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births, marriages, deaths - and anniversaries and retirements

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Happy 100th birthday George

An old soldier who celebrated his 100th birthday with close family and friends in Nailsea received a special greetings card from King Charles and Queen Camilla.

George Durkal was one of six brothers and sisters. He was born in Poland on May 3, 1924,

His war years were traumatic when after his home burned down the Gestapo ordered the teenaged college student to go and work in Germany on a farm.

The hazardous journey was made in a cattle truck and conditions were harsh in the internment camp he was housed. 

At the end of the war, he signed up for the Polish army and was posted for two years to Italy where he gained a lifelong love of pasta dishes.

After that and unable to return to his homeland now under Russian occupation George came to live in  this country.

Great niece Cheryl Field said: “Initially he had numerous jobs here working in a jam factory and driving a fruit truck until he saved enough money to buy woodworking tools.”

it was while working as a carpenter at British Cellophane in Bridgwater he met and fell in love with office girl Joyce.

The devoted couple who married at St Martins church, Worle, travelled the world together dancing and won many competitions.

Sadly, their only son Neil died young.

After more than 60 years at British Cellophane he left with a long service silver cup.

He continued making wooden toys and garden benches in his home workshop, playing chess -he even made a chessboard, and watching cricket.

Many years passed before he was about to meet with some of his Polish family again.

The joyous reunion took place at Paddington railway station and came about when a friend spotted a newspaper advertisement.


When Joyce died in January 2023, aged 97, George was alone and happy to move to Argentum Lodge in Silver Street to be near to his Nailsea niece Diane Oliver and her family.

Cheryl added: "Uncle George is always happy no matter what, even when poorly.

"He has a big heart and such a contagious smile which everyone comments on and loves."

OH HAPPY DAY: Tyler Silvester married Chalisa Ano at Bristol Register Office on Monday, March 11. The couple met six years ago at Swansea University where they were both engineering students. The graduates shared their day with family and friends. Tyler is from Nailsea and Chalisa is from Sattahip in Thailand

Hair & Makeup: House of Bendy
Flowers: And So Our Adventure Begins
Videographer: Break Every Chain Productions
Photographer: Christ Andrews Photography
Venue: The Radnor Rooms

Honeymoon Suite: The Bristol Harbour Hotel

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Sadly, we have to report that Jeremy Hobbs, aged 81, has died.

A much-loved local businessman and village character born in Nailsea in February 1943 he recently moved briefly from Backwell House to Audley Redwood village.

Jeremy supported many local organisations and will be greatly missed.

We will reminisce more later when we have funeral (which is likely to be family only) and/or memorial arrangements.

PHOTO: Nailsea People flower show 2017

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Jeremy Hobbs

Feb 1943-May 2024

Arthur E Davey & Sons Ltd
82 Silver Street
Nailsea BS48 2DS
Telephone:  01275 852307
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The Hobbs and Toogood families are in mourning for two much-loved family members who died within days of one another and they would like to thank everyone for all the kind words and thoughts they have received.

A family spokesperson said: “Judy Toogood died on Wednesday, May 1, and her younger brother Jeremy Hobbs died the following day, Thursday, May 2.

"As you can imagine the Hobbs family have been devastated by this sudden loss.”

Judy’s funeral will be held at 2pm on Wednesday, May 29, at All Saints Church, Kingston Seymour.

People wishing to donate to her tribute may use this link

Following a family-only private cremation for Jeremy there will be a memorial/celebration of life, open to all who knew him and would like to share memories of him and raise a glass.

This will be from 3.30pm on Wednesday, June 5, in a covered outdoor space at Keepers Cottage, Walton Bay, Clevedon BS21 7BA. Parking is available in the paddock – please follow the signs.

Jeremy’s family have requested that as this is a celebration of his life, please wear something bright and colourful - not black - and in lieu of flowers donations should be made to British Heart Foundation and/or RSPCA .

For catering purposes Jeremy’s family would appreciate a rough idea of numbers.

Please email to by the end of Thursday, May 30 with details if you are planning on attending.

Memorial/celebration of life

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Michael Spencer RIP

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Tributes from Nailsea United and Grove Sports Centre & Social Club 
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‘How lucky we are to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard’

We will be saying goodbye to our most beloved dad on Friday, June 21, at 2.30pm at South Bristol Crematorium.

This will be followed by a get together to celebrate his life at the Grove Sports Centre & Social Club, Nailsea.

Anyone that knew dad is more than welcome to join us.

As a fitting tribute to ‘Mycal’ we will be stopping at the Grove at 1.30pm for the last time before travelling onto the Crematorium.

Please join us there if you wish.

We kindly ask that instead of flowers a donation be made in dad’s name to the air ambulance for their incredible service.

Dress code smart/casual.

However, if you are associated with Nailsea United FC, please can we ask you to wear your red club polo shirt or any other club attire you may have.

Donations in lieu of flowers to:

Penny, Wendy and Steven Spencer

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On Wednesday, June 6, a memorial/celebration of life for Jeremy Hobbs was held at the Walton Bay shooting lodge.
Hobbs Properties company secretary Sadhana Jain has shared a thank you to all those you attended which included family, friends, colleagues, former staff, contractors, shooting, golfing and sailing club members as well as representatives from 1st Nailsea Scouts and Nailsea & Backwell RFC.

Many travelled long distance to attend. 
Sadhana said: "On behalf of his wife of 55 years Anne and all of Jeremy’s family, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who made it to Jeremy’s celebration of life. 
"The turn-out was fabulous, having anticipated approximately 100 people it was lovely and heart-warming to count around 170 there.

"I think that shows what a big character Jeremy was, much liked and known far and wide.
"I didn’t get a chance to speak to a lot of people I was hoping to but it was lovely to see so many familiar faces.
"A few people thanked me for organising it and I have to admit I cannot take any of the credit – I just tried to keep you all in the loop with the details. 
"Anne organised the event with lot of help from many including the Walton shoot guys. 
"A special thanks to Andrew Waygood for playing host, parking attendant, organiser and very generous bar man.
"Thank you also for coming so brightly dressed – I think colourful is a great word to describe Jeremy. 
"It was the perfect send-off for him and he would have loved it - although no doubt he was looking down and grumbling about all of the little tweaks he would have made.
"I think many of you did not know about or get a chance to sign Jeremy’s tribute book, see image top. 
"I am hoping to add as many comments as possible for Anne to treasure, so if you would like something added please feel free to send me what you would like to write and I will print out messages and stick them in."

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There have been many generous donations on both Jeremy and his sister Judy’s online tribute pages, but if you have not had a chance to do so yet and would like to, please use the following links to donate:

A very fond goodbye to Jeremy

What do you buy Nailsea Bikers chairman John Colley for his 60th birthday - a 4-stroke trail bike of course!

Initially registered in The Netherlands this endurance model like John comes with an ‘interesting history’ travelling to Nailsea via Mumbai in India!

It was stored for months in a neighbour’s garage when fellow enthusiasts got to work making the two-wheeler 100 per cent road worthy.

Guests invited to the big bash in Hillcrest Road on Saturday, June 8,  also contributed photos taken over the years of shared friendship and fun.

From schooldays to his teens and beyond with mad antics, George Michael posing, holidays near and far, marvellous marriage to Sharon and fab sons John Junior and Peter, the images temporarily obscured a family heirloom.

This is a huge display cabinet of knickknacks collected over several decades by Sharon, the chief cook and bottlewasher for the occasion (that is the brains).

The theme was glam rock 70s although a few 60s and 80s costumes slipped in.

Known for his prowess on the dance floor, John displayed some slick moves in the marquee partnered by some movers and shakers armed with air guitars.

# wind played havoc with marquee but it all held together for a fantastic evening accompanied by the wonderful and talented rock band 3 Day Week.

John is known for his dedication to raising money for the Children’s Hospice South West and his next public appearance with friends will be on Saturday, September 7, for the 14th International Bike Show at the Ring O’Bells.

Let's go party people

Hopes are high the long awaiting extension to Nailsea's garden of rest will get the go-ahead soon.
With church graveyards and the current garden of rest full people in Nailsea have nowhere to mourn the loss of a recently departed loved one. 
Nailsea resident Linda Shipway said: "Sadly my mum passed away in August 2022 and I have been endeavouring to find out when the garden of rest will be extended, so that we can intern mum's ashes locally and have a permanent place for us to visit her."
In October 2010, Dignity began to manage Weston-super-Mare Crematorium as part of a new 30-year partnership with North Somerset Council which also included the current garden of rest at Nailsea. 
Two years ago neighbouring land at Stockway North was cleared ready for the extension but then nothing happened.
Dignity Plc corporate communications manager Stuart Cox said: “The takeover of Dignity Plc by Sir Peter Wood, the founder of Direct Line and Esure and Gary Channon, Dignity’s former CEO, has now completed. 
"As previously stated, this move into private ownership should see us better placed to provide the best value and highest standards for the bereaved in the long-term. 
"During the takeover process all large capital projects had to be paused, including the development of the Nailsea garden of remembrance.
"Our local business leader and head of region are preparing a comprehensive business case for the Nailsea extension project. 

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Fight to get Garden of Rest extended 

"We are taking the necessary time to ensure that all aspects of the proposal are meticulously organised and well-presented. 
"Once the business case is complete, we will present it to the board of directors for their consideration and we are optimistic they will recognise the value and potential of extending the Nailsea Garden of Remembrance.”

For some December was filled with sadness like Sarah Mapstone whose dear father died 10 days before Christmas.
She said: "My dad Jeff Edmunds, pictured, lived in Nailsea for more than 30 years.
"He passed away on Friday, December 15, aged 89.
"Many will now him as he played bowls, skittles and crib in the town and he had a great friendship with the owner of Nailsea Cycle Shop.
"His funeral service is at Westerleigh Crematorium, Westerleigh, Bristol BS37 8QP on Wednesday, January 17, at 10.45am and all who knew him is welcome to attend."
There are many others we know who have been grieving at this time and send heartfelt love.

  • We remember with fondness every December actor musician Ross Baker who went to school in Nailsea. Ross  lost his life in the Tsunami on Boxing Day 2005 - RIP.

Funeral service new year date for Jeff Edmunds

Angela Mary Fido RIP


A celebration of life for Marilyn Waghorn is on Thursday, March 7, at 1.30pm at South Bristol Crematorium.

Marilyn who was born on December 4, 1946, died at Sycamore Lodge on February 2, 2024.

Daughter Hannah credits her parents who campaigned to stop building in the quarry at the bottom of their Westway garden for the setting up of the Stockway North nature reserve and memorial gardens.

Donations in lieu of flowers for the Azheimer's Society via this website which says 'she is much loved and will always be remembered/.

Marilyn Waghorn RIP


Sadly, today, I attended another funeral this week of somebody that was taken from us far too early, writes Phil Williams.
But it reminded me so so strongly of the incredible commitment of the volunteers that give their time freely to help our kids with sport, not just in surfing but all the sports. 
Phil Malone gave his time to the junior football league in Nailsea (for Nailsea United) for so many years, and I was very lucky for my son Joseph Williams to be part of that.
Many hours spent on freezing cold touch lines, in the wind and the rain and the occasional sunshine, watching our kids playing a sport that united the  community.
Phil was my age when he passed, and I just remember so much about his smile, his willingness to encourage, engage, and to embrace all of the footballers that came under his coaching. 
My thoughts and prayers go out to Lisa Malone and Jordan Malone as well as the girls today and in the coming few weeks. 
Phil you left an incredible legacy and just to catch up with everybody afterwards brought so many memories flooding back. 
Thank you for all you did. 
We so appreciate the passion, the care and the sacrifices you made, and I know all of those boys so so much appreciated what you did. 
God bless my friend Phil.

The closing tune by The Wurzels, One for the Bristol City really did bring a few tears. 


Farewell to Nailsea junior football coach

The leader of Nailsea’s first purpose build pre-school Debbie Davie is retiring.

After more than 30 years of being an amazing staff member at Greenslade Preschool Debbie is retiring but knowing Debbie she won’t be putting her feet up, say well-wishers.

On Saturday, June 29, 10am-noon everyone who knows Debbie is invited to the Pound Lane preschool to come and share their memories and maybe photos if you have them?

A spokesperson said: “All welcome - we would love to see previous children, parents and members of staff.

“Come along and help us give Debbie a much-deserved morning to remember.

“We look forward to seeing you there.”

Greenslade Pre-School was formed in 1972 and is proud to have been providing high quality childcare since then.

Its staff turnover is very low which is fantastic for forming bonds with children and their families.

They are a team of eight plus an administrator.

Debbie began her childcare career as a childminder in Nailsea, joined the Greenslade PTA and progressed to being chairperson before taking on the role of leader/Senco in 1997.

Greenslade Pre-School is a registered charity run by the community for the community.


Debs heads for happy retirement

Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal organiser for the Nailsea area Stephen Rowan, has been working very hard over the past two years as a one-man band raising money for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.  

His efforts have resulted in raising more than £40,000 during the past two years, a truly impressive amount. 

 To continue this mammoth task Stephen needs a secure room or facility to make up and store the poppy boxes from late October to the end of November 2024.  

This secure room needs to be about the size of a typical family living room of around 17 metres square or about 12ft by 14ft with a lockable door. 

Can anyone help and provide this secure storage facility for his sole use during this time? 

Without a secure storage room Stephen may be unable to organise the Poppy Appeal in 2024.  This would be a great shame.  If you can help please contact Stephen by mobile 07534 166575 or by email

 Stephen also needs volunteers to help. 

This could be making up the boxes, collecting full boxes, selling the poppies and staffing the collection of donations from people at Tesco, Waitrose and other venues across Nailsea. 

He needs volunteers from Saturday to Monday, October 26-November 11, this year. 

Stephen said: “As a Royal Air Force veteran I really understand the great work of the Royal British Legion. 

“It’s important for me to support them and I really need your help to do this. 

“Please call me if you can volunteer or help by providing a secure facility, I can use to organise the Poppy appeal in 2024.“

Royal British Legion in Somerset Poppy Appeal manager Paul Bunce said: “Stephen is desperate for volunteers to assist with Nailsea this year during the Poppy Appeal.

“Steve has been a one-man band for the last two years and has grown the appeal to such an extent he can no longer cope with organising it on his own.

!Income has increased five-fold due to the huge generosity of Nailsea residents and Steve's perseverance and hard work.”

The Royal British Legion supports service personnel, starting after just one day of service and continuing through life, long after their service is over.Not only do they support current and former Service personnel, but they support their families too.

There are an estimated 6.5 to 6.7 million members of the Armed Forces community living in the UK.

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Appeal for help by Poppy Appeal organiser

Each of these people are eligible to receive the support of The Royal British Legion , whether they need financial guidance, expert guidance, help transitioning into civilian life or assistance with their physical or mental well-being.

These are just a few of the ways people can seek help from the Royal British Legion.  For more information on The Royal British Legion see

FRIDGE FLYTIPPING: A small fridge has been dumped next door to the sheltered housing complex at Pegasus Court. This is the land at Stockway North that Dignity was suppose to use as an extension to the garden of rest. However, since a management buyout nothing has happened for years. Fridges can be taken to Backwell recycling centre. Fridges can be very harmful to the environment as they contain Chlorofluorocarbons, which is an ozone-depleting substance. In mid-April they told us: Our project team are actively exploring alternative approaches that we believe will strengthen our case for sign-off from the board. We expect to finalise the next steps very shortly. This adjustment reflects our commitment to finding the most effective long-term solution for the community. We will ensure you are kept updated on the progress and remain optimistic that our efforts will be recognised and supported by the board. We will address the concerns you raised around fly-tipping promptly and a member of our team will be onsite to remove the item(s). We understand your continued anticipation and sincerely appreciate your patience during this period.   


POPPY COLLECTION: Stephen Rowan will be collecting on Wednesday, November 1, and Friday, November 3, at Tesco supermarket. On Thursday, November 2 and Saturday, November 4, he will be at the High Street Waitrose store. There is also collection box at Scotch Horn Leisure Centre

Nailsea in Bloom gardeners are putting sponsored poppies in their flower beds again this year to remember those who are no longer with us.

For a minimum £5 donation you can have the names of up to four people you want to remember put on the poppies

Forms available from the Tithe Barn and 65 High Street.

And the gardeners will be manning a stall at at the farmers market and the Eat:Nailsea street food and drink festival with more forms.

Poppies will be placed in flower beds from week beginning Monday, October 30, until week beginning Monday, November 20.

The flower beds used are by the fire station at Pound Lane, the flower bed opposite Iceland supermarket on Station Road, in the bed at the Garden of Remembrance off Stockway North and opposite Tesco supermarket on the corner of High Street where the Tommy silhouette stands to attention.

All monies raised go to Royal British Legion.

Nailsea in Bloom volunteers take great pride preparing new seasonal planters and winter garden beds around the town. 

This friendly sociable group of people enjoy making Nailsea look lovely all year around. 

The group would welcome new volunteers. 

Chairman Wendy Mobbs said: “When we are not making up the flower beds and planters we often meet for coffee and to socialise.

“It’s a great opportunity to make new friends.”

For more information call Wendy on 0785 503 7555 or email


National Poppy Appeal 2023

official appeal starts on Saturday, October 28

Armistice Day is Saturday, November 11

Remembrance Sunday is Sunday, November 12

  • WAR MEMORIAL: The annual Remembrance Day service and laying of wreaths at the war memorial at Holy Trinity church is on Sunday, November 12. Scouts, Guides, Army and Air Cadets will be marching led by Scout band at 10.15am from 2nd Nailsea Scout HQ at Hannah More Road making their way to Holy Trinity church for the roll call and service at 10.30am. See poster for more details. community and youth minister Adam Griffin said: "We are keen that as many people as possible are able to share in commemorating the sacrifices of members of the armed forces and of civilians in times of war so intend to hold the last bugle call and two minute silence outside of the church this year (weather permitting) to facilitate this for the whole community." Roads on route will  be closed during march.

In memoriam poppies

All are most welcome at the annual Candles of Remembrance Service for those who have been bereaved, being held at Nailsea Methodist Church, Silver Street, on Sunday, November 5, at 4pm.

In reflective worship we remember loved ones and draw strength from the prayerful support of others.

Refreshments are served afterwards.

Come along and be among friends.

Candles of Remembrance

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It was a full house at the Friends of Nailsea Tithe Barn coffee morning on Tuesday, February 7,  to watch a film about the growth of our town from humble beginnings as an island on the Somerset levels to modern day suburbia.

Made by Yate filmmakers two decades ago and fronted by the late, great Trevor Bowen, of Nailsea & District Local History Society, it serves as a fitting memorial to the marvellous narrator who died in November 2022.

Amazingly it is still available on DVD and it certainly provokes some nostalgia even if it does describe our shopping area in glowing terms.

The blurb says: ‘Whether you are a newcomer to Nailsea, or your childhood memories include playing in the ruins of the Glassworks, this historical exploration of the town, illustrated by archive photographs and film, will prove a delightful experience’.

The film covers 400 years of coalmining and glassmaking, talks about our churches and schools tells why the Romans came to Nailsea and its unexpected Anglo-Saxon origin of the town’s name.

For the eagle-eye you may recognise people wandering about Somerset Square – we saw Mary and Geoff Ponsonby, and Dr Christopher Lee gives you a tour of his Chelvey home.Of course, there is Hannah and Patty More who were horrified when they first visited the glassworkers to recruit children for their Sunday School in the late 18th century.

Of course, there is Hannah and Patty More who were horrified when they first visited the glassworkers to recruit children for their Sunday School in the late 18th century.

And it includes all the old photos feature on the Nailsea History Group on Facebook and some remarkable archive film of the production line of what was Britain’s second largest cider factory Coates Cider.

It is available as a DVD on Amazon or here priced £12.95.

Watch an excerpt here

Mary Parkyn
June 1942-January 2023

The funeral service of former Nailsea resident Mary Parkyn is at 10.30am on Friday, February 10, at Weston-super-Mare Crematorium.

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Mary, aged 81, who was adored by her family and friends spent her later years in Weston but lived in Nailsea while her boys Brian and John were growing up.

A keen observer of life, Mary loved country walking and heavy metal music, not necessarily in that order.

She belonged to the Nailsea branch of National Women's Register for many years where she forged lifelong friendships.

A war baby Mary was born on Sunday, June 14, 1942, at a Clevedon nursing home.

She died at Weston General Hospital on January 9, 2023.

For more information contract Groves Family Funeral Directors on 01934 525042.

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Nailsea Holocaust Memorial Service 2023

Councillors and residents came together on Friday morning, January 27, to mark National Holocaust Memorial Day.

A small crowd gathered at Lion’s Green to remember more than six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust in World War II and the millions of other people killed under Nazi persecution, in hope the world can learn from the past atrocities.

Nailsea Town Council organised the short commemorative service where former North Somerset ward councillor for Congresbury and Holocaust survivor Tom Leimdorfer read the Kaddish Jewish prayer.

Tom fled to the UK in 1956 from Hungary.

Also during the ceremony Nailsea School pupil Tom Edwards, aged 16,

read the poem First They Came, written by Pastor Martin Niemöller.The Year 12 student said afterwards: “I think it’s really important to 

remember so that we can make sure things like this don’t happen again.”

The service, which was open to all, has become an annual event since the

council organised the planting of an oak tree on the green as part of its Holocaust Memorial Service in 2021.

Nailsea resident Roger Smallshaw went along.

He said: “It was very moving.”

PHOTO: Supplied by Nailsea Town Council


REMEMBERING: At Nailsea School there was an assembly which focussed on Holocaust (Shoah) Memorial Day with this years theme being Ordinary People. Staff and students looked at ordinary people as Bystanders, Perpetrators, Rescuers and Survivors. Then they tweeted to encourage everyone to watch a Youtube video by Sir Nicholas Winton which is here


SOBER SIGNING: North Somerset MP Liam Fox signed the Holocaust Book of Commitment in the House of Commons. He said: "Let us never forget the millions persecuted by the Nazis and in all subsequent genocides. We must remain vigilant to stop any of these atrocities happening again.:

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Abdool Hameed Moolla RIP
June 23, 1937-December 24, 2022

Abdool Hameed Moolla – Hameed to all who knew and loved him – has been a familiar and cheerful face in Nailsea for almost fifty years.  

He gained cult status in his hometown not only for his warmth and inimitable sense of humour, but also for being a caring and nurturing single parent to his son, Adam, and two daughters, Sarah and Zeena, while working full-time as a civil servant.

It was a role he continued when retired providing day-care for a new generation. Well into his 70s he was often seen with a grandchild or two in tow, pushing a pram and making his way towards Tesco Nailsea.

To say Hameed was loved is an understatement, he was revered by all lucky enough to know him.

One of 15 children born to an Indian family living in South Africa, Hameed came to London from Natal in 1958 as a law student before relocating to Swansea in 1973 to work at the DVLC.

The family moved to Nailsea in 1979 when Hameed took up a post with the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol.

A member of Nailsea & District Labour Party, avid cricket fan, part-time film extra and follower of political debates on the radio he was often in the audience of Any Questions on Radio 4.

Hameed was also a prolific letter writer, using various pseudonyms, with several appearing in The Guardian, where he passionately supported the challenges of the Palestinian people.

A teetotaller, pescatarian with a passion for ginger beer and Indian cooking, his hospitality was well known and there were few who could leave his house without first filling up on platefuls of his amazing food.

His children said: "Our father died at Southmead Hospital on Christmas Eve, it was without pain, and it was peaceful. The family got to say their personal goodbyes to him, and for all this we are very blessed."

As in keeping with the Islamic tradition, he was buried three days later in the Muslim plot called Meadows of Peace at Woodlands Memorial, north of Bristol.

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All are welcome at the memorial service on Friday, January 20, at 2pm at the chapel in the same grounds at Earthcott Green, near Thornbury, BS35 3TA.

For those who’d like to attend but can’t, a live stream of the service will be available, too.

Guests can wear what they like, and in lieu of flowers, the family suggest donations be made to either of the following charities:

His family added: “We’re heartbroken in a way there are insufficient words for, but the legacy of his love will live on and that is honestly a real comfort to us.”


Mr and Mrs for 60 years

Teenage sweethearts Jeffrey and Mary Ponsonby celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary this December.

Jeffrey, aged 80, and Mary, 79, met in 1961 at Buckingham Baptist Church, in Bristol, and were baptised there the following year.

Jeff and Mary got married in the same Clifton church three days before Christmas on December 22,1962.

The couple who had four children made their family home in Nailsea.

Sons Simon and Oliver are ordained ministers. 

Daughters Jane ia former Nailsea town councillor and Esther a clinical psychologist.

Jeffrey has been a well-known local preacher and lay minister for 60 years.

Mary held various offices in the Conservative Party and for three years was chairman of Nailsea Town Council.

The couple have 10 grandchildren and great grandchildren.

They plan to celebrate their anniversary quietly at home due to health issues.

And just days before the big diary event their postman heralded the arrived from Buckingham Palace an official congratulation card signed by His Majesty King Charles III and his wife Camilla, the Queen consort.

Christmas Pine Tree

Christmas In Heaven


Santa, do you know where heaven is?
Maybe your reindeer know the way.
For I have a special present
I need delivered on Christmas day.

For Christmas is a time for sharing
With those we hold so dear.
Please take this gift, with all my love
For an angel who's no longer here.

It's wrapped up in all our memories
We once shared from the past.
The ribbons and bows are all our dreams.
Inside there's a broken heart.

It's such a special parcel.
Please Santa, don't delay.
I would love it to be in heaven
In time for Christmas day.

© John P. Read

Arthur E Davey, at Silver Street, has its memorial tree for 2022 up and all donations are for the Children's Hospice South West. Donations can be made on line at


Seán Patrick O'Keeffe RIP

19th October 1977- 22nd September 2022

The funeral service in loving memory for Seán was at St Francis Church, Ash Hayes Road, Nailsea, midday on Wednesday, October 19, followed by committal South Bristol Crematorium.

Conducted by Father Richard Elson his young niece and nephews read beautiful tributes at the service put together lovingly by his sister Teresa Giles.

The church was filled with family, friends, caring medical staff and fellow parishioners.
Many joined together afterwards to exchange memories of Seán at The Grove Sports Centre & Social Club.

His sense of humour and mischievousness made people smile. 

Donations in memory of Sean for the British Heart Foundation may be sent c/o Arthur E Davey & Sons Ltd, 82 Silver Street, Nailsea BS48 2DS or made online here


Angela Broderick RIP

It was with great sadness Nailsea Dental Practice announced the passing of their dear friend and colleague, Angela Broderick.

With the permission of her husband Matt, Nailsea People shared the news on its Facebook page.

With hours it reached more than 6,000 with many kind and heartbroken sympathy comments for the family.

The dental practice post says: "Angela was at Nailsea dental practice for more than 12 years as the practice manager, recently leaving the role to retire and concentrate on her small side business/hobby.

"Those that had the pleasure to know and work with Angela will know what a wonderful, kind, funny and caring person she was.

"It has shocked us here at the practice and we send our greatest condolences to Angela’s family and friends at this difficult time.

"Angela’s family have set up a donation page where people can donate in Angela’s honour to the Bristol Heart institute, please feel free to donate if you so wish."

The funeral service is at Holy Trinity Church on Friday, October 28, at 10am.

Donations may be made here

Plans for extension to Nailsea Garden of Rest 

The Garden of Rest at Nailsea will be extended once planning permission is granted.
A planning application by Dignity Funerals for 24 new remembrance plots on land adjacent to the existing Stockway North garden has been submitted.
There will be no burials on this land.
With churchyards in Nailsea full and only a handful of spaces left in the garden of rest finding a final resting place for loved ones had become critical.
The graveyards at Holy Trinity and Christ Church have been full for decades and finding a new burial ground in the town has proved impossible.
Nailsea Town Council has been searching for a site for a new cemetery site in the town for nearly 30 years but has been unable to find anywhere suitable.
Unless people have already purchased a plot, they cannot be buried anywhere in the town.
And Nailsea People reported this summer with the Garden of Rest at Stockway North fast reaching capacity Nailsea Town Council has urgently been looking for a solution.
The town council is responsible for the upkeep of the gardens which is managed by the Crematorium and Memorial Group, part of Dignity Plc, under its contract with North Somerset Council.
In the summer 2022 CMG corporate communications manager Stuart Cox said: “There are five plots left in the current Garden of Rest.
“We have started the planning process on Thursday, July 22, but are waiting to hear from North Somerset Council if it requires a fee for it to


proceed or if this can be forwarded during the process.”

And CMG director Steve Gant confirmed.

He said: “A small number of plots remain at the existing Gardens of Rest and these can be provided without impacting the current layout.
“Additional land has already been earmarked as an extension to the Garden of Rest.
“After consulting North Somerset Council planning department and our advisors, we are required to submit a planning application and this process has now begun.”
Plots of various sizes with starting prices from £1,499 in the extension to the Garden of Rest will be sold in perpetuity rather than being leased, added Mr Cox.

Welcoming to our range the relocatable urn for the garden or home. Your loved ones remains

FOREVER NEAR: Arthur E Davey & Sons, of Silver Street, Nailsea, has introduced a range of relocatable urns for the garden or home. Your loved ones ashes are put into a secure section on this urn and you can have your loved ones at home in the garden. With no worries of leaving them behind if you move. Prices start at  £130

No more poppies or parades?

The Royal British Legion at Backwell and Flax Bourton is in danger of folding after chairman Peter Hoare announced he is moving away from the village. The news comes just months after Nailsea RBL branch closed due to a lack of members
With dwindling numbers - and after chairman Peter Hoare announced he is moving away from the village - the Backwell and Flax Bourton branch of the Royal British Legion is to close by the end of the year.
The news has thrown the future of the annual poppy appeal, which raises thousands of pounds each year, into doubt. Although this year’s appeal will go ahead, a question mark is hanging over whether it will continue in the future.
Backwell and Flax Bourton Royal British Legion branch chairman Peter Hoare said: “It is very sad that our branch of the legion is to close. The fact that those attending have become so few and elderly means it is not possible to continue.”
Mr Hoare and wife Christine, helped by volunteers, have run the appeal for years, but are leaving the village in the New Year to move to the Midlands to be nearer family.
“Just because the branch is closing, it does not mean the poppy appeal can’t continue,” said Mr Hoare.
“It can be run on its own without the branch in operation. The poppy appeal is well respected and has a huge amount of support from the village.
"It is so important to keep it going. The legion nationally still needs the money but with branches closing across the UK, its income is dwindling.”
Mr Hoare has already put an appeal for help in the parish magazine and at Backwell Village Club. 
As well as running the poppy appeal, Mr Hoare and his wife, who moved to Backwell in 2001, also care for the village’s War Memorial Garden.
The garden, at Church Lane, features the names of local servicemen who lost their lives in both the first and second World Wars and the conflicts in Afghanistan. 
The garden is a focus of the annual remembrance service events and is where wreaths are laid.
“It’s a pleasurable job,” said Mr Hoare, who has been branch chairman for eight years. “There are two beds which are planted twice a year and some planters and the grass will need cutting.
“It’s such an important part of the village and we are hoping to attract someone to take over its maintenance.
“It’s a real wrench that the branch is having to close but we have just not been able to recruit new people to keep it going.” 
The remembrance services will be going ahead as normal this year, with one on Firday, November 11 and another on Sunday, November 13.
Anyone who can help with the appeal or who wants to look after the War Memorial Garden can call branch secretary Graham Hackett on 01275 462606.

  • Nailsea in Bloom is promoting sponsored poppies in the town centre flower beds. For a minimum £5 donation you can have the names of up to four loved ones written on the poppy. The poppies will be placed in the in beds from Monday, October 24 for four weeks. All monies raised goes directly to the Royal British Legion. At the farmers' market on Saturday, October 15, the horticulturists will be selling metal poppy pins and paper poppies. Chairman Wendy Mobbs said: "We will be attaching large poppies to the poles in the High Street." For more details email or call 0785 503 755.

  • Stephen Rowan is the new coordinator for Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal for Nailsea. Steve is an RAF veteran who served for two decades with Avon Fire & Rescue Service. He is looking for people to help him collect and shops and businesses to take a collecting tin. Email for more details.​​

"Old soldiers never die,
they simply fade away"
Poppy Flower

LEST WE FORGET: On Sunday, November 6, Nailsea people are most welcome at the annual Candles of Remembrance Service for those who have been bereaved, being held at Nailsea Methodist Church, Silver Street, at 4pm. In reflective worship we remember loved ones and draw strength from the prayerful support of others. Refreshments are served afterwards.'


HM Queen Elizabeth


Nailsea and the nation has an air of sadness as people wait to hear what happens next.

The funeral is mooted to be on Monday, September 19, which will be a public day of mourning.

On Thursday evening, September 8, North Somerset Council sent out a statement paying tribute to Her Majesty the Queen after the sad news of her death was announced this evening, Thursday 8 September.

In a joint statement council leader and deputy leader Steve Bridger and Mike Bell said: “It’s with great sadness we receive the news of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

“We give thanks for, and pay tribute to, the remarkable and devoted service she gave to the country and also to the whole Commonwealth.

“She was a much-loved figure both here in North Somerset and across the world. We were fortunate to be visited by her on two occasions.

"Firstly, in her silver jubilee year in 1977 and then again in 2007, and we recognise the special and valuable relationship she had with so many charities and organisations in our area.

“Above all our thoughts are with her family who, as well as losing their Queen, have lost a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.”

As a mark of respect all flags on council buildings, and at council parks and open spaces, will be lowered to fly at half-mast with immediate effect.

And the council will open Books of Condolence at the Town Hall, Weston-super-Mare and at Castlewood, Clevedon on Friday, September 9.

People will be able to visit those offices to record their tributes in the books between 9am-6pm, Monday to Friday.

In addition to these, town and parish councils in our area are also providing their own Books of Condolences and have designated areas where people can lay floral tributes if they wish.

Nailsea Town Council has already cancelled its meeting on Wednesday, September 14.

Chairman Mike Bird said on its Facebook page: "Nailsea Town Council joins with the nation and the Commonwealth to mourn the great loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll.

"The Queen was an extraordinary monarch who dedicated her life to serve her people.

"The council, staff and I offer our deepest condolences to the King and the Royal Family. God save the King."

A book of condolence has been opened at The Tithe Barn.

The book will be available Monday to Thursday 9am-5pm and Friday 9am-1pm.

Floral tributes may be laid in front of the Tithe Barn during the period of mourning.

Backwell Parish Council chairman Sarah Ould, Chairman expressed the deep sadness of Backwell Parish Council and the residents of Backwell at the news of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on its Facebook page.

A Backwell book of condolence will be available for people to sign at the Parish Hall from Saturday morning, September 10.

The Union flag on the Parish Hall will fly at half-mast during the period of mourning, except for on Proclamation Day.

And the planning committee scheduled for Thursday, September 15, has been cancelled. 

There is also an electronic Book of Condolence available via the Royal Family website.

Social media is swamped with tributes mingled with heartfelt sorrow led by North Somerset MP Liam Fox.

But the messages of sympathy for the Royal family stretch across the political and social divide, from world leaders to London taxi drivers, celebrities and charities, and locally from our police, pubs, businesses and individuals.

Tributes from Nailsea School, Backwell School, Grove Sports & Social Club, Nailsea Bowls Club, S&R Burchills, Nailsea MicroPub, Nailsea & Backwell RFC and Cadbury House are among those we have seen.


We know that some sporting fixtures have been cancelled along with the proms but Nailsea International Bike Show at the Ring O'Bells this weekend will go ahead.

A Ringers statement on Facebook said: "As it is a charity event, it has been decided that the bike show will go ahead on Saturday and Sunday. 

"We will be toasting HM the Queen on both days, to celebrate her life and her incredible achievements for our country.

"An amazing £10,413 was raised last year for Children’s Hospice South West so let’s try and better that this year."

Nailsea People has updated its What's On page accordingly.

Commercial property man Ian Thompson bought this artwork by Nailsea man Andy James which was a competition winner back in 2012 hosted by The Blue Room.

Ian said: "I was one of the judges and liked it so much I bought it.

"It's not a Banksy it is a 'Queenie' and I felt it poignant at this sad time to give it a wider airing.

"It always makes me smile, and maybe others might like it too."

This was Olympics year and the other last image is that of Paddington Bear and HM the Queen.

In the town centre Waitrose has posted a poignant picture and at Holy Trinity the Union flag is at half-mast.

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Bernard Petteford

January 1931- August 2022
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Well-known Nailsea man Bernard Petteford passed away on Thursday, August 25, aged 91.

Bernard was born in Bedminster on January 28, 1931.

He moved with his parents Bill and Edith to Nailsea in 1946 and made many local friends including Wurzel founder Adge Cutler. 

In 1954 Bernard joined the Royal Marines and was often posted to far away countries.

He was serving in the military during the 1956 Suez Crisis. 

His parents bought him out of the RM when his father became sick and he was needed at home to run their coal business.

Based at Flax Bourton railway station Bernard had to employ a driver prior to him getting a driving licence.

Shovelling coals into huge hessian sacks and lifting onto delivery lorries were all part of the back-breaking job in those days.

British Railways closed the siding at Flax Bourton in 1965 and Bernard managed to purchase an acre of land from farmer Jack Brake and ran his coal business from Station Close until 1998.

Nailsea Patio Centre now trades on the site still called ’the old coal yard’.

It was in the 1990s Bernard became the biggest independent coal merchant in the southwest with a fleet of lorries and an office on Nailsea High Street.

Ruth and Bernard met at the John Wayne School of Dancing in Whiteladies Road, Bristol.

Romance blossomed and they married on August 28, 1964.

hey would have been married 58 years this year.

Son Mike said: "Sadly dad passed away just before their 58th anniversary,

“It was mum Ruth who bought dad his first hot air balloon flight back in 1978 and he then bought a balloon of his own to advertise the business.”

The balloon with its bold red and yellow flames and black and yellow signage became synonymous with Petteford Fuels.

Once he got his pilot’s licence Bernard bought a second bigger balloon and journeyed to fiestas all over the world including India, Israel, Chile, Zimbabwe and most of Europe. 

Mike added: “My parents also ran a balloon rides business of their own.

“West Country Balloons operated from the office at 96 High Street alongside the coal business.

“Dad sold the coal business and stopped ballooning when he retired, initially to Cornwall for a few years but missing Nailsea and family they returned in 2007 and have lived here ever since.”

Everyone who know Bernard is welcome at the funeral at 11.30am on Friday, September 16, at All Saints church, Wraxall and afterwards at the Ring O’Bells.

Flowers are welcome and memorial donations can be made for Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary via funeral directors Arthur E Davey & Sons, at Silver Street.

Bernard is survived by his loving wife Ruth, children Mike, Tim and Heather plus seven grandchildren.

'Freddie' Pharoah 1927-2022

It was in the 1960s that Alfred 'Freddie' Pharoah brought his family to Nailsea - my mother, Maureen; my brothers Geoff and Clint; my sister Della.

Originally from Southampton, work brought Dad to the south west, and we moved houses quite a few times until buying a new house right on the edge of what was still just about a village.

It was in a spanking new cut-de-sac called Fosse Way (quite why the planners named a semi-circular street after the straightest road in England remains a puzzle).

Here the Pharoah family put down roots and here we grew and flourished. Nailsea was a strange old place in those days, with one foot in the post-industrial, still-rural village it had once been and one in the the busy, popular New Town it was to become.

Adge Cutler still played at the Royal Oak; the precinct was being built (with its strange rusty gift of a fountain from a Spanish town!); the Blue Flame was called The New Inn; Stan The Barber shaved our heads; Mervyn Kitchen bowled leg spin to us star-struck boys in the car park of The Friendship Inn.

Eventually Dad started his own business - a Cash & Carry in Bridgwater - and was doing well enough to buy another brand new house (Dad didn’t go in for old houses much), this time one of the Scandinavian ones on the other side of Nailsea, on Rickford Road. This is the house we were teenagers in and from where we  left for University and work and travel...but we always came back.

Perhaps this was the happiest of all our homes, certainly it was Mum’s favourite. When she died in her 50s we were all devastated, none more than Dad.

The Rickford Road house was now big and empty and full of ghosts so Dad found himself buying another place on the other side of Station Road,  in Fowey Close.

I still call this Dad’s 'new house' but the truth is he was there for over quarter of a century, proudly independent, until he spent the last months of his life in Sycamore Lodge, his little room having a view  out over the rooftops to the parish Church of St Quiricus and St Julietta in Tickenham.

There is an uplifting coda to that last house in Fowey Close as we had the opportunity to house a Ukrainian family and it is now filled with children and laughter and family. 

Nailsea was where Freddie spent the richest years of his life, where he raised a family and loved a wife. Home, that’s the word. He was a very fine man and he will be much missed by his family and friends.


Ashley Pharoah


Alfred 'Freddie' Pharoah died on on July 2, aged 95. The funeral service is at Christ Church, Nailsea BS48 1RT at 12.30pm on Tuesday, August 2. For further details contact AE Davey & Sons, Silver Street, on 01275 852307

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Moorend Spout  by Punch Pub - Copy.png

Retirement pub party for Terry and Sharon

A couple who has been running a Nailsea pub steeped in local history are going to retire to the seaside later this summer.

Terry and Sharon Beardshaw who have been in charge at the Grade II listed Moorend Spout for the past 17 years will be moving back to Weston-super-Mare where they first met.

Terry and Sharon will be pulling their last pint on Sunday lunchtime, July 3, and afterwards throwing a party for family, friends and patrons.

The couple said: “Our last day of trading will be on Sunday, July 3, with our Sunday menu available from noon- 2.30pm. “

“We will continue to trade as normal until this time with the pub, takeaways and deliveries.

“We want to express our thanks to everyone in Nailsea for making us so welcome and cannot believe we have been at the Moorend for 17 years.

“Your support over this time has meant so much to us and we will really miss everyone.

“We will be hosting a garden party - inside if weather is not with us - on our last Sunday from 3pm for all our team and customers - past and present, family and friends, we really hope to see you all for a farewell afternoon/evening.

“We will be putting on a complimentary buffet and are hoping to have a DJ too.

“The pub will then be closed for a few weeks while it is having a refurb and we would like to take this opportunity to wish the new owners all the very best.

“Lastly a huge thank you to all our team past and present it has been a b