Andrew Sheppy whose sudden death at the age of just 68 has stunned many, was a well recognised figure around the village. The archetypal rustic, in his well-worn boiler suit, dirty green wellies, shapeless hat and bushy beard, his educated tones when he spoke came as a shock.
But Andrew was a man of many talents, devoted not only to his rare breed Dexter cattle and poultry, but also a musician of some renown, organist, choir conductor, and possessor of a fine bass voice.
Every seat was filled in St. Andrew’s church, Congresbury on the first Friday in April, for an upbeat evening of songs from musicals and films, which set the appreciative audience tapping their feet and humming along.
Villagers representing facets of Sylvia Jago’s 84 years of activity were among the congregation in St. Andrew’s Church, Congresbury, for a celebration of her life on April 4th.
IN THE PINK!
Pink was the theme of the anniversary coffee morning in Congresbury Methodist Hall, celebrating 10 years since Charlton Farm Children’s Hospice at Wraxall was opened, and 25 years since the first children’s hospice in the south west was established in Barnstable.
Every seat was taken at the attractive tables, as over 50 supporters, of all ages, participated in tasting the delicious cakes, made by Pam Stewart and delightfully decorated with pink pigs.
During the evening of 10 April a burglary occurred at a farm at Iwood Lane, Congresbury. Entry was gained by breaking window and items stolen include cash, laptops and a radio.
After three and a half days of close argument, CRAG’s team at the Wrington Lane public inquiry, ably led by Peter Walton, are quietly hopeful of a positive outcome.
Praise for CRAG’s efforts came from District Councillor Tom Leimdorfer who said he was immensely proud of the village. “We knew that we were up against land agents with very deep pockets using top experts and an aggressive business model,” he said.
Friday’s session ended with evidence from two important witnesses for Gladman.
The first, a landscape architect tried to argue that 50 new houses in a field would not alter the character of the surrounding area. The second, Gladman’s town planner, tried to convince the inspector that because North Somerset could not prove a five year supply of land for development, their appeal should be allowed.
Janet Edwards with her prizewinning orchids
A difficult Spring for local gardeners did affect the entries at the Congresbury Horticultural Society Spring Show on Saturday, but villagers pulled out all the stops and produced a colourful and enjoyable event.
Show Secretary Lyn Bacon summed it up when she said that the warm weather encouraged all the daffodils to open early, and they were then drastically damaged by wind and rain.
However the Old School Rooms still blossomed with a feast of colour and perfume, and, once again, children’s entries were numerous and fascinating.
Betty Sutton who has died aged 90
Abundant flowers decorated Congresbury Methodist Church for the Thanksgiving service of Betty Sutton, on March 6th, reflecting that many of her 90 years of life, centred on flowers.
Born in Oldmixon, Betty attended Hutton village school, and then moved to Weston-super-Mare, where she was a Girl Guide and joined the Red Cross. She met her husband Derrick at a village dance when he was stationed at R.A.F. Locking. Aged 16, she moved to London and worked as a Red Cross nurse in the Soho Women’s Hospital, before returning to the West Country to train as a State Registered nurse at Bristol Royal Infirmary.
Congresbury Residents Action Committee (CRAG) has decided take on a development company at a public inquiry due to take place later this month. CRAG made the decision to fight Gladman Homes after North Somerset council’s U-turn to approve a decision to allow building.
In August 2016, North Somerset planners cited four good reasons for opposing an appeal lodged by Gladman Homes for their application to build 50 dwellings on land off Wrington Lane.
Now six months later, following advice from planning officers, the council has done a 180 degree turn and approved the plan – even though they had already approved a scheme by Sunley Homes for 38 houses in a nearby field.
Barbara Elverd who was a popular and well-known figure in the village
Barbara Ruth Summerell was born in the Bird in Hand Pub, Nailsea on February 12, 1936. She was one of nine children. Later in 1958 she married Terry Elverd. They moved to Mulberry Road, Congresbury in 1965 where Stephen and Phillip were born.
Barbara will be remembered in Congresbury as one of Edith Wilson’s right hand people at the Playgroup in the Methodist Hall. She was also a lollipop lady for many years and worked in the wool shop, Needles & Pins alongside Maureen Budd in the Precinct which was owned by Maureen Bewes.
If you have ever wanted to help your local community now is your opportunity to volunteer with the Avon Community Resilience Team (CRT).
The purpose of the Avon CRT is to support communities within Avon to be able to be better prepared to cope with adverse situations like the effects of a storm, high winds and flooding. Volunteers will help reduce the demand put on the emergency services and be a link between the community and blue light services.
Wyn Daniel: a hugely popular figure in the village
Wales and rugby were two main strands running through the DNA of Wyn Daniel, a well-known local rugby player and popular teacher, who died suddenly aged 65.
Born in Cardigan. Wyn spent most of his early life on his parents’ small farm in Pembrokeshire. He was always involved in sport, but his passion was rugby, and he gained a County schoolboys cap in Pembroke and competed at national level in the shot put.
Studying as a teacher in Cardiff, he met his future wife, Carolyn, also a student there, and they married in 1974.
Sometimes all it takes is a simple ‘hello’ from a neighbour to make an elderly or vulnerable person feel less isolated and more safe, say police.
Everyone has a part to play in reducing opportunities for thieves to strike. If you’re a family member, neighbour or carer of an elderly or vulnerable person, please help to keep them safe and independent by giving them some good advice and reminding them to think about their personal safety.
Two Guide Dogs and a young one in training were among the congregation at the funeral of Marilyn Howells (80) in Weston Crematorium on January 12.
Spring is coming
“TeenSing” sessions are for anyone aged between 10-19, and are held at “The Old School Rooms, Congresbury” on Mondays from 5:45-7:15pm.
For many years Fred Bailey was the well-known figure in Congresbury British Legion, always featuring in the Remembrance Day services, so villagers were sad to learn of his death at the age of 96.
BANG, CRASH WALLOP – WHAT A CELEBRATION – ROBBIE BURNS WOULD HAVE LOVED IT
Congresbury Scouts and Guides HQ is not the most likely venue to celebrate the memory of Robbie Burns. But, for the 90 people who attended this annual event on Saturday 28th January, it was ‘Fantastic’.
An eagle-eyed Special Constable caught a thief red-handed on Friday night 13/01, when he noticed a suspicious vehicle just before midnight. The officer was on patrol around the Congresbury area when he noticed a van parked across the gateway of a field. Given the late hour, the officer went to investigate and his suspicions were confirmed the driver ran away as he approached. Fortunately he didn’t get far and was detained by the officer.
Items including a ride-on lawn mower, tree shredder/chipper, a generator, a hedge trimmer and tree pruners were found in and near the van and officers later confirmed that two separate garages had been broken into and the items recovered matched those that were taken.
The 34 year-old man from Hewish was arrested on suspicion of two non-dwelling burglaries and was taken to Patchway Custody Centre. He has been released on bail pending further investigation. The officers were able to reunite the property with the rightful owners.
If you have information about suspected crime in your area you can either email the Police via the website, call us on 101 or text a new number 81819 we have launched which will allow the public to text information directly to the Rural Crime Team, who will be able to assess and action the intelligence quickly and efficiently. This text number is specifically for rural and agricultural crime information and is being trialled for three months.
The Congresbury afternoon WI meet in the Methodist Hall on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 2.15 and are a small, very friendly group, always happy to welcome visitors and new members.
Further information from our President, Val Harding, on 01934 833396 or the Secretary, Susan Hibberd, on 01934 833544
Click here for the 2017 programme
Choirs start again with “TeenSing” sessions which are for anyone aged between 10-19, and are held at “The Old School Rooms, Congresbury” on Mondays from 5:45-7:15pm. £76 for 11 week term. Come and join us, and if you’re new, your first session is free!
A garage at Hill Park, Congresbury, was broken into overnight 31 December-1 January. Items stolen include quad bikes, motor bikes and a mountain bike.
Boxing Day walkers on Cadbury Hill
The Annual Boxing Day walk enjoyed good weather and the 50 walkers took two routes, one walked over Cadbury Hill and the photograph shows the panoramic view looking over the Village and beyond to Crooks Peak and Exmoor. The second group walked alondg the River Yeo and then followed a circular route back via the Strawberry Line to enjoy mince pies and sherry in the Old School Rooms.
Most of the walkers then retired to The Plough where the Mendip Morris Men did their annual Boxing Day display to a large crowd of onlookers. The highlight was perhaps the children who were invited to join in and take part in this ancient custom.
Silver Springs Fishing Lake on Boxing Day. Sketch by Michael Greaves
Michael Greaves reflects on the changes seen along the Strawberry Line following the annual Boxing Day walk
In 2013 I wrote a monthly series of articles about ‘Life on the Strawberry Line’.
On Boxing Day morning the annual Village Walk gave me the opportunity of looking at the changes that have happened in the last four years. Fortunately, the Strawberry Line is still there and being used by increasing numbers of walkers, cyclists and horse riders. The downside is that more traffic is using the old railway line with a solar farm and a new farm house having been built towards Churchill.
Happy New Year!
Sing Out Loud UK wants to help you make this your “Year of Songs”! With our selection of choirs in North Somerset, there is a choir for everyone, and opportunities to develop your skills as well as learning new songs and refreshing old ones!
Last week, two wreath-making workshops were held in the village, raising a grand total of £310. Thanks to all who attended, those who made puddings and especially to Liz English who organised the lunch and made soup. The wreaths were stunning, well done everyone.
Have you spotted any festive decorations of note this year? Why not send us your pictures and we’ll publish them on our Facebook page. Here is one from the past, Barry’s wonderful scarecrow at the wier 2014. Do send us an up-to-date one.
Music, lights and laughter filled Broad Street for the annual Christmas Fair.
A new feature this year was the mini Ferris wheel, emblazoned with festive lights, which continually took pairs of children up and over the street to look down on the hectic activity.
The new Christmas street lights, organiseded by the Parish Council, and the superbly illuminated Christmas tree added to the jolly atmosphere.