By Martin Gibson

The first live Zoom Holy Communion service at St Mary’s on a Sunday was hosted by Rev Steve Oram last Sunday, 24th. Twenty four people attended and especially welcome were Tim Auburn from his hospital bed and Sylvia Roos who was recently bereaved. Below is the link for anyone who wishes to join this coming Sunday’s service:

Meeting ID: 484 794 9535. Passcode: 700999

The February issue of Meeting Point will be an online version. However Jenny Newley is having 10 copies printed off for circulation amongst those people in the parish who do not use computers. Sue Farr is organising the distribution of these. If you know someone who would fall into that category please ring Sue.

The public side of the Tower Appeal opened this week with the delivery of personalised request letters. Also in the envelope was Audrey Shepherd’s recently published guide to St Mary’s. Audrey funded this publication herself and it is an extremely informative and well produced booklet.

The Parish Council has just acquired a new Speed Visor (one of those “smiley face” signs). It has been located outside the church facing traffic coming up from Aust. It joins the other Speed Visor (presently in Haw Lane) which is part owned with Oldbury Parish Council. These instruments reduce traffic speed by between 10-16%, depending on location, and are a great safety aid.

The Parish Council’s Traffic and Parking Committee will shortly be forwarding its final report to South Gloucs Council Highways Department. There will be a number of recommendations (which it is known that South Gloucs supports) including lower speed limits and a request for some form of safety measure to address the dangers of the bend at the top of Upper Tockington Road.

The Parish Council intends to investigate improving internet connections with help from the “fibre to premises” system used by BT.

Two new Parish Council members were welcomed in on Tuesday evening – Miles Grocott from Old Down Hill and Martyn Suker of The Common. Both bring an enormous amount of experience gained in communications.

South Gloucs is proposing extending and widening the footpath on Old Down Hill outside Tockington Manor School. This will probably take 2 years to effect and there are other considerations to understand, such as the junction between Pool Corner and Old Down Hill which currently permits vehicles travelling towards the Hill to sweep speedily around what is currently a bend. The Parish Councillor, Tony Turnbull, will represent the council.

Many of us can remember the massive elm trees which used to grace the South Gloucestershire countryside. There was one wood full of them in particular, on Blackhorse Hill, Easter Compton, where today is found the “Wild Place” zoo. In the early 1970s the elms here were totally annihilated by Dutch Elm disease as were countless other elms. Much of the then desolate land was eventually replaced by ash trees, which also like the ground conditions of the area. Now however, South Gloucs Council has reported that “ash die back” has taken hold in much the same way as Coronavirus. Unfortunately in the next 5 years we are likely to lose many thousands of ash trees.

Sad to report the passing of Paul Boulton. Paul lived with his wife Anne on Old Down Hill for well over 50 years but in recent years had suffered with dementia.

Ten Commandments for Seniors:

1 Talk to yourself – sometimes you need expert advice

2″In style” are clothes that still fit you

3 You don’t need anger management – if only other people would stop annoying you

4 Your people skills are just fine. It’s tolerance towards others you need to work on

5 The biggest lie you tell yourself is “I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it”

6 “On time” is when you get there

7 If only we could put ourselves in the dryer for a few minutes – and then come out wrinkle free and 3 sizes smaller

8 Lately you’ve noticed that people your age are so much older than you

9 Growing old should have taken longer

10 “One for the road” now has a different meaning – it means using the loo before leaving home