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.

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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Olympus Trust to help Patchway Community College overcome “significant challenges”

Posted on Friday 22nd January 2016 at 8:59 pm by SH (Editor)

Patchway Community College, Patchway, Bristol.

It has been revealed that Patchway Community College (PCC) has been in discussions with The Olympus Academy Trust to explore how it might be able to help the Patchway secondary school overcome “significant challenges” that it is said to face.

The move follows the departure of the PCC headteacher at the end of last year and the recent official publication of another poor set of GCSE results, which showed that just 40% of students achieved five or more A*-C grades, compared to the national average of 57.1% (52.9% in South Gloucestershire).

The Olympus Academy Trust already sponsors four academies in the local area, namely Bradley Stoke Community School, Abbeywood Community School (Stoke Gifford), Meadowbrook Primary School (Bradley Stoke) and Charborough Road Primary School (Filton).

Joint statement from Patchway Community College and The Olympus Academy Trust on 22nd January

Within the education system nationally, there is a move towards groups of schools working together for mutual support and for the benefit of their learners within multi-academy trusts, often within geographical localities. There is a strong record of partnership working between Patchway Community College and the secondary schools within The Olympus Academy Trust (Abbeywood and Bradley Stoke) through the Concorde Partnership. This has enabled students in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 to study together in, and to be taught by staff from, one another’s schools.

The governors and staff of Patchway Community College recognise that they face significant challenges and that, operating as an independent institution, is unlikely to overcome the issues with its ageing buildings, lower student numbers and GCSE outcomes of late. It is fortunate to have secured the services of a very experienced headteacher, Mr Roger Gilbert, to lead it through its next phase following the departure of its long-serving headteacher, Mrs Jane Millicent, at the end of 2015.

Governors of Patchway Community College and directors of its Academy Trust, Fusion, have decided that the school would benefit from being a member of a multi-academy trust and have approached The Olympus Academy Trust about joining as they have seen the positive impact the trust has had locally and it seems logical to build on existing partnership arrangements rather than look elsewhere. Directors of both trusts have discussed this possibility and have been in contact with the Regional Schools Commissioner, Sir David Carter, about potential support for such a proposal.

It has been agreed that a programme of partnership support will be provided by The Olympus Academy Trust as a next step. This will prepare for the possibility of Olympus taking full responsibility for Patchway Community College in due course. Before that can happen, approval will need to be given by the Regional Schools Commissioner’s Headteacher Board and a full consultation with members of both academy trusts’ communities alongside further due diligence by both sets of directors. We will provide further updates as they become available.

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Plans submitted for housing on site of former Royal British Legion Club

Posted on Wednesday 13th January 2016 at 10:47 am by SH (Editor)

Royal British Legion Club, Rodway Road, Patchway, Bristol.

A planning application has been submitted to demolish the former Royal British Legion Club on Rodway Road and replace it with eight 2- and 3-bed homes.

The social club has been closed since July 2014 after getting into financial difficulties. The legal entity behind the club, Patchway & District Royal British Legion Club Ltd, is named as the “owner” of the land/building on the planning application, but is believed to be in the process of being wound-up. A notice displayed at the front of the property states that the land is currently being held in trust by the Royal British Legion, which intends to dispose of it “by way of a sale of the freehold”.

Applicant MCDI Homes Limited has submitted plans for six 3-bed homes and two 2-bed homes on the site, with 16 parking spaces.

The public consultation period for the application closed on 5th January and has attracted one supporting comment from the owner of a neighbouring residential property plus further comments from Patchway Town Council and the nearby Patchway Community Centre.

The town council says it has no objection to the construction of housing on the site, but says it would prefer it to consist of smaller 1- or 2-bed properties, so as to give older local residents currently living in 3-bed homes the opportunity to downsize, thereby releasing family homes onto the market.

The community centre raises the concern that cars currently parking on the Legion Club site will be displaced and start using visitor parking bays at the centre.

It is understood that once planning officers have prepared a report on the application, it is likely to be “called in” by a Patchway district councillor, meaning that it will have to be determined by a meeting of South Gloucestershire Council’s planning committee.

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