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Congresbury badminton player in European Seniors Championships

Congresbury resident & retired Backwell School teacher, Cathy Alexander, has just returned from competing in the badminton European Senior Championships in Guadalajara, Madrid.  Cathy who plays for St Katherine’s Club in Pill, and her partner Penny Shears (Beaufort Badminton Club, Bristol) were representing England for the first time.   The pair had to play at least four qualifying tournaments around the country – one of which had to be The Nationals or All England. The top 6 pairs were then selected to play in the Championships.  Cathy & Penny got through to the quarter finals beating pairs from France, Germany, Finland and Sweden.  They fought hard in the quarter final, 21-18 & 21-19,  – only just losing to the No. 3 seeds from Denmark.

Nominate your police hero for an award

Nominations for your policing heroes within Bath, Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Somerset are being called for by the area’s Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens and Chief Constable Andy Marsh.

The annual Be Proud Awards recognise and reward those hard working police men and women who go above and beyond every day to make the communities of Avon and Somerset a safer place. Every person who works or volunteers within the Constabulary play a role in helping to ensure to be safe and feel safe, and this event aims to highlight the exemplary work of those individuals. The nomination form is available on the exclusive Be Proud Awards website.

Workshop theft

Police report that overnight on October 12-13 a workshop at a property in Urchinwood Lane, Congresbury, was broken into. Items stolen include a chain saw, welder and grinder.

Avon & Somerset police also point out that shed break-ins and theft of pedal cycles has increased in the area recently and there has been a spate of crime in Blagdon.

Charity Golf Day at Mendip Springs G.C.

A charity golf day will be held at Mendip Spring Golf Club in Honeyhall Lane on Friday 19 October.    Several companies are sponsoring a charity golf tournament in aid of National Eye Research Centre based in Bristol Eye Hospital who research into the causes of and treatments for eye disease, sight loss and blindness.

The winning team will get to play at Celtic Manor golf course, where the Ryder Cup was held in 2010. Other prizes will be up for grabs.

For more information or to join in, visit or call Ian on 07969 456307.

North Somerset Community Partnership Fund grants available

The North Somerset Community Partnership Grant Programme is now open for applications from local voluntary and community groups and organisations in North Somerset. The maximum grant awarded is £5000 and applications have to be received by 11am on 2nd November 2018.

To be eligible for a grant from the North Somerset Community Partnership Grant Programme your work/activity must benefit the health or wellbeing of people in North Somerset who are disadvantaged. The beneficiaries may be disadvantaged due to poverty, disability, age, location or culture.

For full details click this link:


The Strawberry Line – 5 years on

Michael Greaves shares his reflections on the last 5 years of the Strawberry line…..

In 2013 I wrote a monthly account of my walks along the ‘Strawberry Line’ from The Old Station to Thatcher’s Cider Factory. Thanks to my Daughter lending me one of bikes, I have taken to the saddle and enjoyed a few leisurely rides along the ‘Old Railway Line’ and thought some might be interested in what’s happened in the last 5 years.


Looking back at my account of September 2013, we were remembering the last train that travelled from Wells to Yatton on 7th September 1963 – 50 years ago. I haven’t seen any accounts of the 55 years that have now elapsed, but a lot has happened in the last 5 years.   Firstly, the Strawberry Line is as beautiful as ever. We are so fortunate to have this open space on our door step. I haven’t been as far as Thatcher’s Orchards for a few years and not since we lost our beloved Black Labrador ‘Minton’. He was the main reason I walked along the Strawberry Line every morning and evening. But, its pure magic and the views are spectacular with wildlife in abundance.  Read more

Bowlers clinch county cup victory

Congresbury Ladies’ captain Chris Lewis receives the Fear Cup from Somerset Ladies County President Hilary Leamon

Congresbury Ladies won Somerset’s Fear Cup competition after a tense and tightly fought game at Ashcombe Park in Weston-super-Mare at the weekend.

Up against firm favourites and 2017 Fear Cup winners Portishead RBL, Congresbury, well supported by club members, fought back from 10 shots down at the halfway stage to clinch victory by five shots as the match reached its thrilling conclusion.

The ladies began their Fear Cup campaign with wins against Ashcombe Park, Mark Moor, Victoria, St Andrew’s (both Weston-super-Mare clubs) and then met Street for the semi-final played on a neutral green at Yeovil Bowling Club.

If you would like to join Congresbury Bowling Club please visit their website or email


New Village Hall Project boost – latest update

The Congresbury new village hall project – which has received pledges of £115,000 so far – is extending the deadline of its pledge request to the end of September.
The community were asked to make a pledge, which is a non-binding promise to buy community shares, or donate via a ‘buy a brick’ scheme.
Ian Sheppard for the project said, ‘Whilst we are somewhat short of the minimum target we set, there are well over 2,000 other people, organisations and businesses in the village who could pledge. If just half pledged £100 it would raise a further £100,000.
‘The number of pledges is just as important as the amount raised because it shows potential funders the village supports the new building,’ he said.
The community share offer will be open to those aged over 16 and also to people from outside the village.
The project team has also fine-tuned the pledge request.  The minimum amount for shares has been reduced to £100 and pledges can be made online.
Mr Sheppard noted that there had been some confusion over the pledges. ‘Money invested in Community shares are not a donation,’ he explained.
‘Effectively they are a long-term loan with 30 per cent income tax relief if retained for at least three years, with the full amount to be repaid, a significant return of over 40 per cent.’
Full details are on the project website –
In a further development Mr Sheppard said that the project will receive a significant boost if it reaches the pledge target.
‘A substantial investment has been promised to help the project achieve its £400,000 optimum target. This investment is subject to some conditions, one of which is for the community to raise £250,000 in pledges.
‘Other conditions relate to ensuring the existing clubs use of the playing fields is not adversely impacted by the use of the new building, and having this included in an agreement between ourselves and the trustees managing the playing fields. The Development committee have confirmed their agreement to that.’
‘It is in the community‘s hands to make this happen.’
Members of the project team will be out and about in the village over the next month or so to answer any questions. Regular updates will be available on the website and on Facebook –

Residents protest over change to housing plans

Angry villagers from Cobthorn Way, Wrington Lane and Verlands besieged Congresbury Parish Council meeting on Monday to raise their strong objections to the tactics adopted by Strongvox, who have taken over the development at the bottom of Cobthorn Way from Sunley Homes, the original developer.

Strongvox have applied to the planning authority to replace the original mix of 38 properties with 21 four-bedroomed houses, instead of a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroomed units, and the original four bungalows reduced to one.  The 11 affordable units cannot be changed.

Read More

New Village Hall – pledge update

The deadline date for the pledge request has been extended to the end of September to give more time for the community to significantly increase the amount raised currently standing at £111,275.

We have had made some changes; the minimum amount for the shares pledge will be £100, and pledges can be made online via our website –

We are in discussions with a potential investor willing to make a substantial pledge to help the project achieve its targets, subject to some conditions. If we can finalise this pledge it will be a significant boost to the project and help with our discussions with potential funders. But the community must reach the minimum £250,000 target.

Some 127 pledges have been received so there are well over 2,000 other people in the village who could pledge.

We are working through the feedback we have received and will issue further updates over the next couple of weeks.


Future plans for Churchill & Langford queried

A series of questions on the viability, legality and wisdom of aspects of future plans for Churchill and Langford, has been delivered to North Somerset Council by a local action group.
Churchill and Langford Residents Action Group – CALRAG – posed the questions to the council’s Strategic Planning and Economic Development Scrutiny Panel, the influential committee that steers councillors in shaping the future of the area.   Read more

Village fete sizzling and successful

Tropical temperatures did not deter villagers from flocking to St. Andrew’s church paddock, for Congresbury village fete and Flower show, which was better than ever this year, with attractions for all ages.

The upbeat sound of the Cadbury Saxophones encouraged slackers to the event, and the paddock was filled with stalls, manned  by different village groups, coupled with a bouncy slide and ball pool, and a display by Avon Owls.

The Morgan car display of handmade luxury vehicles, and the vintage cars displayed by Debbie Fortune, the Audi shortly destined for Le Mans, drew appreciative crowds, mainly men.

Read More

Neighbourhood Watch Invitation

The Avon and Somerset Neighbourhood Watch Association (ASNWA) would like to invite you to attend a Neighbourhood Watch Network (NWN) event on Wednesday 20th June 2018 at Police Headquarters, Portishead. The event will run from 9.30am (Registration) then 10am to 4:30pm.
The NWN are holding regional events to showcase new, practical Crime & Vulnerability Toolkits and NW Development Seminars.
In consultation with their principle funder the Home Office they have secured funding to develop a set of 5 practical Toolkits on various crime and vulnerability issues.  For full information click here.

New hall fundraising tops £71,000

Plans for a new village hall and community centre in Congresbury will enter a critical phase in the next few months.

So far more than £71,000 has been raised towards the project with £8,200 raised last year. In the next couple of months, the project volunteers will issue an invitation to pledge money towards the build cost.

“We have set a target of the community investing £400,000 in the building; the absolute minimum that must be raised will be £250,000,” said Ian Sheppard on behalf of the project team.

Read More

Where have all the fish in the Yeo gone?

Micheal Greaves sets out to answer a question many have been asking.

Those who walk over the Millennium Bridge to either stroll around the Green or make their way to school or the shops will notice something missing. All the fish in the River Yeo have disappeared.

A chance discussion with a fisherman on Christmas Eve, provided the answer. The River Yeo has been over fished on a massive scale. Nothing to do with Brexit or the EU quotas but cormorants. These large black birds with a formidable beak and the ability to swim under water have cleaned out the river.

Read More

Knighthood for local scientist

Prof Sir Steve Sparks

Professor Steve Sparks CBE has been knighted in the New Year’s Honours for his services to volcano research and geology. Steve, 68, lives in Brinsea Road with his wife Ann and is Chaning Wills Professor of Geology in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol.

The knighthood is the latest recognition of the influence of Sir Steve’s work. In 2015 he was awarded the Vetlesen Prize in the USA. The prize is awarded for scientific achievement resulting in a clearer understanding of the Earth, its history, or its relations to the universe and is regarded as the Nobel Prize of earth sciences. At the time, Sir Steve was praised for his “highly original and insightful contributions” to the understanding of volcanic eruptions. “His research has had a huge impact globally,” said Prof. Alex Halliday, vice president of the Royal Society.

Sir Steve was elected to the Royal Society in 1988 when he was just 38.