Welcome Bridget: Before our Speaker Meeting we were delighted to welcome Bridget. We know she will enjoy our programme work and will settle in quickly The M Shed – Clive Brain gave a sparkling talk to us about the M Shed Museum explaining that it’s called that because each shed along the docks was given a letter when Bristol was a working port with boats directed to the relevant one for unloading. Clive showed interesting videos of behind the scenes at the museum along with current exhibits – including the double-decker Bristol bus that many of our grandchildren have had fun playing in over the years. We learned that the well-known saying ship shape and Bristol Fashion resulted from the roping together of boats moored alongside each other to provide stability and stop them toppling over because of the Avon’s 11 metre tidal drop.
Speaker Meeting10 July: Louise Mitchell CBE, CEO of Bristol Beacon Our July speaker was Louise Mitchell CBE, the CEO of Bristol Beacon. She first came to speak to us in 2016 at the beginning of the massive refurbishment project. She headed up the project which has transformed the Bristol Beacon (previously known then as the Colston Hall) into what promises to be a world class music venue of international standing. Her aim in 2016 was that the Hall would have wider use as a music venue and education centre. In its refurbished state, the main Concert Hall will offer a diverse and dynamic range of music from orchestral classical to jazz to pop and much more in between! Styles to attract not only a variety of audiences but also top-class performers. Besides the main Concert Hall there are also smaller, adaptable rooms suitable for conferences,
At our Speaker Meeting last night, we had a talk by Amy Wade from Bristol and Avon Rivers Trust. The Trust encourages and provides opportunities for volunteering to help with monitoring rivers and taking action to prevent their further degradation among other things. She began by illustrating the problems involved and then provided ideas for ways we could help including citizens’ science projects, joining the Riverblitz project between the 7th and 14th July and putting political pressure on our MPs by writing letters. Also our warmest congratulations to Anne, our longest serving member who was presented at the meeting with a Certificate for 55 Years of service as a Soroptimist. We were also delighted to be joined by three visitors who are considering joining our club
Gary started by telling us that his talk would be a brief outline of slavery in Bristol and Bristol’s involvement. He said that all ancient civilizations had slaves and quoted the Bible on a number of occasions saying that it was pro-slavery and that slaves should be treated better. Eventually slavery started to die out because it was said that if you were a Christian you could not have a slave. In the 15th Century John Cabot, encouraged by Henry 8th, was Bristol’s the first link to the slave trade. John’s son Sebastian Cabot was a slave trader, at first only one or two people wanted to get involved then many more as they realised that amount of money it would attract. Bristol’s involvement started with the sugar trade where they relied on the use of African slaves. Due to the civil
Andy started by covering the last 40 years of his life. At the age of 16 he had career guidance, and it was suggested that he may like to become a journalist. 26 years later he is now doing media work as a publisher, publishing 2500 magazines per month. There then followed a resume of his career and life. In 2006 he was made redundant and reached for a magazine “Prima” and he bought the rights. He then bought BS9 and 17 years on it is still going strong. He showed us copies of the original BS9 and the current version. After running BS9 for a few years he bought BS6 and BS8 which he then merged. BS9 is a monthly magazine on a four-week cycle and a Welsh company does the print run as there are only a few companies with the
We were pleased to welcome Bruce Simmonds at our club’s Speaker Meeting on Monday 14th November. Bruce was representing the Lord Mayor of Bristol’s Children Appeal. He appraised us of the incredible work the charity has done for the last 100 years (since 1921) raising funds to help disadvantaged children in Bristol with vouchers – one £20 voucher for food and one £20 voucher for clothing or a toy per child. The Lord Mayor’s Fund was started initially with the aim of providing a Christmas dinner and boots for the deprived children of the city. Today the appeal helps 1,650 children (under 16 or under 18 if they have a disability) every year, so their target is to raise £66,000 which is no mean feat! The children are nominated by health visitors, doctors and teachers, and approved by The Bristol City Council People Directorate,
Laura and Kat introduced us to the amazing work Bottle Yard Studios have been doing to encourage filming and economic growth in Bristol. Their recent expansions along with the current economic climate have boosted the industry exponentially. They were particularly proud of supporting the South Bristol Skills Training Programme lead by UNESCO which will allow young people to develop soft skills and more targeted skills giving them more opportunities in the future. As the only filming complex in the South West we are sure we will see them accomplish even more over the coming years. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to come and talk to us.
On Monday 11th July, our speaker unfortunately couldn’t make it, so we used this time to speak about the recent SIGBI AGM. It was lovely to hear about the work that is continuing after previous SIGBI Presidents finish their term. We also enjoyed a quiz put together by one of our members, where we were given pictures of famous faces and we needed to guess their names. We all quickly realised we were able to recall why they were famous and what they did, we just struggled on some of their names! But it was all good fun! Thank you, Susan W, for organising this and Linda for taking it forward.
At our Speaker meeting on 13th June we were treated to a very good talk by Matthew Bennett, Headmaster of Clifton High School. Matthew spoke with enthusiasm about the school, its pupils and staff and laid out the challenges facing all schools after the pandemic. His talk was most interesting, as he took several pieces from Eleanor Addison Phillips’ book written in 1920 when she was Headmistress of Clifton High and compared them to issues happening today. It was extraordinary to hear how many considerations and challenges then are the same in the present day. It was at the time when Eleanor Addison Phillips was Headmistress there in 1920 that she became the founder and first President of Soroptimist International of Bristol, initially named Bristol Venture Club, at the suggestion of Bristol Rotary Club. Soroptimist Bristol, Clifton High School and Rotary joined together to install
On Monday 11th April, Clemi from Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) introduced us to all of the amazing work done by the whole team. CHSW came from the dream of a couple to ensure that no family has to travel more than 90 minutes by car to reach their nearest children’s hospice. Their facilities include music therapy, hydrotherapy and much more for children with life-limiting conditions. They also provide activities and one-to-one therapy for the siblings as well as opportunities for the parents to gain some well-needed respite. Soroptimist International of Bristol looks forward to supporting the hospice in the future.