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News & Features ~ March 2010

Have Your Say on Proposed Changes to Pucklechurch Conservation Area
Spring Clean 2010
Darwin: The Voyage that Shook the World
Centuries-Old Church Puzzle Solved?
The Age of Stupid (A Film) (opens new page)
Environment Forum
NSPCC Auction (opens new page)
Memories of Parkfield Colliery
On the Buses
Stay Warm and Well This Winter
Have you seen Banksy in Pucklechurch?
Being Prepared for the Unexpected
The Prankish Pucklechurch Players Production (opens new page)
The LINk Core Management Group meeting
Pucklechurch Cider Festival (opens new page)
New Services for Stroke Survivors and Their Carers
Fancy Playing Skittles?
Pucklechurch Majorettes
New Bobbies on the Beat
Pucklechurch Cricket Club – Youth & Senior Nets


Have Your Say on Proposed Changes to Pucklechurch Conservation Area

Village_ctr_sm02South Gloucestershire Council has created a Pucklechurch Conservation Area Draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), which, when adopted, will become the strategy for the area's preservation and enhancement. The SPD will be considered when assessing the merits of development proposals in the area.

The SPD proposes changes to the conservation area boundaries and sets out four "character areas":

  • Moat House and Grey House
  • Commercial Core -- Abson Road & Shortwood Road
  • Westerleigh Road, Parkfield Road, and Castle Road
  • The Recreation Ground

The document is out for consultation until 2 April 2010. If you have an opinion on how you would like to see the historic centre of Pucklechurch develop in the future, whether or not you live in the conservation area, it is critical that you let South Gloucestershire know what you think about their proposals.

You can view a copy of the Draft SPD on the South Glos website at via the 'Do it Now ' and 'Have Your Say' links (you may also click here). You can give your comments directly on the website, via email on, or by post to Natural & Built Environment Team, South Gloucestershire Council, Kingswood Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood, BS15 9TR. If you have questions, contact the SGC Conservation Officer on 01454 863578. The results will be published by 30 Apr 2010.



Spring Clean 2010

Volunteer groups across the Parish of Pucklechurch are urged to spring into action and clean up their neighbourhoods and open spaces, helping to transform Pucklechurch as part of the South Gloucestershire Big Spring Clean 2010. Last year the response was fantastic, and we hope to repeat that again this year.

The Parish Council is running the Pucklechurch Big Spring Clean 2010 in Shortwood on Saturday, 24th April, and in Pucklechurch on Sunday, 25th April. Everyone is encouraged to join in. Friends, families, neighbours, community and voluntary groups, church groups, the schools and students, youth clubs, Scouts, Guides, and businesses are all invited to take action against litter. Fresh air and exercise are two benefits of the Big Spring Clean, but the best part is that residents and visitors alike will be able to enjoy the Parish looking its best.

Meet Outside the Chapel
10am, Saturday, 24th April

Meet Outside the Scout Hut
10am, Sunday, 25th April
Refreshments Available

Many groups and individuals already do their bit during the year; however, the Big Spring Clean provides the opportunity to clean up before the 'good' weather arrives. It is an ideal occasion for anyone who cares about their local environment to venture out to a nearby open space, woodland, river, verge or public space and take some positive action for the community.

Gloves and refuse sacks will be provided, and a skip will be available for the rubbish.


Darwin: The Voyage that Shook the World

Grace Church Westerleigh presents a free showing of Darwin: The Voyage that Shook the World, a Creation Ministries International Film, at Pucklechurch Village Hall on Saturday, 24th April, at 7:00pm. Time will be allowed for any questions you may have, and there will be a bookstall with relevant literature and DVDs. All welcome.

Filmed in South America, United Kingdom, North America, Australia and Europe, this 52-minute film features dramatic period recreations and stunning nature cinematography, all interwoven with scholars, scientists, and Darwin experts who share differing perspectives on the man and the controversy he stirred. The goal of the film is not to give pat answers but to raise questions that many have stopped asking and get people to think critically about the issues.

Queries to Keith & Jean Rawlings on 937 3060.


Centuries-Old Church Puzzle Solved?

E deCheltenham cropped 200Last summer whilst preparing to lead a village walk for a local group, I came across an intriguing reference to the two stone effigies in St Thomas à Becket church. The identities of these effigies, a man and a woman, have never been satisfactorily proven, but the reference on the Church Monuments Society website quite clearly labelled them as William de Cheltenham and his wife Eleanor.

W deCheltenham cropped 200A flurry of emails to the Society followed, and I learned that Sally Badham (a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and an active member of the Monumental Brass Society and the Church Monuments Society) was about to publish an article in which she identified them as William and Eleanor who held lands in Pucklechurch in the mid-14th century. The article has now been published and reveals amongst other things:

  • These two effigies are amongst the earliest made of Bath stone
  • Details of William’s highly successful career  as a lawyer in the employ of the Berkeley family and of his activities in both local and national affairs
  • How careful comparison of these effigies with monumental brasses of known dates. as well as their style of dress, points to a mid-14th century date
  • How William established a chantry chapel (where the Lady Chapel is now) and how all that remains are the two effigies and an altar front

All in all this is a highly scholarly and thoroughly convincing piece of work. [“The de Cheltenham Chantry Chapel at Pucklechurch (Gloucestershire) and its Associated Effigies”, Sally Badham, Journal of the British Archaeological Association, Volume 162, Number 1, 2009, pp. 125-145]. It not only reveals the people portrayed by the effigies but also a great deal about activities in and around Pucklechurch over 600 years ago. For me it’s provided yet another area of historical enquiry relating to the village as well as a fascinating read. I’m hoping that Sally will write a précis of her article for Pucklechurch News and the village website, so watch this space!

Gail Boyle

South Gloucestershire Environment Forum

Winter 2010 Meeting

Charfield Street Lighting Project

Wednesday, 10 March, 7 - 9pm

Ridgewood Conference Hall
244 Station Road, Yate, BS37 6JR

The theme of the evening is the Charfield Street Lighting Project -- a pilot run by South Glos in conjunction with Charfield Parish Council where they are turning off street lights to save energy.



Memories of Parkfield Colliery

Parkfield Colliery closed in 1936, bringing to an end centuries of mining in Pucklechurch Parish. Steve Grudgings, current chairman of the South Gloucestershire Mines Research Group (SGMRG), will be giving an illustrated talk of about 45 minutes covering the history of Parkfield Colliery and other local pits. This talk is given as part of South Gloucestershire Council's "Spring into Life Festival -- a celebration of age", which runs from the 10th to the 23rd of April.

We are really keen that anyone with memories, pictures, or any other materials relating to Parkfield, Brandy Bottom, or other local pits attends the surgery following the talk, as we would like to book interviews and take pictures of your materials.

If you have recollections or mementos but are unable to come to the meeting, please contact Steve Grudgings on 07768 381502 or Diane Bailey on 0117 937 2398 and we will arrange contact.

Parkfield Colliery

Illustrated Talk and 'Surgery'
by Steve Grudgings

17th April at 7pm
Pucklechurch Village Hall
Doors open at 6.30pm
Talk will start promptly at 7pm



On the Buses

The bus meeting held on the 13th January was very informative, and the five people who braved the snow and ice gave us many useful ideas. The Community Plan team are now beginning to finalise the proposals for bus services and want to give people another opportunity to contribute.

Do you want a better bus service for Pucklechurch (including Shortwood and Parkfield)? Do you have ideas on how it could be improved? Do you want to have your say?

Public Meeting on Bus Services
Wdnesday, 24th March, 8.00pm
Village Hall Meeting Room

The meeting will summarise the data collected in the Community Plan survey and then discuss options and ideas to be put to the Parish Council, South Gloucestershire, and the bus companies.

If you can't be at the meeting, send your input (before the 24th March) to or Martin Smith, Hodden Cottage, Hodden Lane, Pucklechurch, BS16 9SG.



Stay Warm and Well This Winter

If your home is uninsulated, you could be losing as much as 75% of the heat you pay for through walls, ceilings and draughts. That’s according to figures from the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE), who suggest that uninsulated homes can lose up to 35% of heat through walls, 25% through roofs, and a further 15% through draughts. Yet for the vast majority of properties, measures to reduce these losses are easily available and often free to install -- all South Gloucestershire residents can benefit from free or discounted loft and cavity wall insulation.

Gloucestershire Warm and Well is a major insulation project run on behalf of the Councils of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire to help residents to reduce fuel bills and ensure their homes will be warm this winter. All private households in South Gloucestershire -- including privately rented properties -- will qualify for free loft and cavity wall insulation if residents:

  • Are over the age of 65 OR
  • Are in receipt of certain benefits OR
  • Have a low income and low savings if aged over 60 or with children under 16

Danielle Barrett, a Community Energy Advisor for CSE, said: "With temperatures plummeting and the wintry conditions showing no signs of letting up, insulation is the most effective way of cutting our fuel bills and keeping our homes warm and can save some people hundreds of pounds over the course of a year. Even if you do have insulation already, many people are not aware that they may need a top-up."

To be referred to Warm and Well, or for further information on this and other grant schemes available in your area, please contact your local Energy Saving Trust advice centre on 0800 512 012.



Have you seen Banksy in Pucklechurch?

The word graffiti can now refer to art as well as a form of vandalism. What we see around Pucklechurch, however, is not art. The Parish Council believe that it is important to keep the village as free from graffiti as possible. To this end, we will engage the services of professional cleaners to remove it as soon as practical. Please report graffiti to the Parish Clerk Diane Bailey. Please note that we are unable to remove graffiti from private property without the owner's consent. If you are the owner of the property concerned, please state this when notifying the clerk. If you are reporting graffiti elsewhere, please note the exact location of the problem, including the address if possible.

Contact details:

Diane Bailey, Clerk to the Parish Council
Address:   Pucklechurch Parish Council,
The Vale, Cattybrook Road,
Shortwood, BS16 9NJ

Telephone: 0117 937 2398


Being Prepared for the Unexpected

Fortunately, disasters are infrequent events; however, disruptions caused by high winds, rainfall, or snow have become more common in recent years. Whilst you may not be flooded out of house and home, you can be affected by the consequences of floods. Of all the disasters that could befall South Gloucestershire, by far the most likely would be one caused by flooding.

The 2007 floods just across the border in Gloucestershire resulted in over 48,000 homes having their electricity cut off, over half the homes in the county losing their main water supply, and over 5,000 homes and businesses being flooded. The effects of that event are still being felt today, nearly three years later, with some residents still living in 'temporary' accommodation whilst their homes are being repaired. 

Much work is being undertaken to make rivers and utilities more resilient to the effects of floods. However, whatever is done, there will still be a risk of flooding. For this reason, the Emergency Planning Unit has initiated a programme to engage with communities to promote an emergency awareness and preparedness message highlighting how -- with a little forethought and at little cost -- individuals, families, and businesses can prepare for the unexpected.

The Emergency Planning Unit has developed free guides and checklists that can be used to prepare families and businesses before, during, and after incidents to protect homes, businesses and belongings. Moreover, the team can offer free advice and guidance to residents and business owners on how to prepare for and cope with emergencies.

If you are aware of any group, business or organisation that you think would benefit from a visit by the EPU to discuss flood preparedness and protection, or indeed any other emergency-related advice and guidance, please contact the EPU on 01454 863992 or e-mail us at


LINK logo

The LINk Core Management Group meeting
Pucklechurch Village Hall
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2pm until 4pm

Come and meet the LINk and
find out more about it and the work it's doing

Help Make Small Changes
That Have a Big Influence on
Your Health and Social Care Services

You can become part of the new way for local people to have their say about local health and social care services and about the way they are run and developed by joining the South Gloucestershire Local Involvement Network.

For more information about the South Gloucestershire LINk or this meeting contact Sarah Booker, Development and Information worker for South Gloucestershire LINk:

( 0117 9589351 or 07896918205



FREEPOST RSBG-GTHJ-JUKK, South Gloucestershire LINk, The Care Forum, The Vassall Centre, Gill Avenue, Bristol BS16 2QQ



New Services for Stroke Survivors and Their Carers

Last year South Gloucestershire Council received a grant from the Department of Health to develop and improve services within the area for stroke survivors and their carers. A range of services received funding for support and advice, counselling, education, communication support, return-to-work assistance, exercise, and social opportunities for stroke survivors and their carers. 

Projects that received funding were the Bristol Area Stroke Foundation, Different Strokes, Exercise on Prescription, Thornbury Stroke Group, Employment Opportunities, Community Communication Support Groups, and the "Life after Stroke" carers' course.

South Gloucestershire Council have also created the post of Stroke Care Co-ordinator who will assist stroke survivors and their carers in accessing their community and promote future developments in "Life after Stroke" services.

If you would like any information or advice about "Life after Stroke" services, please contact Tina Downing on 01454 862354 or email



Fancy Playing Skittles?

The Pucklechurch Skittles League is looking for new players to join a number of teams that are currently short of players. The skittles league is a mainstay of the Village Hall Social Club and provides for a friendly and enjoyable evening out.

If you are interested in playing, please contact Peter Lugg on 937 2686 or 0779 5343486 or email



Pucklechurch Majorettes

Pucklechurch now has its own majorettes troupe to be proud of! Pucklechurch Majorettes was started last year towards the end of September by Kelly Powell, a former Pucklechurch Majorette from a few years ago.

We have two groups at the moment and train at the Village Hall on a Thursday evening. It has proved a really popular group! We are lucky to have three trainers -- Kelly Powell, Dora Boulton, and Jolene Bayliss -- and thanks to them, the girls have learnt to shake their pom-pons and twirl their batons really quickly! So quickly, in fact, that back in November Pucklechurch Majorettes entered a competition in Patchway, competing with some troupes that had been together for years. The girls did us proud with an excellent pom-pon routine and performed so confidently and precisely, everyone supporting them was amazed and extremely proud. There were a few tears shed by mums and trainers because they were fantastic! It was worth all the hard work and extra rehearsals when it was announced that the girls had been awarded fourth place.

We are also very lucky to have an enthusiastic committee and plenty of parental support. The group has two regular helpers there every week, Kelly’s mum Chris Sargeant and George Wynter.

Another big event for the Pucklechurch Majorettes was "Christmas on the Hill" in Staple Hill. The girls were asked to take part in the parade that goes along Staple Hill High Street and give a performance inside in the Salvation Army building. Despite freezing temperatures, the girls managed to smile while twirling their batons and marching. The indoor performance was a great success and saw the girls performing two pom-pon routines. We will be joining in with Christmas on the Hill again this year.

Other things to look forward to this year are four competitions in which we are entering two pom-pon teams, one twirling team and one military team. We will be taking part in the Summer Fayre at Pucklechurch Primary School and also in Revel Day. Our year will end with a family disco.

Well done girls, I think we are going to see great things this year!

Beth Rawlins



New Bobbies on the Beat

Hello to all! The Staple Hill Neighbourhood Policing Team have some exciting news regarding changes to the Boyd Valley and Bitton Team, which covers Pucklechurch. A new beat manager has been appointed, PC 693 Simon Topps, who has 13 years' policing experience. He joined the team on 23rd February. I am Hugh Barnes, your new Police Community Support Officer (PCSO). I am currently in tutorship on another beat, but I am trying to get out and about on this area as well. We hope that along with the new faces you will see some new ideas enter the neighbourhood policing team.

We have some initiatives we would like to implement, but we would also love to hear your thoughts on what you would like to see happen. Please feel free to email me at My mobile number when I am on duty is 07825388936.

Simon and I look forward to meeting you all soon.

PCSO Hugh Barnes 9860

Read more here...


Pucklechurch Cricket Club – Youth & Senior Nets

Most of us associate playing cricket with the summer, but for all of our village teams, whatever the age group, practice nets start well in advance of the beginning of the season. This year the club has arranged indoor nets as follows:

  • U11s (from age 8 upwards) at Pucklechurch Community Centre -- Sundays starting 7th March, 10.30am-12 noon
  • Youth teams (from 11-17 years old) at Yate International Academy (formerly King Edmund School) -- Saturdays  starting 20th February,10am-12 noon
  • Senior Nets at Yate International Academy (formerly King Edmund School) -- Thursdays starting 25th February,  6-8 pm

Senior sessions will be run in conjunction with pro-coach Rob Cunliffe (former Gloucestershire CCC Player), and we are hoping he may also be able to run a few of the youth nets too. As ever, new players of all ages are invited to join in. Nets are a brilliant way of trying out cricket, perhaps for the first time or for getting to know the rest of the team. Pucklechurch Cricket Club prides itself on its friendly and welcoming attitude towards all players, spectators, and parents. This year our youth season begins on 27th April, so there’s plenty of time to practice before then!

We are particularly looking for more players for our U13s squad this year, so if you know anyone who might be interested, please encourage them to come along.

For further details, contact Dean or Vicky on 937 3227.



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