News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Local Media Unearthed in Kings Weston

Imagine that.

Despite living in Westbury on Trym for twelve years, yesterday was the first time I had come across Shirehampton's community newspaper.

The reassuringly-named "Shire" has, according to the front page of its February edition, been in continuous publication for 37 years. This has lead to BS11's leading newspaper claiming that "We think we might be the longest running amateur local free community paper." That's a lot of adjectives in front of the word "paper", but congratulations nonetheless.

Shire runs to 5,000 copies monthly and I picked up my free copy for the first time yesterday from King's Weston House cafe after a pleasant stroll round the extensive grounds, which if I'm not mistaken have had some of their undergrowth cut back to reveal paths and vistas that were new to me.

The community paper is run by volunteers and gives the Shiehampton Library as its official address along with a range of phone numbers. I was impressed to see one number designated as "Requests for Shire by Post", which reveals a level of community spirit rarely found in better-funded corporate publications.

Breaking news in February's edition (number 445) includes:
  • a review of the Ralph Vaughan Williams exibition at the Shirehampton library (no, I didn't know of his Bristol links either, nor of the fact that he was great nephew of Charles Darwin)
  • Photos of an unknown WW2 soldier found in a local skip
  • an article on the links to local people in street names
  • news from the Avon Wildlife Trust
  • an extensive letters page
  • a report on Carols on the Green (a long-standing Christmas Eve tradition in the village)
Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways also have a piece in the paper along with a network map which includes hoped-for new or re-opened stations in Hallen, Henbury, North Filton as well as Horfield and Ashley Hill. The top right hand corner of the map shows an arrow to "Swindon, Reading, London Paddington and Europe".

Although one might have prefered the word "Continent", I won't quibble with the Friends. I'm all for the possibility of taking a continuous train journey from Henbury to Istanbul. Bring it on!

The Shire also has its own web site here, with what struck me as a surprisingly active message board, mostly from former residents of the Shire now living acrosss the world.

Although Trym Tales (which I think might be the longest-running amateur free online blog in Westbury on Trym) cannot claim a print edition, let alone one posted on request, readers will be glad to know that they can obtain their favourite blog in Tabloid form free of charge and ad-free, as explained on a former post here.

If you enjoyed this post, get free updates by email or RSS.

1 comment:

Chris Hutt said...

Sounds like you ought to check out Terry Cook's blog. If you had you'd have known about the Shire's Vaughan Williams connection. He hasn't posted much in the past but now has a lot more time on his hands.

Site Meter