Our town is a very nice town
THE online community newspaper for Nailsea people, their family and their friends
Building work progresses in many corners of Nailsea but in Backwell a big campaign has been launched to stop the village becoming a town as 1,000s of new homes are planned. Read more HERE
What's On 2023
November is the month of fireworks and bonfire night, Pudsey bear, Remembrance parades and services - which are on our Church Peeps page HERE - as well as the farmers' market, festive fairs and concerts. As we edge towards Christmas we have details of What's On in Nailsea and nearby read more HERE
We have hundreds of images in our 2023 galleries featuring Backwell lake, country walks as well as sensational sunrises and sunsets - added last month were the Eat:Nailsea food and drink festival, Apple Day, farmers' market and Somerset International Festival of the Arts with a community photoshoot, see our super slideshows HERE
Shhh fireworks plea
Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, has welcomed news that neighbouring school, the Downs, has announced a new low-noise fireworks policy.
Designed to operate at noise levels of approximately 70dB, low-noise fireworks help prevent any stress to animals, wildlife and people.
Low-noise fireworks are a progressive and animal-friendly option that help to ensure the safety and well-being of animals.
Noah’s Ark has been advocating for the adoption of low-noise fireworks across North Somerset, since a tragic incident at the Wraxall zoo in 2020.
Sadly, in November of that year, a young Zebra called Hope was spooked by local fireworks displays.
Hope was a healthy eight-month-old foal, and it was believed that the fright caused the animal to bolt and collide with the boundary of the enclosure.
This tragic incident demonstrated the impact that fireworks can have on animals and highlighted the need for change.
Noah’s Ark managing director Larry Bush said: “We were determined that something good should come out of the tragic incident.
“By sharing the story of Hope, we aim to bring awareness of the detrimental impact that traditional fireworks can have on animals, both domestic and wild, as well as encourage others to adopt alternative arrangements for celebrations, including silent fireworks or more animal-friendly options.”
The introduction of the low-noise fireworks policy at the Downs School was made following a thoughtful process involving classroom discussions, school leaders and the Parents Association.
Downs School head teacher Debbie Isaachsen said “We have spent time with our older pupils discussing the impact of fireworks.
“Living in our rural location, we believe it is time to make a change and are delighted to be working closely with the staff at Noah’s Ark and involving our pupils in the decision to make this change.
“We are still looking forward to hosting our annual firework night which promises to have the same wonderful community atmosphere, a stunning visual display and the knowledge that we are playing our part in protecting both wild and domestic animals from potentially distressing noise pollution.”
Backwell resident Lorraine Hopkinson who is leading the campaign for North Somerset to become a low-noise fireworks area has also welcomed the development. Lorraine said: “We are making real progress with firework organisers, who are now starting to see the benefits that low-noise fireworks bring.
“Not only for animals, wildlife, the elderly and those suffering from dementia, PTSD and other nervous conditions, but the ever-growing number of people who just prefer them!"
Larry added: “We would love to see other organised displays in North Somerset and across the country move in this direction.
"It’s a win-win when people can still enjoy the excitement of fireworks but without the downsides to animal welfare that unfortunately come with traditional, noisy fireworks.”
You can sign the campaign for silent fireworks petition HERE.
Cadbury House has already introduced a new low noise fireworks policy to minimise causing distress to local wildlife and our domestic pets.
Nailsea people will go to the Christmas fair in the town centre.
And a festive High Street will be sparkly with new recycled Christmas lights!
The team behind the great Coronation street celebrations and decorations will be staging the Christmas fair in the High Street and Somerset Square.
Perhaps not on the scale of the 2016, 2017 and 2019 events or the Victorian fairs of yesterday but it is making a very welcome return.
And Nailsea is to be lit up for Christmas using lights made from recycled plastic bottles!
The star of the Christmas fair will be a singing Ice Queen who looks very much like Elsa of Arendelle the fictional character who appears in Walt Disney computer-animated fantasy film Frozen and its sequel Frozen II.
And school and rock choirs will be leading a festive singalong from Somerset Square.
Here comes Christmas
PHOTO: From Christmas past - many more in our galleries
We have Christmas food menus on our Food and Drink page HERE; an invite to Christmas tea party for those who have been alone for Christmas, links to buy tickets for the panto(s) and festive concerts and details of school fairs with the two dates for the Christmas jumper day plus info on CHSW Santas on the Run at Charlton Farm and Christmas Cruz drive-by which starts in Nailsea, pub parties and merry quizzes and more - go to our What’s On page and scroll all the way down...
Christmas community fair for all the family is on Friday, December 1, 4 -8pm
With free entertainment and shopping for Christmas gifts and stocking fillers what a great start to the festive season.
There will be hot food – I Scream Tacos and Jim’s Pizza are booked - and drink stands to keep people warm and toasty, plenty of free fun festive activities for the children to enjoy including Christmas balloon modelling and face-painting plus the chance to greet a giant stilt-walking Christmas tree.
Nailsea Lions will also be bringing along Father Christmas on his sleigh accompanied by his merry helper elves.
As well as the new lighting, the High Street illuminations will include a community Christmas tree on the village green donated by former councillor James Steel, of Quality Collectables.
There will be motifs on the lighting columns, giant globes and a stunning winter wonderland vision of snowflakes projected into the entrance of the precinct, as well as other Christmassy lighting delights.
A projector will be installed outside Waitrose, beaming images of fluttering snowflakes falling onto the ground.
Praxis, the Crown Glass Shopping Centre property management company will also be adding Christmas lights and decorations to make Somerset Square, Colliers Walk and Crown Glass Place really special for the season.
Nailsea Town Council community wellbeing officer Jess Brown said: “I am so excited and proud to be organising the Nailsea Community Christmas Fair.
“It’s a great opportunity to bring the community together to celebrate Christmas while supporting local businesses during the festive trading season and helping local groups to fundraise for good causes.
“We are asking all budding Christmas tree fans to create some delightful, weather-proof, Christmas tree decorations for the community tree as the evening will include the tree switch-on.
“Please deliver these Christmas tree decorations with your name and contact details to No 65 High Street by Friday, November 20.
“The most original decoration will receive a £10 voucher to spend at the fair.
The festive illuminations are finally to get an overhaul this year following years of complaints about the town’s ‘drab’ Christmas decorations.
For 2023 new giant Christmas baubles - made from recycled plastic bottles - will be attached to shops all along the High Street.
The new baubles will replace the artificial Christmas trees that have been attached to buildings in previous years.
Sadly however, this year there will be no strings of lights - also known as festoon lights - along the High Street due to complications with their installation.
A Nailsea Town Council spokesman said: “Originally the town council had planned to install new festoon lighting.
“Due to a series of complications with installation this year – if you read council minutes it says North Somerset Council failed to do its safety checks on time - we have now decided to re-evaluate if this type of lighting will add value to the display, with a review of the lighting after Christmas.
“This will save more than £50,000 this year which could, if festoon lighting is no longer required, allow other areas of the town to be illuminated, such as the trees lining Station Road car park.”
The town council budget for the fair is £7,000.
65 High Street manager Trudy Hollow has been working hard for many months on the Christmas lights project.
She said: “We are really pleased to be supporting Nailsea with a seasonal display of lights.
“A great Christmas display in the High Street and the town centre is beneficial for us all as it brings visitors into the town to shop and support local businesses at their often most important trading time of the year.
“It also adds a real sense of community for Nailsea, cheering everyone up, and making Nailsea feel special.
“This is lovely at this time of year in particular, and after the struggles we have had over the past few years, is a real morale booster for the town and people.
”Nailsea Knitters are busy on Monday afternoons making handmade festive decorations to adorn the roadside bollards and post boxes, more details at 65 High Street."
Nailsea plays the blues for Black History Month
American blues harmonica player, singer, filmmaker and songwriter Johnny Mars played Nailsea at the weekend.
The event was supported by Nailsea Town Council, Nailsea Folk Club in association with the Racial Equality Network North Somerset and North Somerset Council.
Johnny, who is in this 80s and like super star Mike Jagger still performing, now lives in Taunton.
The night was opened by Ian Noah, chairman of Race Equality North Somerset (RENS), a charity which has been running for more than 13 supporting and promoting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities across the district.
Ian welcomed Sharon Foster, High Sheriff of the County and City of Bristol.
Sharon talked about Black History Month and the experience of Black people in Britain today.
She showed her passion for the opportunities and education of children and young people.
And talked about her work to fearlessly champion the rights of women and Black members at local, regional, and national levels, ensuring their perspectives are heard and valued.
Then, Johnny Mars, explored the history of the blues and the experience and struggle of black people in the US.
Johnny is one of the finest harmonica players in the world and life-long innovator and trendsetter in sound technology and playing style.
Described as the 'Hendrix of the Harmonica' Johnny shared his talent for music, telling the audience about his life and long career.
He told of about his work with renowned industry names including Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, BB King, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Fuller, Spencer Davis, Ian Gillan, Do-Re-Mi, Bananarama and Michael Roach.
His amazing life began in a sharecropping family and he was given his first harmonica aged nine.
His family lived in various places around the South, including North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, experiencing the effects of racial segregation.
He told the audience about his experience of cotton picking at a young age and how cotton has thorns, which tear the skin when the cotton is picked.
When Johnny's mother died in 1958, the older family members settled in Florida, while Johnny and his younger brother went to live in New Paltz, New York State.
Living in New York was a massively different experience to his life in the south.
After he graduated from high school, Johnny played club shows around New York and recorded with his band Burning Bush for Mercury Records, and from there his career developed.
As well as giving a great musical experience, Johnny proved to be an entertaining and engaging narrator and story teller.
Nailsea town councillor Ben Kushner organised the evening.
He said: "I would like to give a big shout out to Dave Francis of the Nailsea Folk Club and his team for doing a brilliant job running the event and helping to make it a great success.
"Special thanks should also go to Ian Noah, chair of Racial Equality North Somerset, and Sharon Foster, High Sheriff of Bristol who both helped to make the evening go so well."
David Francis who runs Nailsea Folk Club said: "We were delighted to hold this Black History Month event at the Tithe Barn in Nailsea.
"Nailsea Folk Club has a strong reputation for our concert programme which features top names from around the world.
"Over the years the club has become a family of linked activities and projects which develop and change over time.
"We hold most of our concerts in Nailsea Tithe Barn and more traditional folk club nights, including feature nights, at the Ring O'Bells in Nailsea which has a lively atmosphere.".
computer techies for the online community
The TEK Hut was started by Ben Parker in the summer of 2018.
For 12 years Ben had been one of the team at The ICT Workshop which provided a wide variety of computer services to Nailsea, Clevedon, Yatton, Backwell and even Weston-Super-Mare.
Ben felt it right to continue the same great service customers had previously experienced but under new branding for a new business and The Tek Hut was born.
Trading at the familiar location in Nailsea, The Tek Hut will continue to offer the same cost effective, new laptops and PCs, upgrades, onsite support for homes and businesses through to a wide range of workshop services and accessories.
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