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The North Somerset Mercury published an odd story about an escaped crocodile complete with a photo.

It was only me who thought it was real - it was an inflatable toy.

Then have you heard about the Nailsea photographer who has a Boa constrictor as pet?

Never mind, I can go one better and this isn’t a joke.

A lady was walking her polecat, YES, you read it right a poxy polecat on a dog lead past the Ring O’Bells on Wednesday night.

Several Nailsea town councillors where sat outside when the aforementioned weasel suddenly darted under their table and decided to mark out its territory by urinating on the designer handbag of one of ladies enjoying an evening drink.

The smell was awful and she wasn’t very happy.

But who is the person who takes a polecat walkabouts in Nailsea?

The councillors were too busy cleaning up the pee to take a photo but have sworn on their lives this is a true story – tell me more...

According to a vets website the ferret or polecat is a domestic pet.

It is not a wild animal, though ferrets are descendants of the European polecat (weasel) and are, therefore, close relatives of skunks, mink, otters and badgers.

The photo right is of a pet on a leash which can be bought from Marshall Ferret Sport Lead by clicking HERE.

It allows you to exercise your pet, while stimulating their senses and letting them get some fresh air - but try not to walk past people enjoying a drink sat outisde the Ringers!

Also if you own an unusual pet or you know someone who does email a photo to and we will award a marvellous prize for the best!

At the moment the repile owned by Paul Balshaw, of Amazing Portraits Photography, who belongs to the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers and the Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers leads by a snakeshead!

Costa finally opened its newest coffee shop at Nailsea on Thursday morning just in time for the busy food and craft markets this Saturday.

And among the first customers were Nailsea Town Council vice chairman Clare Hunt and community editor Carol Deacon.

The town centre is undergoing lots of changes and while this latest arrival had customers queuing out the door on its first day news that another charity shop is to open at the old Global Furniture shop didn’t get such a positive response from residents.

See story about Debra charity shop and comments by clicking HERE.

At the other end of the High Street Costa already has an in-house coffee shop at Tesco supermarket and there are lots of other food and drinks outlets in the town.

But this Costa is in a prime position with a great vista towards Colliers Walk and Somerset Square.

It can seat more than 100 people downstairs, outside and on a cosy but windowless mezzanine floor.

Manager Mark Thompson, aged 25, is a local boy living at Trendlewood.

He said: “We are very happy to open at last.

Mark said although the new Costa intended to be in the town for a least the next 20 years the falling population of Nailsea was a concern.

Mrs Hunt said: “I agree and it is something which needs to be addressed.”

Mark added his company had committed £10 million nationally to help good causes and he had already been into Nailsea School to take part in a business class.

According to Wikipedia Costa Coffee is a British multinational coffee house company headquartered at Dunstable, England, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Whitbread.

It is the second largest coffeehouse chain in the world behind Starbucksand the largest in the UK.

Costa Coffee was founded in London in 1971 by the Costa family as a wholesale operation supplying roasted coffee to caterers and specialist Italian coffee shops.

Acquired by Whitbread in 1995, it has since grown to more than,861 stores across 30 countries.

The business has 1,755 UK restaurants, more than 3,500 Costa Express vending facilities and a further 1,106 outlets overseas.

Meanwhile teachers Lorna Dukes and Melina Snell, of Backwell, are set to open their play café Young Possum’s Imaginarium at Colliers Walk in September.

The successful Win-a-Shop pair is planning a stimulating place for parents to meet and children to play.

The unit will be stocked with wooden toys, puppets, books and crafts and a café will serve health snacks and light lunches.

Two doors down Dundry florist Claire Davis, another Win-a-Shop hopeful, has decided to open Queenie’s Flower Shop.

Currently it is housing an art exhibition by Alan Dedman which is open from 10am-5pm, Tuesday to Saturday, until August 3 with a series of Thursday evening talks.

More details click HERE.

Claire said: “I am opening a flower shop at the beginning of September at 17 Colliers Walk.

“I will also be selling one-off and vintage gifts, garden and home wares plus locally produced goods.”

Claire ran a successful pop up shop during the Christmas period and has pitched her wares at many North Somerset craft fairs.

Builders are working in the old HSBC/Midland Bank end unit next to Cohen pharmacy.

But hopes this unit had finally been rented out proved unfounded.

Commercial letting agent Ian Thompson said: “It is nothing other than a bit of wiring and plumbing from the flats upstairs which are currently being refurbished.”

School Togs, Nailsea Cycle Shop and the Gadget Lounge have all settled into Clevedon Walk and are looking forward to innovative signage and other improvements soon to be installed by the owners of Crown Glass Shopping Centre.

These lettings mean that only four shop units remain unlet at the Crown Glass Shopping Centre demonstrating level of occupancy well above the UK national average. 

Mr Thompson added: “Rents have come down dramatically in the past seven years since the start of the recession, and certainly the owners of Crown Glass Shopping are very pragmatic in their approach and fully supportive of interesting new businesses, hence their ‘win-a-shop’ promotions and the success in securing people like Blue Room, Ewe-Knit 20, Butterfly Travel, School Togs, Nailsea Cycles and shortly the return of Queenies.”

Landlords Ellandi has also invested more than £500,000 in the refurbishment of previously unlet offices, Churchill Retirement Fund is redeveloping the old Sycamore House site and Wessex Water has moved into the high quality suite at 21 Somerset Square.

Construction is also under way in other parts of the centre converting redundant office space into apartments.

No more news on Lidl or the police station site...yet...but it is rumoured that a beauty shop will be moving into the old cycle shop?

There is a quick preview of the new branding for Crown Glass Shopping Centre on the Business Peeps page – click HERE.

A 25-strong delegation of neighbours packed a town council meeting on Wednesday night to object to the latest plans by Nailsea School to extend the use of its all-weather pitch.

Speaking on behalf of the group Pauline Tillett, some of whom are pictured about, told the planning and environment committee: “This is very much a case of déjà vu for the residents who live around Nailsea School.”

There have been several unsuccessful attempts to increase the use of the £350,000 floodlit AWP since the £32 million new building opened six years ago.

One application was refused on appeal and another was ‘vetoed’ by the environmental officers at North Somerset Council on grounds of noise and light pollution, the meeting heard.

The academy at Mizzymead Road has now submitted another amended planning application to North Somerset Council.

Under the terms of the existing planning permission the pitch cannot be used after 8pm during the week, after 6pm on a Saturday and before 9.30am or after 1.30pm on a Sunday.

The original amended proposal was for the AWP to be used all year round Monday to Friday 8.30am-9.30pm, Saturday 9am-9.30pm and on Sunday and bank holidays 10am-4pm.

The new proposal is from May-July the AWP would be in use Monday to Friday 8.30am-8.30pm, Saturday 9am-7pm and on Sunday and bank holidays 9am-3pm with no Sunday use during July.

And from August-April open hours would be Monday to Friday 8.30am-9.30pm, Saturday 9am– 6.30pm, Sunday and bank holidays 9am-3pm.

The school says extra hours are needed because of an increase in community demand for the pitch, which opened in May 2010.

They say the increase in operating hours would allow an extra 200 people a week to use the pitch.

Mrs Tillett said: “The planning inspector’s decision in 2012 regarding an extension of hours of operation is clear and precise in that he determined that the harm that would arise to the living conditions of nearby properties along Mizzymead Road and Ash Hayes from the noise of those using the AWP at unacceptable times is the prevailing consideration. 

“He found nothing that would make the use acceptable and nothing has changed... yet the use of the pitch continued unabated during unsocial hours. “Residents have continued to complain about the noise impact and the light impact to no avail.​

“They have been subject to the type of noise which the World Health Organisation deemed to be very damaging to health and well-being.

“If anything noise has increased at unsocial hours.”

North Somerset Council has announced it is spending more than half a million pounds patching up its roads.

But not one road in Nailsea is included in the £600,000 surface dressing programme for July covering around 18 miles in the district.

This is despite a petition from residents of Holford Close, off Coombe Road, saying their road is full of pot holes and First drivers dubbing Whiteoak Way the worse road on a main bus route.

But do not despair as help is on its way.

North Somerset councillor Jan Barber said: “There is a whole list of roads to be done in Nailsea, Whiteoak Way being one of them due to be done in August. 

“Ash Hayes Road and Meadway Avenue are also included. 

“The problem with Whiteoak Way and the reason that it has taken so long is that it isn’t surface dressing, it requires complete resurfacing at a cost of around £200, 000, I understand. 

“Holford Close is similar in that it will be a very expensive job and is difficult to get on the priority list, despite being in an appalling condition, as it is a cul de sac and only used by about 40 residents. 

“I am presenting a petition about it at full council on Tuesday, July 14, and am hopeful that it can be classed as a priority. 

“Every road should be surface dressed every seven years and that would maintain our roads to a much higher standard. 

“That is what we are aiming for, but there isn’t sufficient money available.”

The surface dressing process involves spraying the road with bitumen, covering it with granite chippings and then rolling the road to embed the chippings into the surface.

Excess chippings are then swept up to be re-used in the following year's programme.Surface dressing does depend on the weather so this schedule could change.

THE online community newspaper for Nailsea people, their family and their friends

July 2015
Part two
Nailsea High Street.jpg

Our town is a very nice town

Costa is here

Nailsea School end of term report from Ofsted is ‘good’.

This is the first inspection under head teacher Chris Wade and since the school became an academy.

During two days in mid-June four inspectors observed, scrutinised and questioned all aspects of school life including sitting in on 38 lessons.

Mr Wade said: “I am delighted Ofsted has judged Nailsea School to be a good school in all areas:

leadership and management;

behaviour and safety of pupils;

quality of teaching;

achievement of pupils; and

sixth form provision.”

The elusive ‘outstanding’ status awarded to Backwell, Clevedon and Gordano secondary schools is its next goal.

Mr Wade told parents in a letter home: “We have been working very hard to make improvements to all aspects of the school and it is very reassuring to have our hard work confirmed by Ofsted; especially when the framework we are being judged under is the version with the highest expectations to date and with a real emphasis on teaching and learning.

“To hear that work in students’ books indicates that students ‘are maintaining the school’s high standards’ and that ‘the vast majority of students make good rates of progress’ is very encouraging.

“Thank you for your positive feedback about the school to the inspection team.

“We are very pleased that you feel this and can see the impact on your child.

“Nailsea deserves to be recognised as a good school and we want the community to be proud of our students.

“Ofsted reported that our links with the community enabled our students ‘to reflect on cultural diversity, the importance of tolerance, respect and the rule of law’ and ‘as a result, students are well prepared for life in modern Britain’.

“I thank all of our students, whose feedback about the school was also overwhelmingly positive.

“It is great to hear that students here ‘feel safe, secure and valued’.

“Ofsted confirmed that our students are ‘polite, welcoming, wear their uniform with pride and conduct themselves well’.”

Mr Wade went on to praise his staff and governors for their support and tireless work.

He added; “I am certain that we can now build on this good foundation to secure an ‘outstanding’ judgement in the future.

“Aspire, Believe, Succeed is our vision for all students at Nailsea School and we truly believe that by having high expectations and raising aspirations, our students will find success in life, in whatever form makes them happy.

“We intend to focus relentlessly on teaching and learning and on improving our school further as we strive to be outstanding.”

Lead inspector Chris King as a marker towards winning an ‘outstanding’ observed that non-specialist teachers without detailed subject knowledge did hindered pupil progress.

To read the full Ofsted report click HERE.

When Ofsted visited back in 2011 there were 1,118 pupils on roll but this has dropped to 1,009 including a 190-strong sixth form for 2015.

The fall in pupil numbers which is also seen at primary level is seen as yet another pointer in Nailsea’s declining (and ageing) population.

Nine teachers and eight ancillary staff will be leaving Nailsea School at the end of this summer term.

But five replacement teachers in maths, science, English and art are due to start in September.

Nailsea School is currently consulting on uniform changes with the suggestion to introduce a school blazer similar to the ones wore at Clevedon and Gordano comprehensives.

From this September the clip-on school tie, black jumper with badge and regulation trousers for boys and girls will all be  part of the official uniform.

School Togs owner Mark Gibbard said the cost of a blazer would probably be approximately £30-35.

Examples of other proposals for September 2016 will be on display in the school reception along with a feedback slip so all opinions can be gauged.

School report

Nailsea people's unusual pets

A floodlight too far protest

And said Mrs Tillet the adult footballers and hockey players who use the AWP after hours are a very different ‘animal’ to the students during the day.

Councillors and neighbours on a site visit were ‘horrified’ at the glare experienced inside a home adjoining the school playing field, Mrs Tillett told the committee.

Suggested solutions of acoustic fencing and blackout blinds will not negate the problems, she added.

Town and district councillor James Tonkin called for the application to be withdrawn until screening is put in place.

Councillor Clare Hunt said the school should not be encouraged to spend monies in the belief that permission would then be granted.

Town and district councillor Jan Barber said planting trees will not solve the problem.

And councillors agreed with residents that nothing had changed and unanimously recommended refusal.

Click HERE to read original story.

  • Three local football teams are also want to install permanent floodlights. Read about Nailsea United FC, Nailsea Town FC and Ashton & Backwell United FC on the sport pee[s page by clicking HERE.

No Nailsea roadworks in pipeline

Traffic Cone

You will be able to check the latest situation on the council's roadworks website at

Road closures will be required at all the locations, apart from the A38 at Churchill where four-way temporary traffic signals will be used.

Every effort will be made to minimise any disruption.


FREE mid week fun for children and their parents at Nailsea town centre shopping precinct for the school summer holidays. More details on the Young Peeps page


Saturday at beer and cider festival at Nailsea photos posted HERE. Backwell Festival to come - fabulous musical weekend for all. Click HERE for What's On page for details more happenings


6th form leavers ball and last day fancy dress plus Year 11 prom. See gallery news for all the photos by clicking HERE

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