to them about her life in Africa, making them feel as though they had known her all their lives.

When the éclairs were handed around again, everyone politely refused. Much to their astonishment, Lady B-P said it was a pity to waste them and polished off the lot!

She then insisted that Annie take her relatives around the grounds of Hampton Court saying, "Don’t worry about the tea things, I’ll wash up and put them away."

What a lovely insight into a remarkable lady who gave so much of her time to the Guides.

Looking Back Locally

When I took over 1st Pucklechurch Guides in 1975, I inherited the details of previous meetings. It seems that nothing changes much, especially when girls begin to notice boys. Mrs Bridges was a Captain in the Sixties and she recorded each week’s events. One of my favourite entries is from May 1963, which reads, "Hike to Locks Bottom, stormy weather, 12 present, girls lit fires and cooked.  Pat, Linda and Heather came very late with four most objectionable boys". I wonder if these three 'girls' still live in the village and, if so, whether they remember who these most objectionable boys were.

As always, if you’d like to join us, you’d be most welcome. Contact me on 937 2157 or email

Ros Abbott



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