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births, marriages, deaths - and anniversaries and retirements too

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page sponsored by Arthur E Davey & Sons

Arthur E Davey & Sons Ltd
82 Silver Street
Nailsea BS48 2DS
Telephone:  01275 852307

pre 2022

One of the Main men


Much travelled Nailsea window cleaner Pete Main celebrated his 60th birthday with a surprise party bash on Friday, July 18.

Pete said: “Well, well, well, my family have done it again with 60th birthday celebrations for me at the Scotch Horn Centre.

“Once again I fell for it.

“After my 40th, then 50th, you would have thought I'd have learned by now.

“I knew something was 'afoot' but I timidly walked up to the centre supposedly to look for daughter Vicky's purse - yes, yes, yes I fell for it,

“The mighty Corvus played throughout the evening and were as good as ever, plenty of Status Quo and good old rock ‘n’ roll.

“Seeing relatives I haven’t seen for a while who've come from afar, seeing old schoolmates from donkey's years ago – all excellent, and I still haven’t opened any present yet which started to arrived at midnight.

“Thanks and love to all you made is so special.”

  • After a London away weekend taking in a show - Jersey Boys - and visiting Kew Gardens on his actual birth date May 24. a week or two later retired car sales executive and Bristol City fan Roy Penney enjoyed a 70th birthday party for family, friends and neighbours at his home at The Hamlet. Roy is pictured wearing a 'vintage' designer T-shirt

  • A fun-loving Danny Chu, of Gilly's café, celebrated his 57th birthday on Friday, July 11. We send a belated many happy returns and bet he had the best ever birthday cake!

Happy birthday to boys!

A very happy birth date to Harriet


Welcome to the world Harriet Annabel Ricketts who was born at 9.15pm on Saturday, July 26, weighing 8lb 7oz - a whopping 5oz more than her older brother Tommy.

Parents Michelle (nee Thomas) and Jamie Ricketts said: “She is beautiful and we are both over the moon.”

Michelle lived in Nailsea before becoming an ‘Essex girl’ when she married Jamie and moved to Brentwood.

First born Tommy celebrated his first birthday in May.

It was a lovely sunny September afternoon when beautiful bride Natalie Pitchers, 23, wed her beau Robert Dyfan Jones, 26, at Christ Church, Nailsea.

Former Weston College student Natalie who is a stewardess with easyJet married Southhampton University graduate Dyfan, of Wrington, an actuarial student at Hewitt Associates on Saturday, September 13.

The bride wore an elegant strapless embossed long gown with a sweetheart neckline.

The four bridemaids wore long purple gowns were her two sisters Chelsey, 21, and Lucy, 20, along with best friends Rachel Harris, 23, and Gemma Ball, 24.

Dyfan and his best man Rob Hurst, 26, came colour coordinated wearing purple neckerchiefs, grey evening suits and matching embroidered waistcoats.

Even Lucy’s little son Alfie Coulbourn came along dressed in a matching outfit.

The reception for 150 was at Mendip Spring Golf Club.

Nailsea baker Gina Gregory, of GG's Cake Co, made the three tier wedding cake decorated with iced flowers.

The couple plan to honeymoon at a cottage in Cornwall at a cottage with their two dogs Barley and Nia.

September wedding of Mr and Mrs Jones, of Nailsea

Tributes were paid to a Nailsea teacher and artist at a memorial service this week.

Shelagh Antonovics died on November 19, aged 78.

A loving wife, mother and grandmother Shelagh was the oldest of three daughters born into a happy family at Headington, Oxford.

After grammar school she studied art at Goldsmith College, London, followed by teacher’s training.

She perfected her language skills by stints working abroad mostly in France and Italy.

She met her post graduate student and husband-to-be Latvian-born Atis (Tony) Antonovics at an Oxfordshire dance and they enjoyed many an adventure touring Europe by car before they married in 1965.

When Tony took up a history lectureship at Bristol University the couple moved to a new Nailsea housing estate at Kingsmead where sons Nick and Jon were born.

Shelagh taught for many years at Grove Junior School and ran the after school art club.

As well as being a wonderful cook, fantastic gardener and lover of poetry and jazz she completed a degree course with the Open University in the early 1980s while working full-time.

The service at South Bristol Crematorium was led by humanist celebrant Clare Hanson-Kahn and included heartfelt written tributes read by Nick’s daughter and son Emily and Freddy from daughter-in-law Annie in Shanghai and American brother-in-law Janis and his daughter Kate who were unable to attend.

Shelagh and Tony retired to Chewton Mendip in 2001 where they renovated the Coach House and made it the family home.

Shelagh's artwork Autumn Colours is pictured above.

Donations in Shelagh’s memory are being sent to Bryan G Bishop, funeral service, Farrington Road, Paulton, Bristol BS39 7LW for Medecins Sans Frontierers, the French-founded humanitarian-aid charity.

Goodbye to teacher Shelagh Josephine Antonovics

Fond farewell  to Roger Granger


Hundreds of people packed Nailsea Methodist church to celebrate the life of big hearted bus driver Roger Granger.

Roger, aged 61, of Silver Street, who was a long-term volunteer with homeless charity Caring At Christmas was found dead on November 23.

He was born in 1953 to parents John and Betty Granger and the family with younger brother Andrew lived at Chancel Close.

Roger was renowned for his kindnessm and his gentle and calm manner.

He loved vintage vehicles and fattening food.

At the Friday afternoon service led by the Rev Mandy Briggs there were some moving tributes including one from Phil Summerhayes, of Caring In Bristol, and friend Paul MacLeavy who read the poem Not How He Died, But How He Lived.

Roger recorded his coach journeys and adventures on a humorous Facebook page called The Superstar Roger Granger.

It was here Andrew posted this tribute: “To me (and I’m sure to many others) he was a true friend, a sympathetic ear, a wise head and a brilliantly-humoured gentleman. He was these and a myriad of other things to his extensive circle of friends, who will miss him dearly.”

Christmas Day birthday wishes


Not exactly born at in a stable on Christmas Day but where he was to live Nailsea man Noel Joyce celebrated his 51st birthday on Thursday, December 25.

The self-employed builder from Wraxall now lives at Redfield with his partner Mary Beaumont.

His sister Roni also celebrated a birthday during the festive season on Friday, December 26, on Boxing Day.

This cutting was posted on Nailsea Then & Now social media group on Facebook.

Noel was with two other Nailsea men, Steve Snook and Trevor Wyatt, who were caught up in the Tsunami while on holiday in Thailand in 2004.

They all survived but not unscathed as all were deeply affected by the traumatic experience.

Remembering Ross


The 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami was a result of an underwater earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.

More than 230,000 people died when the massive waves hit the coasts of the countries surrounding the Indian Ocean.

The worst hit countries were Indonesia, India, Thailand and Sri Lanka. remembered Ross Baker with this poignant cartoon, left, posted on its Facebook page.

And his mum Jenny Baker who now lives in Plymouth thanked her family and friends for all their kind thoughts and lovely messages on the 10th anniversary of the disaster.

Much-loved Ross lived and went to school in Nailsea before setting off on the beginning of a successful stage career.

He was 26-years-old when he died.

Ross was holidaying on the Thai island of Ko Phi Phi - where 2000 film The Beach was shot – staying at the Chan guesthouse.

He had been starring in the touring musical Fame since the September playing the part of Schlomo Metzenbaum, a shy, classical violinist who plays in a rock band in more than 120 shows.

Producer Adam Spiegel described Ross as an "enormously talented and versatile performer" who would leave a ‘huge void’ in the company.

Many 30-somethings still living in Nailsea and nearby have fond memories of Ross from their days at Hannah More infant, Grove junior and Nailsea School.

His cousin Jodie said at the time of his death: "Ross was unique.

"Everybody who met him loved him.

"He was outgoing, funny, a real optimist and always making people laugh.

"He loved his work and was so happy and confident, kind and generous.

"It's no exaggeration to say he had hundreds of friends throughout the world.”

A decade on and more than 700 local people clicked onto the simply tribute on the FB page – never forgotten.


18th birthday


Nailsea School student Calum Butler celebrated his 18th birthday with a family party at The Old Farmhouse and a night out on the town with sixth form mates.

Calum who was born on St Valentine's Day 1997 is pictured left with mum Annabel Lander and dad Joe Butler and sister Renee.

Calum is set to take A-levels this June before going travelling around Europe then heading for university.


Cathy and Gary Bradley


A wedding became the best of times for a North Somerset couple who went through the worst of times when their two young daughters died.

Surround by loving family and friends Cathy Fletcher and Gary Bradley turned heartache into happiness on Saturday, February 28, when they married at the Walton Park Hotel, Clevedon.

And friends whooped and clapped when the registrar pronounced Cathy, 43, and Gary, 53, ‘husband and wife’.

After the ceremony the newlyweds went down to St Andrew’s churchyard and here they placed two pink bridesmaids’ posies on the graves of their beloved daughters.

Gary’s daughter Danielle died five days before her ninth birthday in June, 2005.

And it was just months later that Cathy’s daughter Charlotte died in her sleep died on New Year’s Eve 2006.

Despite an 11th hour liver transplant Danielle, who had a little known genetic disorder called Wilson’s Disease in which copper accumulates in tissues, could not be saved.

Nearly 1,000 people attended the funeral at St John’s church for Charlotte who suffered from a rare form of epilepsy.

For Gary and Cathy it was important their big day while remembering the girls should be fun for family and friends.

Gary who moved to Clevedon as an 11-year-old was originally from Brentwood, Essex.

He works as a carpenter and maintenance man at Warren’s holiday village.

And Cathy who grew up in Nailsea where her parents John and Rita Soper still live once worked as a cook at the Friendship Inn.

It was Cathy’s older daughters Stephanie, 19, an undergraduate at Reading University and Clevedon School student Daniella, 15, together with nieces Dionne Sargeant , 10, Chloe Soper, eight, and goddaughter Caitlin Lewis-Clowry, five, who acted as bridesmaids.

The flowers and cake were all themed pink.

The big bridesmaids wore strapless over-the-knee length dusty pink chiffon dresses while the little ones wore baby pink frocks topped with fluffy white shrugs.

Cathy bought her designer silhouette ball gown online.

Made of white taffeta with Swarovski-style crystals covering the bodice and dotted in crushed pocket pleats throughout the skirt it cost a fraction of the High Street price.

Gary and his best man Pete Lukin, who works for a bathroom company at Highbridge went shopping at Primani and Matalan for their smart grey suits, white silk waistcoats and pink cravats.

Gary’s mum Sheila and his grown up children Rachel-Marie, 23, and Edward, 20 were among the 72-strong wedding party and more than 100 joined the evening reception.

A guest wrote afterwards in a thank-you note: “Your wedding was beautiful...every detail was perfection but most of all is the happiness in your faces...pure joy. From the bottom of my heart I wish you both a long, healthy and happy life together, you so deserve it.”

The new Mr and Mrs spent their honeymoon at a country manor house near Padstow, north Cornwall before returning to their Clevedon home.

OBITUARY: Ralph Milne

13 May 1961 – 6 September 2015


The news of Ralph Milne’s demise came in like a staggering old man – was he dead or not?

I have seen an affable Ralph stagger to and from the bars of Nailsea but old he wasn’t...

On Sunday The Scotsman newspaper reported that football legend Ralph Milne was critical at Dundee’s Ninewells hospital suffering from liver and kidney failure.

It said the 54-year-old helped Dundee United win their only Scottish Premier League title in the 80s before moving to Manchester United.

But then his career was curtailed by his battle with alcoholism and has been regularly treated for liver problems.

And less than 24 hours later he was dead although many had jumped the gun on social media saying their sad goodbyes earlier in the day.

Ralph was open about his problems and speaking of his booze demons in 2013 he said: “When my professional playing career ended it hit me hard.

“When you are playing, you can improve your skills, get yourself fitter.

“But as it goes on, you realise that you can’t make yourself faster.

“When it ended, I started drinking more.

“There are times I can’t remember.”

Ralph, who admitted to alcohol and gambling problems after quitting football, netted 21 times during the Arabs’ 1982-83 Scottish championship winning season.

He also scored 15 times during Dundee United’s European adventures during the 80s, which saw them reach the UEFA Cup final in 1987 and the Champions Cup semi-final in 1984.

Ralph was a key figure in those successful sides - and was adored by Tannadice fans.

After leaving United he went on to play for Charlton Athletic and Bristol City, before Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson took him back to the big time with a £170,000 move to the English top-flight.

However, his time at Old Trafford was not a major success with Ferguson saying it was his worse ever signing as Ralph only managed three goals in 22 appearances in his first year at the club.

He was released on June 30 1991, marking the end of his professional career.

Ralph was nearly Nailsea’s own George Best...

I last interviewed him in January 2010 when he gave me a copy of his newly published book What’s It All About Ralphie?

Over the years we spent some good times chatting at The Courtyard wine bar when he reminisced about his life speaking in his broad Scottish accent and then owner Maureen Buchaly recalls many trips with her late partner Simon Hadley, Ralph and other friends from the Nailsea business community to Cheltenham races.

Here is a copy of my interview published in January 2010.

"Putting Ralph Milne behind the bar of a Nailsea pub was like carrying coal to Newcastle - an archetypal pointless activity.

Many former footballers go into management when they retire but perhaps pub management wasn’t one of Ralph’s best choices.

A new book called What’s It All About Ralphie? tells the remarkable story of the legendary Dundee United player who went on to play for Charlton Athletic, Bristol City and Manchester and his struggles on and off the pitch.

Dundee United manager Jim McLean blamed Ralph’s problems with alcohol and gaming for blighting his career.

While manager of the Queen’s Head from spring 2003 to spring 2005 diehard football fans from far and wide made a pilgrimage to the town centre pub.

And they were rarely disappointed as their personable hero often shared a drink (or two) with them and recounted tales of his heyday.

Like the South London Tangerine club of Sunday league footballers who trekked to the Queen’s Head to meet Ralph.

SLT member Neil Forsyth later wrote on their blog: “To most he is more than a man - he is perhaps a movement, a visionary and, dare I say it, a messiah.

“In short he is the Louis Walsh to our Boyzone.

The biography is put together by Ralph and Scottish writer and poet Gary Robertson. 

The midfield player was born in Dundee in May 1961 and he lived out many a young footballer’s dream.

On leaving school he signed for Dundee United and gradually forced his way into a team full of great players.

With electrifying pace and exceptional talent, Ralph quickly established himself as a fans’ favourite. 

He was part of the legendary team which defied all of the odds to win the Scottish Premier Division in 1983. 

However, behind the scenes his volatile relationship with manager Jim McLean culminated in him leaving for Charlton. 

After unhappy spells there and at Bristol City he made a dream move to Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United. 

Ralph struggled to produce his stunning performances of old and retired a few years later.

Many believe he could and should have done so much better but a personal battle with alcohol probably decided otherwise. 

In the eyes of Dundee United football fans he will always be a legend and was introduced into the club’s Hall of Fame in 2009."

What’s It All About Ralphie? is still available to buy at various prices on Amazon.

On Youtube there are also several short films including a serives in a series of 'Ralph Milne Football Legend'. 

Carol Deacon

The Milne family has asked the Club to announce details relating to Ralph’s funeral.

The service will be held at Dundee Crematorium on Monday, September 14, at 2.45pm and all family and friends are respectfully invited.

Family flowers only, but donations in lieu, if so desired, can be made at the crematorium in aid of Ninewells Hospital Dundee Ward 2 Comfort Fund.

The cortege will be leaving the service rooms of James Ashton and Son Ltd at 2.15pm, then proceed to Tannadice Street via Dundonald Street, up Arklay Street into Tannadice Street, pausing at Tannadice Park, then along to Dens Park, turning up Provost Road then travelling along Clepington Road and arriving at Dundee Crematorium at 2.35pm for the service to begin at 2.45pm.

The family has also expressed a desire that fans wishing to pay tribute on the day do so on the streets around Tannadice as the cortege passes by.

Dundee United former players and team mates of Ralph, the board of directors and first team squad will leave together from Tannadice to attend the funeral.

On Saturday, at the request of the family, there will be a minute’s silence prior to kick-off followed by a round of applause in the 4th minute of the game to commemorate his goal at Dens in May 1983.The United players will wear black armbands as a further mark of respect and a montage of

Ralph will be played on the LCD screen within the stadium prior to the game.

The club’s matchday magazine has been dedicated to the memory of Ralphie.

Again, with the agreement of his family, there will also be an opportunity for five United fans to celebrate his greatest moment in a United shirt and re-enact Ralph’s chip and celebration upon the pitch at half time during the match versus Kilmarnock.


OBITUARY: Steven Joseph Bojtos

4 April 1966 – 2 September 2015


Much loved and remembered by his many mates a Nailsea man who had been suffering from ill-health has died aged 49.

Steven Joseph Bojtos was born in Bristol and moved to Nailsea aged two.

The family lived at Greenfield Crescent and he went to the Pound Lane primary schools before joined the Mizzymead Road comprehensive.

Pictured right with his younger sister Nicola Milsom-James she said: “The cause of death is yet to be determined but he has been very ill and suffered with deep vein thrombosis and COPD which is lung disease/disorder.”

Sadly his late parents Jozef and Margaret died with a month of each other back in 2008.

Nicknamed ‘Boney’ or just ‘Bone’ Steven loved the outdoors and in his youth was an avid coin collector and went out for hours with his metal detector looking for treasure.

Dad Jozef aged 16 came to this country from Hungary after the 1956 uprising and the young refugee was fostered by a Cheddar lady.

He met and married Margaret nee Reid in 1965 and the couple moved to Nailsea with their young family three years later.

As a young girl Margaret had lived at Cherry Road, Nailsea, one of the first new housing developments in the village.

Nicola who married Gary in 1996 and moved to Reading said: “My dad was known as Hungarian Joe or Jo the Hungarian for many years - he was a handful is the polite was to remember him!”

Steven was a lover of 80s punk music Nicola remembers fondly the many friendly sibling squabbles over what to play on their record player – mostly the choice was between Sham 69 versus Adam and the Ants.

Uncle Steven was adored by his nieces are Georgina, 17, Elizabeth, 15, and 13-year-old Melissa.

At Nailsea School Steven played in all the school teams and he was thrilled when Melissa was picked for the county contact rugby team.

He was really excited about watching the Berkshire versus Somerset game later this season, said Nicola.

Steven started work at Keymarket and for some years was behind the counter at The Cheese Shop at Clifton becoming a ‘bit of an expert’ on the Cheddar speciality.

Friend Claire Timms said: “Steven was such a kind gentle soul and I have fond memories of him growing up and hearing his music playing from my Nan’s house.”

School chum Sean Edwards in a memorial posting on Facebook: “‎Bye Steve...thanks for being such a good friend...also for punching that guy that used to bully me down the English block stairs.”

And fellow school friend Sarah Moolla said: “I knew Steven at school and he was a gentle soul.”

Nicola added: “Steven made some very poor lifestyle choices with drugs which is what eventually took him away from me - he suffered terribly in lots of ways and I am grateful for those who hold good memories of him before his downward spiral and his real friends who remember him for who he truly was.”

The funeral service was at St Francis Catholic Church, Nailsea, on Thursday, September 24.

Stalwart of Nailsea brownies and guides Freda Emily Vowles passed away on Thursday, January 7, aged 92 years.

Her funeral service took place on Monday, February 1, at Nailsea United Reformed Church, followed by a private burial.

Very much loved by the community.


Arthur E Davey & Sons

82 Silver Street

Nailsea BS48 2DS

Tel: 01275 852307


The annual memorial Christmas tree is all lit up.

All donations are for St Peters Hospice.

Please fill free to come into the office and place a tag on the tree in memory of your loved ones.

Obituary: Mr Frank Rogers


Sadly one of the recipients of an annual community award died just one week before the official presentation at Nailsea annual town meeting on Wednesday night. 

Frank Rogers died on Wednesday, April 13, aged 77.

However he get his award for his service to music when councillors visited him at home days before to give him the specially engraved Nailsea glass plate to recognise his dedication to music groups.
His daughter Kate said her father did know he was getting the award and was ‘delighted – chuffed to bits’.
Frank had been suffering from leukaemia for some time and for the past year had been trialling pioneering new drugs with some success, said Kate.
Many of the sympathy cards received at the family home at Westway include copies of the support nomination letters sent to the town council naming Frank as a worthy recipient which have been of great comfort my mother Beryl, sister Helen and brother Peter, added Kate.
Frank was the organist and choirmaster at Christ Church for 57 years and at St Quiricus and St Julietta in Tickenham for 19 years.
He led worship every Sunday and set up a choir exchange with the Ivetoftakören in Sweden.
He also organised an annual choir concert for 30 years, raising more than £10,000 for charities.
Frank was also the deputy conductor for Nailsea Choral Society, a steward for Nailsea Festival of Music, served on the committee of the diocesan choral festival and was secretary to Portishead Deanery Choral Association.
Family and friends are welcome at his funeral service on Friday, May 6, at 11.30am, at Christ Church.
Donations in his memory can be made online at Above and Beyond for Bristol Haematology & Oncology Centre by clicking HERE.   

John Hobbs tribute


Nailsea United FC chairman Spencer Lee has written a beautiful tribute to club stalwart John Hobbs on the football club website.

He said: "Some of you will no doubt be aware that our club lost its greatest ever servant, John Hobbs, who sadly passed away on Saturday afternoon, July  23.
Quite simply, John was a very exceptional man who for so many years was not only hugely respected and loved by our club, but also by the general Nailsea community and county football organisations.

"Most football clubs have their share of success and failure and as time goes by, players, officials, supporters come and go. John’s dedication to our Club and the game was entirely different – he saw it as a life time commitment. 

"We as a club were so extremely fortunate to have had someone of John’s stature, professionalism and expertise.

"His 56 uninterrupted years as the Club’s Secretary tell you nearly everything you need to know about the great man.

"He was so very passionate about Nailsea United FC and never once did his dedication waver, regardless of the club experiencing periods of struggle or success.

"Although he loved to see the club win titles and trophies, his driving motivation was to see the club run well and for its membership to do things correctly..."

To read in full click HERE.

OUR WEDDING DAY: Mr and Mrs Tempan

When Holly Gocoul married Adam Tempan, in front of 80 of their closest friends and family, they chose the historic Tithe Barn at Nailsea for their ceremony.

The couple who got engaged, two years ago, while on holiday in Montenegro exchanged vows on Saturday, August 6.

Holly, aged 28, is an English teacher at Backwell School and Adam, 26, works as an electrician.

They were introduced by Holly’s cousin James Lake back in 2007.

Holly, of Bruton Close, and Adam, of Moorend Spout, have made their home at Portishead Marina.

On the big day, Holly wore a form-fitting ivory mermaid dress in lace and tulle with sweetheart neckline by Spanish designer Pronovias.

She chose eight bridesmaids - Shaun Bullard, Natasha Morris, Adam’s sister Arianne Beardshaw, Jessica Balsam, Sara Hare, and Holly's sisters India, Ellie and Darce Gocoul.

The bridemaids wore full length, champagne silk gowns and carried white bouquets.

Shaun didn’t and, like the best man Daniel Tempan, dressed in suitable wedding attire while Adam, who used to live in Blagdon, dressed in a navy blue, three-piece blue suit by Hugo Boss.

Holly’s mum Nola Wolley said: “It was a lovely sunny day made awesome by family and friends.”

Magdelena Matungi did the make-up for the bridal party, Harriet King and Elizabeth Allward were in charge of hair and the flowers came from Kimberley the Florists at Cadbury Garden Centre with Eve Dunlop capturing the most special moments as the couple's photographer.

The Jamaican wedding breakfast was catered by Rice and Things of Gloucester Road, the Hog Roast was provided by Tim Newton of Cracking Hog Roast, the cake was made by Emma Buston of Bake My Cake and the DJ was Kieran Clarke.

The bar was run by Ring O’Bells.

The couple are very grateful to Pennee Paige and everyone at the Tithe Barn for helping them to make their wedding day everything they wished for and more.

Holly and Adam went to Jamaica on honeymoon.

Remembering loved ones at Christmas

The 2016 Memorial Tree is up and looking nicely filled with tags.

Please pop in Monday and Friday, 9.30am-4.30pm and put a tag on the tree in memory of a love one, and make a small donation to The Children's Hospice South West..

In memoriam: Bard of Somerset

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first recording by Adge Cutler at the Royal Oak pub, Nailsea, funeral directors Arthur E Davey & Sons in association with Young Johnson Mermorial Masons have cleaned and re-lettered Adge's memorial plaque in the wall of Christ Church.

Director Tony Davey said: "This is all part of our on-going commitment to the families we deal with, it needed doing and after seeing the number of people that turned out for the unveiling of Adge's statue, we felt this was something we could do for the community."

Adge lived in Nailsea from the age of two and went to the village schools as well as working at Coates cider factory.

He died in 1974 at just 43-years following a tragic car accident on his way home to Tickenham from a performance.

To view more photos from the High Street statue unveiling click HERE.

OBIT: Norman James Baker 
March 10, 1926 – February 24, 2017

Norman Baker, aged 90, was a true ‘son of Nailsea’ and for so many local people to fill Christ Church for his funeral service this week proves testimony to a character whose heart belonged to the village.
Nailsea born and bred Norman was a parish councillor, trustee, school governor and founder member and active participant of many sport, social and church organisations in the small Somerset village that became, in his lifetime, a sprawling commuter town of North Somerset.
He died just a few days short of his 91st birthday in a Clevedon nursing home but much of his long and fulfilled life had been spent with his late wife Peggy at their Station Road bungalow.
The village delivery boy, odd-job gardener and Great Western Railway worker used to boast he had never moved more than 30 yards from Nailsea, said the Rev Alan Thorpe, of the Railway Mission, who welcomed the packed congregation to celebrate Norman’s life.
Norman helped by other town dignitaries set up Nailsea Community Trust with a bequest from philanthropist Joyce Thatcher in 1988.
NCT speaker Nancy Elliott said: “The founders of Nailsea Community Trust established the principals still followed today – to alleviate poverty and to improve the quality of life and develop the mental, physical and spiritual capacities in our communities.
“Norman knew that money is often the only obstacle to getting desperately needed resources or achieving a life-changing ambition – the trust makes things possible.” 
Grants to individuals, schools and youth groups have all been possible because of Norman’s implemation of Mrs Thatcher's vision.
Mrs Elliott added: “Hundreds of grants to individuals and families have meant safer homes, support with medical care and sensory impairments, better standards of living.
“Grants have enabled access to education, training and dyslexia support – the trust has enabled participation in character-building activities and helped to broaden horizons which provide opportunities for a better life.”
From music lessons to nature trails, from sports facilities to uniforms for youth and more have all been supported including funding for Nailsea Skatepark.
Former Nailsea Town Council chairman Ian Wilson was among the many at the church on Wednesday, March 29.
He posted this online tribute: “A very principled man and a valuable member of the town council. 
“His local knowledge was invaluable.”
Donations in memory of Norman are being collected for Nailsea Playing Fields Association via The Co-operative Funeralcare at 102 High Street.

  • Norman and Peggy on their wedding day in 1950 at Holy Trinity church and top in more recent times

FOR HARRIET WITH LOVE: Mum Toni Harris was accompanied by her sons including pop star George Shelley, best known as a former member of the boy band Union J, when she collected the midwifery graduation certificate awarded posthumously by Birmingham University to daughter Harriet. Harriiet aged 21, died after suffering fatal head injuries in the collision with a VW Beetle outside the O2 Academy in Bristol shortly before midnight on April 28, 2017, at Southmead Hospital eight days later. Although the family now live mostly in Clevedon they spent many early years living at Nailsea and Backwell. Toni is fundraising for the hospital as a tribute to Harriet and has made a beautiful memorial garden for her.

Happy Birthday April 8, 2018
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Happy Birthday April 8, 2018
Happy Birthday April 8, 2018

Happy 80th birthday Anthony Bush


Farmer, zookeeper, evangelist, author but foremost family man Anthony Bush will be 80 on Sunday, April 8, 2018 but as that is his day of rest his family threw a big party at Noah’s Ark on the Saturday and invited hundreds of friends and relatives.
Never shy of a captive audience Anthony used the occasion to give a Power Point presentation detailing the history of setting up the zoo at his Wraxall farm and all the trials and tribulations his Christian family experienced along the way.
He joked: “It was a way of getting our children and grandchildren to visit us.”
His wife Christina, an artist, spoke of her love and respect for her husband of 54 years.
And children Caspar, Annie, Liz and Larry told of their unconventional upbringing at Moat Farm which was often open house to an assortment of visitors.
The social event was hosted in the Ark Arena, a converted barn, once used to shelter farm animals and store grain but while growing up as a giant indoor adventure playground by the Bush children.
People came from near and far to celebrate and eat cake and before Anthony blew out the four score candles they raised the roof with a more than one rendition of Happy Birthday.
The band and choir led by the musical members of the family also played gospel song Put Your Hand In The Hand - an Elvis song with lyrics rewritten by Anthony.   

Some highlights of Anthony’s zoo farm career include creating one of Europe’s largest hedge mazes - built on site in 2003, the arrival of the first Gibbon baby marking the zoo’s 10 year anniversary and Princess Anne opening the Elephant Eden in 2014. 
He told those present his pride at the success of the Send A Cow To Africa scheme he pioneered.
The 100-acre site has the largest elephant enclosure in northern Europe and is now home to more than 100 sorts of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates including several important vulnerable species. 

Double click on the slide show to see more photos.

To read more about Noah's Ark on this website click HERE.

OBIT: Valerie Janette (Val) Thompson
August 15, 1952 - April 13, 2018


A much-loved former Backwell playgroup leader and Nailsea building society clerk has died.
Valerie Thompson, aged 65, sadly passed away on Friday, April 13, at Weston General Hospital.
Val had been married to Ian Thompson, of Thompson Commercial the letting agent for Crown Glass Shopping Centre, for 44 years.
They met in Basingstoke, Hampshire, the town where Val was born but lived most of their married life at Cleeve.

For the past few years since her health deteriorated and she became disabled through MS Val resided at Yatton Hall care home.
Mother to Mark and Nicola she was also grandmother to Lilia, Rohan, Rosie and Violet.
Ian said: “Val will be much missed.
“She was well known in Nailsea as she worked for Tett Hamilton/Mark Richards insurance brokers in the High Street for many years. 
“Before that she jointly ran Rainbow Playgroup at Backwell and was a member of Nailsea Ladies Circle when I was chairman and fellow member of Nailsea & Backwell Round Table.”
Anyone who knew Val is welcome at the funeral service at South Bristol Crematorium on Friday, May 4, at 10.30am. 
By request it is family flowers only with donations to MS charities via the Just Giving page set up by her daughter - click HERE.
Nicola said: “Mum was diagnosed with MS nearly 20 years ago.
“I'm sure having the support of the MS therapy centre which is now at Bradley Stoke but was for many years based in Nailsea helped her keep a very positive outlook on life.”
For further details contact the funeral directors Keith C Britton & Sons on 01934 832115.

Remembering James on anniversary walk


On the second anniversary of the premature death of fellow player James Colman teammates from Nailsea United Football Club will again be going on a charity challenge for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).

James, aged 22, died suddenly in his sleep on March 14, 2016, of sudden adult death syndrome.

A year ago 10 friends completed a 24-hour gruelling mountain challenge over peaks in North and South Wales in his memory.

For 2018 they are inviting all players, supporters, friends and family to join us at the location of their last walk at Sugar Loaf mountain, near Abergavenny.
Those taking part are asked to get to Sugar Loaf for 9am on Sunday, May 6.
Sugar Loaf is a gentle gradient lead-up until finishing with a reasonably steep finish to reach the trig point.

After completing the walk the plan is to  gather back at the car park for a small celebration.

Further information by texting Stu 0780 824 1105 or Sam 0795 117 1442.


Nailsea United Football Club has been striving to raise funds in James Colman’s memory in order to host a CRY screening day.
The players and supporters are immensely pleased and proud to announce they have booked a screening event for Saturday, August 10, 9am-4pm.
James was an incredibly special and much loved player at Nailsea United and this day could potentially save a life.
The charity CRY will set up their equipment and allow us to screen approximately 100 people aged from 14-35 inclusive.

Screening involves completing a health questionnaire, a doctors consultation and ECG. This will be done in a clean, confidential environment.
An ECG (Electrocardiography) is the process of recording the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time using electrodes placed over the skin. It is very commonly performed to detect any cardiac problems.
The purpose is to not only screen as many people as possible but to raise awareness regarding current and potential future heart conditions.
Prior to the event the club will be taking provisional appointment bookings which will be in 10 minute time slots (three people screened per slot).

Confirmed bookings will be via an online questionnaire and booking system a couple of months before the day.
The day will be run as a family day with various other activities taking place which are currently TBC.
For more information send a message via the Facebook or Twitter for more information.

To learn more about the charity click HERE.

Football club heart screening day

WALK IN WOODS: Go for a walk in Towerhouse Woods and discovered the magical Ty Sculpture Walk. This was created in 2016 on 16-acres of land owned by the Woodland Trust on the borders of Nailsea, Tickenham and Wraxall. It is accessed via Jacklands Lake and built to celebrates the life of Ty Partridge who grew up in a  house on the corner of the wood. Ty, who spent much of his free time playing, exploring and making dens here died from leukemia, aged 21 and the trail is the inspiration of his dad Piers, helped by Phil Carter, whose son was a close friend. The 14 sculptures, including a dormouse, badger, fox, buzzard, hedgehog and robin are not obvious, but then neither is nature.
Look in Gallery 2019 to see more beautiful photographs take by Agnieszka Kubiszewska-Krawczyk.

In memory of Bailee Cook

Since Bailee Cook died aged four in April 2018 his family and friends have been remembering him in lots of ways.

And as a fitting memorial to Bailee much of this has involved raising monies for medical research to help others suffering from similar illnesses.

Bailee's parents Jemma Capern and Lee Cook have now been told test results show it is 'very likely' the cause of their small son's death was Mitochondrial Disease.

This is rare disease when the mitochondria in cells are not producing enough energy.

There is huge variety in the symptoms and severity of Mitochondrial Disease and it depends on how many cells are affected and where they are in the body.

Every person with Mitochondrial Disease is affected differently.

Everyone affected will have a different combination of mitochondria that are working and not working within each cell.

Mitochondrial Disease is usually progressive and unfortunately, there is no cure at present.

In October Bailee's family including friend Steph Carradine organised a Halloween party at the Grove Sports & Social Centre to raise money for The Children's Mitochondrial Disease Network.

Jemma said: " The party was a great success selling out 100 tickets within days."

The hire costs including decorations were covered by the Grove and Nailsea United Football Club.

Jemma said: "The fantastic support from friends and family made the party atmosphere and we had a wonderful tombola, search for the creepy crawlies game and some wonderful hand decorated rocks by friend Jackie."

As well as those who came to the event and donated tombola prizes support also came from MAP Electrical Contractors Ltd, solicitors MC Hullah & Co and Tesco Nailsea.

Jemma added: "We raised a fantastic amount of £618.75 which will go to research and raising awareness of this dreadful disease."

To date £2,742 has been raised from the wear Blue For Bailee day including £614 from Golden Valley Primary School and £100 from Trendlewood Church which has gone to The Wallace & Gromit Grand Appeal at Bristol Children's Hospital.

Bailee was a much-loved and popular little boy who had just began his school life at Golden Valley Primary School.

To donate in Bailee's name to The Children's Mitochondrial Disease Network (registered UK charity no. 1070533) via their website


FOREVER LOVED: This is the official unveiling of Bailee's playground bench paid for with monies raised by Golden Valley Primary School pupils, parents and staff in loving memory of their classmate who died unexpectedly in April 2018


BENCH MEMORIAL: The family and friends have put up a memorial bench in the field at Grove Sport & Social Centre to remember young Nailsea mum Claire Tavener who was murdered last year. The much loved mother-of-two was aged 27 when she was killed at her home in Brendon Gardens, by her 45-year-old husband Andrew Tavener last January. He is serving a life sentence. The couple had two sons – Rory, seven, and Blake, four – who are now being raised by Claire’s parents Steve and Sarah Willmott. Her mum and dad wanted to put up a lasting tribute to Claire where her family and friends can gather to remember her. More than 50 invited guests attended the unveiling ceremony at St Mary's Grove. The bench has been jointly funded by Steve and Sarah and Nailsea Town Council. A Go Fund Me appeal started by close friend Laura Tyler to support the children has raised £18,004 in the past 13 months. To donate to the appeal, visit

Remembering Garry 'Gazza' Scutcher

Family and friends of a Nailsea motorcyclist who died after hitting a wild boar while riding on a motorway in France are raising money in his memory.

Garry Scutcher, aged 44, a married man with two young sons, was travelling along Highway A28 Abbeville-Rouen on April 27 last year when he hit a wild boar and came off his Honda motorbike, an inquest on Thursday, March 21.

His wife Joanne Scutcher, a product and marketing manager, set up a fundraising tribute page for Freewheelers EVS, also known as the Blood Bikes, which provide a free out-of-hours emergency courier service to hospitals, hospices and specialist centres in South West England.

This raised £2,682 for the charity including a large donation St Francis RC School.

The couple settled in Nailsea nearly 10 years ago to bring up their two young sons, now aged seven and 10.

Joanne said: “Before having children Garry and I travelled throughout western and eastern Europe and into Russia by motorbike...just us, our bike and our tent.

“His death was devastating but I have so many amazing memories.”

Their oldest son was born in Australia before they headed to the UK and North Somerset and a forever family home in Nailsea.

An inquest into his death at Avon Coroners Court heard how Mr Scutcher, an accountant with Lloyds, suffered 'unsurvivable' injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident happened during the early hours of the morning and Mr Scutcher was found lying on his back in the middle of the carriageway by a French lorry driver.

He was on route to Spain and a big bike meet.

The remains of a wild boar were discovered by the central reservation.

Mr Scutcher's motorbike was found in the grass by the side of the road.

His helmet is believed to have come off as a result of the impact.

A post-mortem examination by Dr Russell Delaney revealed that Mr Scutcher had suffered head, chest, neck and pelvic injuries as well as leg fractures. It was likely he would have been rendered instantly unconscious as a result of the crash.

Toxicology reports showed Mr Scutcher had no alcohol or drugs in his system.

An investigation into the crash was launched by French police.

Lorry driver Jeremy La Forge was driving his articulated truck along the A28 at around 2.40am on April 27, 2018 when he noticed what he thought was debris in the road.

In a statement to the inquest Mr La Forge said: "I noticed something which looked like debris in the road.

"I turned my headlights on full beam, and I could see a person lying in the middle lane.

"The man's helmet had come off and was no longer in place.

"I rang the police and, as I did so, I saw a dead wild boar lying next to the central reservation and a motorcycle in the grass."

Mr La Forge said he had travelled along the motorway every day for two years and had never seen a wild animal on the road before.

Sergeant Fabrice Desperelle was called to the scene of the accident.

Sgt Desperelle said: "The remains of the boar were in the left-hand lane and several metres away was a damaged bike.

"Further along from the bike was a body of a person lying on his back.

"It was clear the motorcyclist had hit the wild boar which had caused him to fall off his bike.

Despite attempts to resuscitate Mr Scutcher by paramedics, he was pronounced dead at the scene.


On the tribute page, Mr Scutcher, known as Gazza to his friends, and pictured top was described as 'an incredible human being' who was 'happiest on his bike'.


Mr Scutcher, of Rowan Close, was in the process of becoming a volunteer for the Blood Bikes charity at the time of his death.

Avon assistant coroner Terence Moore recorded a conclusion that Mr Scutcher died as a result of a road traffic accident.

Contributions in memory of Garry can still be made at the Freewheeler EVS JustGiving page by clicking HERE.

GARDEN PARTY: On a sunny summer's day Lynda Dicks celebrated her 70th birthday with family and friends in the garden of her Station Rise, Backwell, home. Lydna is a stalwart of Holy Trinity church, former chairman of the Nailsea Community Christmas Fair and runs the Christmas day community lunch for Nailsea people. Her birthday is on the same date as the The Storming of the Bastille on July 14 althoughtthis historical event took place a few years earlier in 1789. She is pictured with husband John wearing the appropriately tropical shirt to man the barbecue and the bar

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CADBURY HOUSE: The 70th birthday party of former Clevedon Mercury editor was a cocktails and cake soiree followed by a sleepover for family and friends at the fantastic Congresbury hotel. Some had travelled from just down the road in Nailsea while others had come a lot further including friends from New York and Spain
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TITHE BARN: Former Nailsea Town Council chairman Clare Hunt celebrated her 70th birthday with a tea party in the historic barn opposite her Nailsea home. She is pictured with fellow councillors and friends who enjoyed cake and fizz and a rousing Happy Birthday singalong. The stunning birthday cake was commissioned by daughter Katherine

LADY IN RED: Former Nailsea resident Melanie Greenwood is serenaded by the band during her AB FAB 60th celebrations at Barley Wood, Wrington in December. Family and friends enjoyed a super duper night of food, fun and fabulousness and the 18th century country house which was awash with fizzy drinks and funky sounds. The atmospheric evening was captured by guests in an amazing photo booth full of laugh aloud picture props...

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PARTY PEOPLE: Retired deputy head teacher Jo Hopkinson celebrated her 60th birthday with family and friends who partied both indoors and outside during a wonderful evening at her Beech Road, Nailsea, home. Husband Geof acted as aide-de-camp lighting a novel number of chimineas and wood burners to keep the guests was as the April weather had turned a  little chilly in the garden. The cake was a work of art, finger food amazing, copious amounts of alcohol flowed and its was full marks for hospitality...
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BIRD, Elsa, of Cherry Road, Nailsea. passed away on Thursday, March 21, 2019, aged 82 years. She will be sadly missed by all her family and friends. A memorial service for the much loved mother, grandmother and friend will be held at Holy Trinity Church, Nailsea on Wednesday, April 24, at 1.30pm. Family flowers only please but donations, if desired to The Grand Appeal c/o Arthur E Davey & Sons, 82 Silver Street, Nailsea, BS48 2DS.

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30TH ANNIVERSARY: Nailsea neighbourhood police sergeant Mark Raby with a little help from his friends used an unusual format to say happy 30th wedding anniversary to wife Julie at Bristol Airport. Julie, aged 51, was waiting for  Mark, 52, who had been away on a rugby tour. She was surprised when one of his friends got off the flight, approached her and handed her a rose. A string of Mark's proceeded to each give her a single rose - before her husband arrived carrying the final flower. Mark said: "There were 30 roses for 30 years of happy marriage. I had been away for a rugby tournament in Krakow and it had been planned for months, unfortunately it coincided with my 30th wedding anniversary. My wife said I could go and that she didn't mind. I thought, what can I do to say thank you? So I ordered 30 red roses and I agreed it with the airport. A tearful Julie said: "I was totally surprised, I didn't expect it at all. He does surprise me with romantic gestures when I least expect them - he'll go to do the shopping and return with a bunch of flowers. It was a huge surprise, it was very romantic."

Smoke got in their eyes

Firefighters rushed to Nailsea Tithe Barn on Saturday, August 3, after a wedding disco smoke machine set off alarms.

The bride and groom were ‘rescued’ by the Clevedon Road crew.

Thanks to Avon Fire & Rescue Service for the photo.

You can view more firefighters photos at Gallery 2019 on a scary training session.

Click HERE.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes comes from the show song written by American composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Otto Harbach for the 1933 musical Roberta.

It has been recorded by lots of singers since including Bryan Ferry.

LOST RING: Andrea Tidball is devastated by the loss of her engagement ring. The precious ring slipped off her finger in the Vowles Close area of Wraxall. She said: “A truly happy occasion had been marred by the loss of my engagement ring. A 14ct rose gold ring set with opal and citrine gem stones engraved with ‘Andrea and Grahame’.“ Please keep a look out for ring in photo. A kindly Nailsea resident with a metal detector could help?

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FLOWER CHILD: Baby Lily Amy Patricia Derrick was born at 10.13am on August 5, 2019, weighing 7lb 8.5oz. She is a first child for proud mum and dad Wendy and David Derrick, of Station Road, Backwell. Wendy who is on maternity leave from her job as  Tesco Nailsea stock control and admin manager is an acomplished photographer and took this perfect professional quality picture of baby Lily at just a few weeks old plus the lovely family snap.


A 20-strong volunteer band of gardeners tend the flower beds and floral hanging baskets in Nailsea town centre.

The award-winning group called Nailsea In Bloom have been working tirelessly for nearly 20 years to bring colour and vibrancy to our street scene.

For 2019 they are setting up a poppy appeal to raise funds for the Royal British Legion.

The idea is to ask Nailsea people to sponsor a large remembrance poppy to be 'planted' in one of the four beds which Nailsea In Bloom looks after in the town.

Residents sponsoring a poppy will be able to have up to four names written on each poppy and there is a minimum £5 donation per poppy.

To take part download and complete the form attached HERE and put this and your donation in an envelope to be placed in a box at the Tithe Barn.

Printed forms are also be available at 65 High Street.

The poppies will be planted in the flower beds from Friday, October 25, until after Remembrance Day services on Sunday, November 10.

The last day to apply for sponsorship is Friday, October 11.

Nailsea in Bloom chairman Wendy Mobbs who has led the gardening group for the past three years said: “The poppy ideal came about last year when we put a Tommy figure in one of our beds at the end of the High Street with some poppies around him and it struck us that we could raise so money for the Royal British Legion, by doing something similar which we think people will support."

The Tommy silhouettes were to commemorate the end of World War 1.

The figure was called ‘There But Not There’ represented the 888,246 British and Commonwealth service personnel who lost their lives as a result of the conflict.

Next year May Day which is traditionally on a Monday is being put back to Friday, May 8.

This is the 75th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe Day) when fighting against Nazi Germany came to an end in Europe.

Various events are being planned in Nailsea to mark this date and it will be a school holiday.

Nailsea in Bloom Poppy Appeal


The parade will form up at Holy Trinity church hall at Church Lane at 10.25am then march to church.

The welcome will be done by the Rev James Packman followed by the laying of wreaths, reading roll of honour and then proceeding into church for Remembrance Service with Last Post, two minutes silence and Reveille.


At approximately 10.40am everyone will assemble at Somerset Square facing the Waitrose supermarket entrance, The opening prayer will be given by the Rev Packman followed by the Royal British Legion wreath laying, Last Post and at 11am it will be the two minutes silence, Reveille and parade dismiss.

There will be street collections at various times.

Poppy Field

FOREVER REMEMBERED: In the flower bed on the corner of Stockway North and High Street stands the near life-size silhouette of a British soldier. The iconic image of a 'Tommy' wearing a single red buttonhole and surrounded by memorial poppies gave the people of Nailsea the opportunity to remember their loved ones while donating to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. Nailsea in Bloom spokesman Wendy Mobbs said: "We would like to thank people for supporting us in our new venture. We are thrilled to announce we raised £518 for the the RBL. I am sure you all were pleased with how they looked and if anyone who sponsored a poppy would like to have the poppy please contact me on"

A small rodent named Howes is ready to continue the work of brave