This indpendent website, founded in January 2011, aims to bring you a comprehensive round up of stories sourced from the police, local councils and community groups in Patchway.

Railway closures set to cause travel disruption

Posted on Friday 27th May 2016 at 10:32 am by SH (Editor)

Severn Tunnel electrification drilling work.

Railway passengers are being warned to expect disruption as a result of major engineering works being carried out in the north Bristol area over the next six months.

From Saturday 28th to Monday 30th May, the railway between Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway, Gloucester and Severn Tunnel Junction will be closed, with many services being amended or replaced by buses.

The closure is necessary to allow Network Rail carry out major signal improvements at Filton Bank, which is being upgraded to four tracks, allowing slower local trains to run on their own tracks without hindering or affecting the frequency of new high-speed electric trains that are to be introduced as part of Network Rail’s £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan.

A further closure associated with this work is expected to take place over the late August bank holiday weekend (27th to 29th August).

This will be followed by a six week closure of the line between Bristol and South Wales, from 12th September to 21st October, to allow the 130-year-old Severn and Patchway tunnels to be prepared for electrification.

This work will involve installing conductor beams in both tunnels to power the new fleet of electric trains that will run underneath. To install this beam in the Severn tunnel, four tonnes of soot needs to be removed and extensive improvements made to the brick work.

Mark Langman, Network Rail’s managing director for the Western route, said:

“Electrification has many long-term benefits including faster, more frequent trains and a boost to economic growth in towns and cities across the whole of the Western route and beyond.”

“I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their patience and understanding while we deliver the essential upgrades needed to prepare these tunnels for electrification and the benefits this will bring.”

As previously reported, Network Rail is also currently carrying out potentially noisy piling works in the Little Stoke and Patchway areas. This work, associated with the installation of overhead wires, is taking place on Saturday nights and is expected to continue until October.

More information:

This article originally appeared in the May 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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Harriers pair clinch world championship medals

Posted on Tuesday 10th May 2016 at 12:27 pm by Nikki Hallur

Bronze medal winners Kenedi Cross (left) and Vada Finniear (right) in action at the 2016 World Acrogymnastics Championships in Putian, China.

A local gymnastics club based at Patchway Sports Centre has had a major success with two of its gymnasts receiving medals at the recent Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships in Putian, China.

Harriers Acrobatic Gymnastics is a relatively small club which also trains at Little Stoke Primary School, but its gymnasts Kenedi Cross, aged 15, and Vada Finniear, aged 18, have made it big this year by winning a bronze medal in acro-gymnastics, which is performed in pairs with no apparatus. They were competing in the class for Mixed Pair Ages 13-19. The pair train at Harriers with their coach, Sarah Bateman.

The Journal previously reported on Kenedi and Vada in September 2015, when they competed in the European Championships in Reisa, Germany, but they were left disappointed as an injury prevented them from completing the competition. Kenedi’s mum, Teresa Cross, tells us that their club deserves recognition because “it has very limited facilities, with no sprung floor” which means Kenedi and Vada can only train around 12 hours per week, in contrast to the 20+ hours that is possible at larger clubs. Despite this, both competitors as well as their coach, Sarah Bateman, were selected for team GB this year. They were asked to trial for team GB last year due to their history of successes in national competitions, although they were unable to finish at the European Championships. About their success this year, Teresa says, “we were all ecstatic” as they “got back up to full fitness”.

The Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships involved 12 pairs competing in qualifying rounds over two days. Kenedi and Vada received the highest marks for balance, and secured fifth place to go into the finals. Teresa Cross says it was “nail biting” as they had to compete against the European Champions from Portugal.

More: Pair are "proud of achievements, coach and club" »

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Local students tell ‘The Story of Scrap’

Posted on Sunday 20th March 2016 at 9:54 pm by SH (Editor)

Hannah Cameron at the Cameron Balloons manufacturing warehouse.

The Story of Scrap is an adventurous collaboration between students at Patchway Community College, local charity Children’s Scrapstore, Cameron Balloons (the world leader in hot air balloon manufacturing) and Coniston Primary School in Patchway.

Taking inspiration from Brandon Stanton’s renowned ‘Humans of New York’ collection, it uses images to illustrate how Children’s Scrapstore reuses manufacturing waste (scrap) for a new lease of life as children’s play resources, achieving environmental and social benefits and saving businesses disposal costs.

The project exhibits the circular economy of scrap, and the journey of materials from their manufacture, to their intended use in business, to reuse, and eventually into the Scrapstore where they are sent out to PlayPods in school playgrounds, or made available to child minders, play groups and anyone who works with children and adults in a therapeutic setting.

The aim is to enhance creative play opportunities for all children. Local artists, students and community groups also collect materials from the Scrapstore to be used for whole new creative purposes. The work will be a portfolio piece for Patchway photography student’s A-levels, and was assigned to them in the form of a brief, treating Children’s Scrapstore as a formal client. Ella Wiles of Children’s Scrapstore, who helps develop the scrap supply network, will use the project to explain to manufacturers and members of the public the eccentric role Scrapstore plays and the need that their waste fulfils.

Cameron Balloons are one of Children’s Scrapstore’s longest running suppliers, and have been donating off-cuts from their world famous hot air balloons for over 30 years. Cameron Balloons was founded in 1971 by aeronaut Donald Cameron – developer and pilot of the first modern air balloon in Western Europe – and is now managed by his daughter, Hannah. They are the world’s largest and most experienced manufacturer of hot air balloons, and their scrap material is a firm favourite with Scrapstore customers, so it seemed fitting that they would be the focus of the supplier’s side of ‘The Story of Scrap’.

More: A-level photography students visit factory and Scrapstore »

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Inquiry begins after suspected human remains found near Cribbs Causeway

Posted on Thursday 10th March 2016 at 11:01 pm by SH (Editor)

Police car.

A member of the public has found what are believed to be human remains near Cribbs Causeway.

A police cordon has been put in place and a thorough examination of the scene has commenced.

The possible human remains were found in woodland close to the junction of Merlin Road and Highwood Road.

A police spokesperson said:

“We were called at 4.28pm today (Thursday 10th March) after a member of the public found what appears to be human remains in woodland near the junction of Merlin Road and Highwood Road, Patchway.”

Enquiries are said to be at a very early stage and police say they are unable to go into any more detail at the moment.

No further information is expected to be released before tomorrow (Friday 11th March).

Police update issued at 12:31pm on Friday 11th March

We’re continuing our enquiries following the discovery of human remains in woodland near Patchway yesterday afternoon.

We’re treating the death as unexplained and a post-mortem examination will be carried out by a Home Office pathologist to determine the cause of death.

While further tests need to be completed to confirm an identity, we have evidence to suggest they are of missing 73-year-old Bristol man Derek Serpell-Morris.

Derek was last seen leaving The Criterion Pub in Ashley Road, Bristol, in the early hours of 11th July 2015. He was reported as missing on 23rd July and we’ve been carrying out extensive enquiries both in our Force area and nationwide to find him over the past eight months.

Det Ch Insp Matthew Iddon said: “Earlier today we spoke with the family of Derek Serpell-Morris to inform them of this latest development.”

“While we’re not yet in a position to confirm the remains are of Derek, we strongly believe this to be the case due to personal items found at the scene.”

“This is a very distressing time for Derek’s family who’ve been carrying out an exhaustive campaign to locate him and raise awareness of his disappearance and our thoughts are very much with them.”

“We’ll be keeping them fully updated and offering them any support they may need.”

“We’re not able to confirm any more details until the post-mortem examination and formal identification procedures have been carried out.”

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Drop-in event to give details of “noisy” railway piling work planned for Patchway area

Posted on Monday 29th February 2016 at 8:48 am by SH (Editor)

Network Rail piling carried out as part of its electrification work.

Patchway residents are invited to attend a drop-in event today (Monday 29th February) and learn about the work taking place in their area to prepare the Great Western Main Line for the arrival of a new fleet of electric trains.

The event will take place between 3pm and 7pm at the Aretians Rugby Club, Station Road, Little Stoke BS34 6HW. Members of the Network Rail project team will be on-hand throughout to explain the plans and to answer any questions.

The work forms part of Network Rail’s £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers and will involve the installation of overhead wires along two miles of railway from Patchway station to Cattybrook, including the Patchway tunnels. This overhead equipment is essential to power the new fleet of longer, faster, quieter and greener electric trains to run underneath.

The overhead lines will be installed using a process known as ‘piling’, which involves installing foundations in the ground to support the overhead gantries that will contain the electric wires.

Andrew Haynes, Network Rail’s project director for the west of England, said:

“We will do everything we can to limit the disruption to our neighbours. This phase of construction is particularly noisy and that’s why we would like to give those who live close to the railway as much notice as possible.”

“Piling is essential to pave the way for the long-term benefits that electric trains will bring. These benefits include faster trains with more seats and more legroom, and less noise and cleaner air for those living close to the railway.”

“Everyone is welcome at the drop-in and I’d urge anyone who wants to know more about our modernisation work, or has a question they’d like answered, to come along.”

For safety reasons piling can only take place when trains aren’t running and so tends to occur at night. Due to the disturbance piling can cause, Network Rail is limiting the overnight work in Patchway to Saturday nights between March and October. The exact timings of this work will be published in due course.

Related link: Great Western Electrification Programme (Network Rail)

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