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Village hall project ‘to move forward’

Congresbury Parish Council and the new village hall project team have reviewed the 418 responses to the recent survey, which showed 266 respondents did not support the council taking out a public works loan. 

The survey generated a lot of comment but only 28 per cent of households responded. Obviously this is disappointing and the Development Committee have confirmed their commitment to move the project forward. The project has come so far and many villagers, village organisations and businesses have put a lot of time and effort in support of the project. We can now focus on other funding options.

The project is in a good place with:
– grant funding helping us to progress the community share offer and up to £100,000 of matched equity funding available, subject to a formal application.
– an expanding pool of volunteers.
– the community café making such a promising start we are going to open on the third Saturday of each month – 18 May, 15 June, 20 July & 17 August – until the end of the summer, from 9 – 1pm.

Congresbury needs a new village hall and community centre which not only provides a ‘home’ and supports our sports clubs but will provide a broader range of modern facilities and activities for all age groups in a growing village. As an example in the 2007 Parish survey, young people said they wanted somewhere to meet and chat with their friends. The new building will provide that.

The new village hall is a part of the Council’s Neighbourhood plan and we will continue to work with them to make the new building happen.

Ian Sheppard

Congresbury Bowls open mornings


Thanks to all those who came to our open mornings, we hope you enjoyed yourselves and we look forward to seeing you again. If you missed our open mornings you are still very welcome to come to our club nights held every Monday with free coaching from 6pm – 7pm. Please wear flat soled shoes. All ages welcome!

Congresbury Bowling Club, Mill Leg, Mill Lane, Congresbury

North Somerset Arts Week 3rd -12th May

Here is a link to the website. https://www.northsomersetarts.org/exhibitions.html
There are 9 local artists showing their creative work from paintings, jewellery, textiles, ceramics and wood in the School Rooms from today till 12th May and in St Andrews Refectory from today till 8th closed 9th-12th. Follow the pink flags to find them!
On Friday 10th and Saturday 11th May an unusual exhibition highlighting the art of the needle is being presented by members of North Somerset Embroidery and Textiles Group at Cleeve Village Hall. The group’s creative work over the past two years consists of stunning contemporary and classic textile arts which will be on display and for sale between 10am and 6pm on both days.

Entry is free and visitors can sample scrumptious cakes and refreshments made by members.

The group meets monthly and welcomes new members to our monthly hand and machine sewing sessions and tutored events.

Villagers mark cricketing milestone

Families in Congresbury will celebrate 175 years of cricket this summer.

A 10-day Festival of Cricket in high summer will include a match against an MCC XI, a BBC West XI, junior cricket including All Stars, and a celebration dinner.

The annual village fete on June 29 will also be cricket themed and will feature a cricket tea bake-off using a cake recipe from the 1920s unearthed during research into cricket in north Somerset during the Victorian and Edwardian era.

Congresbury men v ladies in 1907 which the village plans to recreate in some form at this year’s fete. Photo courtesy of Anita Standen

Local historian and author Clive Burlton, a club vice president, explained: “Among the many nuggets we’ve found is a photograph and an account of a 1907 men v women cricket match in the village with men batting left-handed with broomsticks!h

“We also found recipes for all sorts of cakes and pies written by village ladies with known links to cricketers of the time which sparked the idea for the cricket tea bake-off.”

Clive, who is compiling a book to mark 175 years of village cricket, noted that while Congresbury Cricket Club cannot claim it is 175 years old – there have been too many rebirths to claim that heritage – there is no doubt that cricket has been played almost continuously in the area since the 1840s. There’s even one account of Langford playing in 1825!

“The men v women photo and a pencil-written account was found in Ernest Standen’s notebook on Theology. A religious man, Ernie played in the match and it was his wife Mabel who later commandeered his notebook to write down village recipes,” said Clive.

Congresbury skipper Justin Yau and Weston skipper Chris Davidson with the 1919 scorebook earlier this month

The oldest document so far uncovered is the scorebook from 1919. The first match after World War One was against Weston-super-Mare and almost 100 years later the two clubs met in a pre-season friendly in April with Congresbury emerging as winners. 

Cricket club chairman Geoff Wilcock said that the enthusiasm for the 175thcelebrations clearly demonstrated that cricket was alive and well despite reports of a general decline in the sport’s popularity. 

“We used to field three teams on a Saturday now it’s only two but we do have a healthy junior section and the All Stars programme is proving very popular with the five to eight year olds,” said Mr Wilcock.

“This year we are also launching soft ball cricket for women and girls which we hope will prove equally popular.”

Congresbury plays senior cricket in the West of England Premier League and the Bristol and District League and junior cricket in the North Somerset League. 


AN ANCIENT CEREMONY IN THE RAIN

Sheltered from the rain under an umbrella, one of the Assistant Bishops of Bath & Wells carried out an ancient ceremony to consecrate the remaining section of the Burial Ground at St. Andrew’s church.  A small section has been left for villagers who do not wish to be buried in consecrated ground.

The ceremony began with Diana Hassan, chairman of Congresbury Parish Council, reading a petition, on behalf of the Parish Council, to the Bishop, the Rt. Rev. George Cassidy, asking him to consecrate the land. The Bishop responded and conducted the service, leading the small gathering in prayer, assisted by Rev. Matthew Thomson. The Deputy Registrar of Bath & Wells, Janet Saxon, in wig and gown, read the official authorisation and the ceremony ended with the land being blessed.

Michael Greaves, who attended the ceremony at the end of April, was present when the upper section of the Parish Council Burial Ground was consecrated in 1982, and remembered it was also raining then, and he and Derrick Holmes took shelter in the shed.

Yeo Vally Lions shopping trips to Weston.

Yeo Valley Lions Minibus runs on alternate Thursday afternoons leaving the village at 2pm, returning about 4.30. Pick up and drop offs arranged so no-one has to walk too far. Upcoming dates May 9th and 23rd, June 6th and 20th, then fortnightly thereafter. We currently have some spaces for a few more to travel info: 07551610514


Fish return to the River Yeo

Three years ago the River Yeo lost most of its fish to cormorants using the river in Congresbury as a fast food outlet on their way to Blagdon Reservoir.

Cormorants are blamed for loss of fish in the Yeo

Once again, the miracle of nature has happened and fish are back in our river. Over the Easter weekend we were blessed with sunshine and clear water in the River Yeo. Looking over the Millennium Bridge the sunshine illuminated the river bed and to my delight and surprise, there were shoals of roach! Some of the fish appeared to be 12 inches long, but there were dozens of smaller fish enjoying the fine weather and no doubt the water insects emerging from their winter hibernation.

Roach return

The River Yeo was once one of the best rivers in the area for coarse fishing and several fishing clubs leased fishing rights for their members. We even had a trout fishing club who stocked the river from the Tumbling Weir to Iwood Bridge. Regretfully, poaching and predators such as minx and cormorants as well as pollution brought about their demise. 

As the old saying goes ‘One swallow does not make a summer’ but a few fish might mean our river is returning to its former glory. Please don’t tell the cormorants.

Michael Greaves