BREAKING NEWS

What's new pussycats in Nailsea and nearby? This is mostly crime, court, human interest received too late for front page, weather and traffic updates - planning issues including new development(s), homes for sale all moved to Property Peeps pages. More immediate updates are on the Nailsea People Facebook page. Breaking news pages pre 2020 are in the archives...

2022

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Invitation to wear wrong trousers for v.sheepish fun(d)raising stunt

Squarebird staff sheepishly admit their trousers are all wrong but it is in a very good cause.

The Nailsea digital marketing agency is opening its foyer to the public from noon-5pm on Friday, July 1, for a public photo opportunity with Shaun the Sheep.
This is to raise money for Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal in aid of Bristol Children’s Hospital.
Passers-by will be able to take a photo with the iconic Cath Kidston Paradise Bunch Shaun the Sheep statue at 88 High Street and donate to this important cause. 
The Squarebird team will also be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Wrong Trousers Day, by donning the most colourful and ridiculous trousers they can find.
The Shaun the Sheep statue was commissioned by fashion designer Cath Kidston and painted in Liverpool before being moved to Earlham Street in London. 
The full collection was then auctioned in Bristol for £1,087,900 to raise money for the Grand Appeal. 
After a four year stay in Norwich, Shaun finally arrived at the Squarebird studio in 2021 following a further donation where its fundraising journey continues to this day!
The Grand Appeal funds ground-breaking research at Bristol Children’s Hospital to improve the quality of healthcare children receive, now and in the future. 

The appeal also supports the provision of lifesaving equipment, family accommodation, and vital wellbeing support.

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Squarebird managing partner Nick Bird said: “We’re incredibly proud to be raising money for the Grand Appeal; the charity has such a positive impact on the lives of the children in its care. 
"We want to support the Bristol Children’s Hospital and make sure it continues to be at the forefront of children’s healthcare, saving lives in our communities.” 
Nailsea people can 'come as you are' for the photo opportunity or don their own 'unique' trousers for the photo op with Shaun the Sheep. 
In exchange, they will be invited to donate whatever they can spare on the dedicated JustGiving page here https://wrongtrousersday.justgiving-sites.com/fundraising/wrong-trousers-day-at-squarebird.
Nick added: "With the help of the community, we aim to support the vital work of Bristol Children’s Hospital – and have fun doing it!"

SQUARE SHEEP: Top some of the Squarebird team with Cath Kidston Paradise Bunch Shaun the Sheep

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FOLK DANCING AT PUB(S): Mendip Morris dancers performed outside Nailsea MicroPub on Thursday evening, June 23, and later that night at the Ring O’Bells. They were such a success at the MicroPub even the customers joined in and at the Ringers everyone agreed 'it was a fabulous night'. New dancers and musicians always welcome. Further information about the team which performs mostly in the North Somerset area a repertoire of Cotswold-style dances but also includes Border dances, North-West clog dances and North East sword dances. On Thursday, July 7, at 8pm they will be dancing at Priddy. More info on its Facebook page

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One of the new pieces of art at Nailsea & Backwell railway station has been hung on platform railings the wrong way up!

It has been like this for several weeks since the grand unveiling at the beginning of May.

Nailsea town councillor Anita Smith who is part of North Somerset Artists Collective was nominated to work with Severnside Community Rail Partnership on the project to liven up the platform when the new shelters were installed.

Work by established North Somerset artists Greg Derrick and Joe Bougourd were chosen/commissioned together with images by students from Backwell School and Nailsea School to be on display.

The theme was Landscape and the artists used photography, illustration, drawing and painting to create unique A1 boards.

But it wasn’t until the unveiling the error was discovered.

Anita said: “I did point it out at the time – it is a mystery how it happened although the board is bent and may have been forced.

“At the opening I thought that picture doesn’t make sense to me and then I realised it was upside down.

“No-one can understand how it got turned around as originally it was right.”

Now the workmen who hung the picture upside down aren’t the first to make this type of mistake.

In the 1960s The Museum of Modern Art in New York hung a Matisse upside down and no one noticed for more than a month.

However, the painting by Greg Derrick isn’t an abstract work by Henri Matisse called Le Bateau (1953) although at the odd angle it is attached to the railings it doesn’t quite look like the ‘viewpoint from platform two looking up Station Road’.

The playful picture of a steam train by Joseph Bougourd is the right way up as are the colourful images by Backwell School Year 7 which took inspiration from Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser and the submission by Nailsea School Year 7-9 students which is a collage of scenic photographs from local places.

Anita added: “I love all the pictures and was so pleased our schools took part as many of the students use the train daily although I wish the pictures could have been bigger for more impact but the rules didn't allow.

“I will contact the community rail coordinator Faye Keane to let them know that Greg’s picture is still the wrong way up.”

Nailsea People popped down on Tuesday night, June 21, to see another unofficial art installation - the appearance of a cheery garden gnome sitting halfway up the brickwork on the rail bridge.

And despite strike action about pay and redundancies the trains seemed to still be running on this part of the GWR network.

UPDATE: Faye said: "It does seem a shame the headline focuses on the one artwork being upside down - I hope this doesn’t take away from all the positives the project has had and the hard work by the artists. Also there is a claim that the work was originally hung upside down - that is not the case. It was the correct way up but either someone has intentionally turned it round (with great effort), or the adhesives on the attachments became loose and a well intentioned passerby has tried to reattach but sadly upside down." Thanks for clarifying.

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This way is up

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UP LINE: Nailsea & Backwell railway station new artwork, shelters and garden gnome in residence

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Councillors back 20mph speed limit across moors before someone is killed

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WEST ENDERS: Warning of increasing traffic on their lanes and fears of a fatality. Top clerk Jo Duffy talks to audience and Natalie Court tells of concerns

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Residents say they risk life and limb to live in the countryside near Nailsea because of the dramatic increase in traffic on their lanes.

Nailsea Town Council on Wednesday, June 15, heard from a delegation from West End about the increasing problems they are facing which are made worse by the two construction sites at Netherton Wood Lane and Engine Lane.

Reckless drivers of speeding cars and commercial vehicles and even cyclists who race through the lanes are often abusive and aggressive when confronted, they told councillors at the Tithe Barn meeting.

Currently 36 children living in the hamlet can’t play outside their own homes and a resident of West End Lane said her 93-year-old father risks his life every time he stepped outside his front door to take a daily constitutional.

They told councillors they fear it will take a fatality before they something is done.

The speed limit on the country lanes leading to West End is 60mph except where there is street lighting, then it is 30mph, but the narrow stretches with streetlamps are few and far between.

The responsibility for highways is the remit of North Somerset Council and district and town councillor James Tonkin proposed a second meeting with local people at the Blue Flame to include senior council officers responsible for public safety to thrash out a solution.

During the discussion there were some bizarre suggestions like a councillor saying he didn’t want traffic diverted via Chelvey to the A370 as this was where his daughter went horse-riding.

Councillor James Steel wanted to put £30,000 of town council money towards fixing the road safety issues.

He said: “The issues on those lanes has been a problem for a number of years and we are adding to that problem at the moment with the development of the Engine Lane site and we benefited hugely financially off the back of selling that land.

“I don’t think we should be just putting our weight behind this, let’s put some money behind it.”

Flashing warning lights, speed cameras, more streetlamps, CCTV, extra signage, single passing spaces, quiet lanes and banning through traffic were all put forward.

No-one knew the national criteria for imposing a 20mph speed limit or how a 40mph limit was adopted at Wraxall, some wanted the lane closed completely to through traffic, speed bumps were ruled out as they were difficult for tractors to drive over and all-in-all there was no immediate answer.

Councillor Neil Middleton asked the audience: “What would your reaction be it West End was made access only.”

Not feasible came the response with working farms and businesses on the route.

But implementing any safety measures would be a problem for the police and not councillors, the meeting heard.

Antony Evans, of Engine Lane, complained about the number of lorries from Taylor Wimpey and Barratt Homes site depositing mud on the nearby

Nailsea residential roads ‘not to mention the banging, and the clanging, clouds of dust and diesel fumes’ nuisance.

Natalie Court, of Netherton Wood Lane, said: “We have a road with no pavements and a 60mph speed limit.

“In other areas of North Somerset and in Bristol they have pavements and a 20mph speed limit.

“What is it going to take for us to have a 20mph limit within the residential areas, is it going to be a fatality, is it going to be one of the children?”

Residents of West End Lane said they stopped some of the articulated lorries attempting to use their road only to be told by drivers this was the route they were advised to take by the construction site office.

Something awful is going to happen, we have been here so many times and nothing gets done, they warned.

A resident of 32 years said: “It is just horrendous and getting worse.”

Only that day a walker was hit by a cyclist going at a tremendous speed, she said.

Chairman for the evening Emily Miller said: “We want to take this forward to North Somerset on your behalf and there are lots of strategies here we can work together on.”

Clerk Jo Duffy read out a long email from North Somerset Council citing financial constraints and ruling out many of the suggestions. It has changed Sat Nav settings to avoid the rat-run but added many of the larger vehicles on the lanes were local agricultural lorries.

Councillor Clare Hunt said: “I really have a lot of sympathy for anyone who doesn’t feel safe where they live and for their children.

“Everyone can remember during lockdown how wonderful it was to have very low volume of cars on our roads

“I feel sorry that if the West End residents feel the town council hasn’t supported you enough but in many ways our hands are tied and we are dependent on North Somerset.”

Planning chairman Rod Lees said: “I don’t think North Somerset Council really understand the problems and is failing to look ahead.”

He said Nailsea is likely to add a further 1,000 homes in the next few years all increasing the traffic volumes.

In the end Nailsea town councillors voted to ask North Somerset Council to designate from St Marys Grove to Nailsea Wall Farm and Engine Lane to the Blue Flame as a classified residential area and given a 20mph speed limit with appropriate safety signage in place and that they would contribute an unspecified sum towards this action.

There are only two routes from Nailsea to Clevedon and the M5 junction.

Drivers either must go across the moors or through Tickenham.

Neither route is ideal for large volumes of traffic.

Tickenham Road Action Group is concerned new developments in Nailsea will see a 20 per cent plus increase in traffic along the B3130 which runs through the heart of its village.

TRAG says the immerging Local Plan does not address traffic growth and how it impacts villages and rural lanes.

It says together with the planned expansion of Bristol Airport additional HGVs and other commercial traffic will be seen on rural roads.

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We are all going on South American trek

Two Nailsea paramedics Leanne Bessell and Donna Jordan, who is a student, are part of a team going on a fundraising charity mountain hike in South America.

The South West Ambulance Service superfit 12 intend to tackle the Machu Picchu Inca Trail in the Andes in May 2023 while raising money for ambulance stations in our area.

Joining Leanne and Donna are Tracy Jarrett, Vicky Turner, Abi West, Helen Field, Charlotte Cousin, Georgia Simpson, Diane Fant, Sharon Swanborough, Rich Clark and Gabriella Salmon.

They have set a target of £10,000.

Leanne said: "I think we can all agree that the past couple of years have been unusual to say the least.

"The pandemic has been horrendous for the whole country but at the forefront of the pandemic has been the ambulance service and everyone that works for the SWAST.

"The whole country on lockdown while our paramedics and emergency care assistants have worked tirelessly and selflessly on the Covid frontline.

"This has been incredibly difficult both physically and mentally for us all and it still continues with hospital waiting times and queuing in the ambulances for hours at a time with patients who are very poorly.

"Our jobs have changed completely over the past 18 months, but as a team, if we're all honest ...there isn't a job we'd rather do."

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"Now that lockdown has eased we have decided to raise some money for the ambulance service and everyone working within it.

"All team members are fully self-funding this trip with 100 per cent of the fundraising going to our small local ambulance stations in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucester.

Go to http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/swast-team to contribute.

The money will go to South Western Ambulance Charity.

It says 'your donations enable us to go the extra mile to improve the welfare of the exceptional staff and heroic volunteers of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. Together we are making a life saving difference to communities across the South West'.

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STRETCH THOSE LEGS: Walking, running and cycling it was legs 11 on Sunday, June 19, when the first participants for the Nailsea Charity Walks, Runs and Bikes, sponsored by Rotary Nailsea and Backwell, set out from the car park at the Scotch Horn Centre. All those taking part got a medal and a big thank you from the charities they were fundraising for. 

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Last year two records were smashed and 478 people registered to take part. We are waiting for the 2022 stats but in the meantime here are the first photos. Others have until Sunday, July 31, to complete their chosen route in an event which has raised thousands of pounds over the years

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SAY IT WITH FLOWERS: And other foliage as Nailsea Town Council plant a platinum tree on the village green and the flower tub gets moved to block the High Street from HGVs while councillors wait to the service roads are repaired so the weight restrictions can be updated and the town centre roads become more pedestrian-friendly. Photos taken on Friday, June 17

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Traffic in wrong fast lane

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A delegation from West End, Nailsea, is due to attend Nailsea Town Council meeting on Wednesday, June 15, in yet another attempt to stop HGVs and other vehicles hurtling through their hamlet at excessive speeds.

The speed limit on the country lanes leading to West End is 60mph except where there is street lighting, then it is 30mph, but the stretches with streetlamps are few and far between.

Traffic from the construction sites on the west side of Nailsea using the route as a shortcut to the motorway have exacerbated the problems, say those who live in what should be rural idyllian.

The issues aren’t new as ever since Nailsea expanded people living in West End have complained about more and more vehicles using their lane as a rat run to the M5.

Back in 2016 West End resident Julia Miners reported to the town council that a survey they had been carrying out on the volumes and types of traffic using Netherton Wood Lane for the past five years.

She said at the time that ‘it is virtually impossible to walk safely along the lane without having to constantly step aside onto the verge or lean against the dry-stone wall rather that get squashed by a car, bike or van’.

And she predicted at that time any development at ‘construction corner’ would only make matters worse.

The council is again to be asked to impose traffic calming measure with further weight and speed limits.

It was put on the agenda by Oliver Ellis a firefighter who lives at Worcester Gardens. He was elected to town council to represent West End ward in 2017.

And it isn’t just the traffic that residents are complaining about.

Tracey Thomas lives at the top of Engine Lane just a few yards from the Taylor Wimpey site and she cited the housebuilders continual breaches of its own Construction Environment Management Plan (CEMP).

She listed the constant disruption, inconvenience and at times endangerment of residents. 

In an open letter to group operations director Jennie Daly copied to the press and North Somerset MP Liam Fox she said: "Our repeated complaints to your site manager and to your customer services call centre have had no effect over several months in resolving these issues, which have now also been reported to North Somerset Council planning enforcement team. 

"It is a daily occurrence that vehicles of site operatives are parked on the residential roads of Engine Lane and St Mary’s Grove, quite often right on the junction which is illegal. 

"The vehicles obstruct the view for traffic approaching the junction and force vehicles into the middle of the road. 

"They also obstruct the view of pedestrians trying to cross the road and access the public right of way that runs parallel to the site creating a dangerous situation. 

"Repeated e-mails to the site manager seem to be ignored, with no pro-active process or management to monitor or check that contractors are not parking on roads.”

"Furthermore radios can be heard blasting forth from the site whenever one walks past on the public bridleway which runs alongside the side from the top of Engine Lane all the way to The Perrings and is used by walkers and horse riders.

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Photos: Julia Miners

"In the earlier stages when houses closest to the road were being constructed radio noise could be heard in our back garden which we complained about on countless occasions."

North Somerset independent councillor James Tonkin who also serves on Nailsea Town Council said he has been trying to agree a solution for the past three years.

He said increased weight restriction signage and single track passing areas were all about go ahead when government edicts during the Covid lockdown and together with the mishandling of the introduction of quiet lanes any implementation was stalled.

Mr Tonkin said: “I have been trying to do something for months and months and have been in touch with all the interested parties, I am slowly getting there having spoken to senior highways officers, road design teams and Hutton and Locking independent councillor Mike Solomon who is the newly appointed executive member for neighbourhoods and community services.

“There is a weight restriction of 7.5 tonnes but it needs emphasising.

“I am in favour of having quiet lanes but not of shutting the countryside off.

“This whole scenario has been exasperated by the government allowing these homes when North Somerset Council were against it but lost on appeal.

“I will most definitely be at the meeting on Wednesday evening.”

  • The introduction of a weight limit along High Street isn’t to go ahead soon as the service roads aren’t fit for purpose – that is, able to be used by delivery lorries, confirmed Nailsea Town Council clerk Jo Duffy this week. Mr Tonkin added: “The service roads need to be made fit-for-purpose first which I understand will be later this year.” The photos below were taken by Nailsea MicroPub boss Mark Ashman on Tuesday, June 14. We do not know the reason for the lorry being in High Street with its lifting gear...

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STEPPING UP: The building work begun in March on the frontage of Tower House Medical Centre is nearly complete with much improved disabled access including new lobby, and eight new consultation rooms plus holistic sensory garden almost ready for use.  Part of Tyntesfield Medical Group which caters for 31,600 patients from Backwell, Long Ashton and Nailsea it had plans to sell Brockway Medical Centre and move everyone to Tower House but this was thwarted by the pandemic. Plans are in the pipeline for a neighbouring site but this has still to be approved (or not) by North Somerset Council - see Property Peeps page HERE

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ALLS WELL THAT ENDS WELL: Scaffolding which blighted the streetscape of Nailsea High Street and restriction access to some shops has finally gone with roof repairs which took several weeks now complete. The florist shop had been closing and taking telephone orders because of the problems when many customers were put off by the entrance being semi-hidden behind ironwork!

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YELLOW PERIL: Workmen arrived early on Thursday morning, May 26, in Nailsea High Street to (re)paint double yellow lines - is this getting ready for the long-awaited weight restrictions which we were told were imminent by Nailsea Town Council chairman Mike Bird at the annual meeting? Thanks to Geraint Goddard, of Home Additions, for photo

UPDATE: Painting all done and Home Additions has a loading bay, hooray

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POLICE NEWS: Here is the June edition of Sgt's Bulletin a police newsletter put together by Neighbourhood Sergeant Lee Kerslake (2781). This includes some up-to-date information on items of public interest/concern including the dog attack at Grove Sports Centre & Social Club and incidents of anti-social behaviour in the town centre. To download your own copy click HERE 

Making a nuisance in Nailsea

Despite some views to the contrary Nailsea is mostly a law-abiding place to live.

Nailsea Town Council community engagement committee meeting on Wednesday, June 1, 7.30pm is at the Tithe Barn.

Its agenda is HERE.

It contains the 3-page CCTV log for March.

It records 28 incidents caught on CCTV in Nailsea town centre which required further investigation.

These ranged from missing people to drink/drug related disturbances, from traffic accidents to anti-social behaviour.

A fight at the Royal Oak, criminal damage at Waitrose supermarket, burglary at French Close and alarmingly the CCTV saw youths observed in ‘sexual offences’.

Sadly, you don’t ever seem to find out what happens next – arrests, court appearances, warned under caution?

During the past few weeks, we have heard of a hammer attack, cars being wantonly damaged and people who don’t seem to give a damn leaving thoroughfares litter strewn.

Nailsea MicroPub boss Mark Ashman said on Wednesday: “They are at it again.

“Three to four young girls are causing damage and havoc in Nailsea.

“Last night they pushed over and damaged an expensive motorcycle.

“They walked on casually as they have no care at all.

“The police have been informed and do know who they are."

“If you care about this town and your property, you’ll report them if you see them causing damage.

“It is only a matter of time until they seriously injure somebody.”

The problems aren't new or confined to Nailsea.

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Alan Goddard arrived at work at Home Additions early on Saturday morning, May 14, and spotted this on the opposite side of the road. 
He said the repositioning of the bin on top of the road sign appears to have been done under the CCTV High Street camera.

Can’t see any canine owner being able to reached it now!!
Our 7.30am post on Nailsea People Facebook page reached 7,000+ readers and attracted more than 50 comments.

Here are a selection:
Roland Green said: "Someone had a good night."
Kien Searle said: "Oh my goodness call the police."
Justine N Jones said: "Someone's bin naughty."
But Laurabeth Watt worried it could fall and hurt someone.
She said: "That could really hurt someone potentially kill a small child if it landed on their head."
Emma Pontin said: "Oh the joys of Friday night! 
"Credit where it's due getting it to stay up there! 
"Joking aside, this is dangerous as if it fell it could either hurt someone or fall into an oncoming car and cause a crash. 
"Who'd have thought Nailsea would have people who would do things like that?"
Thomas Morley said: "These bins are lockable into place to prevent this sort of thing happening. 
"Evidently whoever empties them isn’t locking them."
Neil Ridley said: "This could be a new Olympic event.. see how far back you have to stand, to fling the dog poo bag into the opening, get it in three times in a row, bang, gold medal, two times, silver. one time bronze."

Alan crossed the road from his shop and removed the bin before setting out on another house clearance job.

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Rubbish High Street story

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