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Speaker Meeting 11th October 2021: Bristol Blue Plaques and the Women they Honour – Lori Streich – The Bristol Civic Society

Speaker Meeting 11th October 2021: Bristol Blue Plaques and the Women they Honour – Lori Streich – The Bristol Civic Society

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  Lori started by telling us that the Bristol Blue Plaque scheme was originally run by Bristol City Council but is now organised by the Bristol Civic Society.          The request for a plaque is put forward and the Society then researches the person to ensure that they are connected to the building and that their achievements warrant a plaque.  Sometimes they are people who have a low profile but have done amazing things.  The plaque is funded by the nominee and has to be approved through planning applications. There are plaques to individual women and sometimes more than one on the same plaque, Lori spoke of some women that we are familiar with and many more.  She showed us the plaque dedicated in July 2021, as part of our Centenary celebrations, to our very own Addison-Phillips.  She said “a plaque to

Speaker Meeting 13th September 202: Kate Newnham from Bristol Museum and Art Gallery – Flowers in Japanese Art

Speaker Meeting 13th September 202: Kate Newnham from Bristol Museum and Art Gallery – Flowers in Japanese Art

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Our first face to face speaker meeting since the beginning of the Covid restrictions was held in our new venue Redwood Audley.  We thank all of you who organised our move, we had a lovely meal and everything ran very smoothly. We welcomed Kate Newnham, from Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and she talked told us about “Flowers in Japanese Art”.  She told us about the connection between flowers and poetry, flowers and the Tea Ceremony and how animals and birds go together too.   She also told us how the blossoms and flowers of the seasons influence Japanese life and are a talking point when visiting homes etc. At the end of the evening President Sue (Immediate Past President Marion was there too), presented Bristol Museum with our lovely plate for safe keeping.  The plate was given to us by our Japanese Friendship Link Yuko

Speaker Meeting 14th June 2021: Nikki Watson – Assistant Chief Constable, Avon and Somerset Police Force

Speaker Meeting 14th June 2021: Nikki Watson – Assistant Chief Constable, Avon and Somerset Police Force

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Nikki started by telling us about her career in the police force having joined in 1987 and became Assistant Chief Constable, Avon Somerset Police Force in 2015.  She is Head of Investigations and Operations – Support Directorate leading the Avon and Somerset Police response to the Covid 19 Pandemic.   She described her career highlights and responsibilities some of which are: Giving evidence on stop and search to the McPhearson enquiry as part of the report on the death of Stephen Lawrence in 1999. She is responsible for a drugs intervention programme. She works with the Criminal Justice and Crown Prosecution Service helping to make the criminal justice process more efficient. She described how policing demands have changed due to: The arrival of the internet in 1991 Stephen Lawrence murder in 1993 Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman murders 2002 Suicide terrorist attacks (in the UK

Speaker meeting 10th May 2021:  St Peter’s Hospice – Esther Hall, Community Fundraiser

Speaker meeting 10th May 2021:  St Peter’s Hospice – Esther Hall, Community Fundraiser

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We were pleased to welcome Esther Hall who is the community fundraiser for St Peter’s Hospice which is our Club Charity of the year for 2021/22. St Peter’s Hospice is a Bristol based charity.  It was established over 40 years ago originally in South Bristol by a group of people led by the Bourne family. It provides care and support to adults who are living with a progressive life-limiting illness in the Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset area. Much of the support is provided in people’s homes. Their newly refurbished inpatient facilities in Westbury-on–Trym look amazing.  The Hospice supports over 500 people at any one time and their approach “Live well, die well” was self-evident as Esther’s enthusiasm rubbed off on us all.  She told us of the volunteering opportunities and explored suggestions that we made.  Esther will work with us to ensure we make

Speaker Meeting 12th April 2021: The Two Presidents 2019/20 and 2020/21

Speaker Meeting 12th April 2021: The Two Presidents 2019/20 and 2020/21

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The Two Presidents spanned the last two years!  Immediate Past President Denise 2019-2020 and President Marion2020-2021.  We were joined by a prospective new member and also members from SI Weston-super-Mare.   Denise and Marion entertained us describing their careers and the exciting things they have done during their lives.  We often hear about our members careers and it never ceases to amaze us what these women who we know so well have done.  Thank you both for sharing your lives with us.

Speaker meeting 8th March 2021:  Tyntesfield Trees – Chris Watts

Speaker meeting 8th March 2021:  Tyntesfield Trees – Chris Watts

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Chris started by telling us a bit about the history of the Tyntesfield Estate.  The house was built for William Gibbs and completed in 1884.  The estate was purchased by the National Trust in 2002.  There are 37 labels from the original trees planted in the late 1800s.  There is a huge selection of trees with beautiful foliage and flowers and look stunning when they are at their best.  Some parts of the estate are the same as they were originally including some of the tree walks.   A few of the trees in the laurel walk have been replaced by taking cuttings from the original trees.  The holly walk is 140 years old and some of the hollies have also been replaced. He told us about ancient, veteran and champion trees.  They have an oak which is an ancient tree. Ancient trees are very old

Speaker Meeting February 8th 2021: Great Western Air Ambulance Charity – Joe Hughes

Speaker Meeting February 8th 2021: Great Western Air Ambulance Charity – Joe Hughes

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The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity (GWAAC) is a registered charity providing the Critical Care and air ambulance service across Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset, Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire. Joe opened by telling us that the air ambulance brings the patient to the hospital and the hospital to the patient – a flying emergency department.    He captured our interest and told us of “Chris’s Story” in two parts.  This is a simplified version.  In the first part when Chris had a cardiac arrest his wife Sue performed cardiac massage in the first instance and then a number of emergency services attended but unfortunately Chris did not survive.  Later he gave the second part – the real story.  This started the same way but in this scenario the air ambulance took over Chris’s care from Sue and he made a full recovery and

Speaker Meeting January 11th 2021: City of Bristol Archives, Allie Dillon City of Bristol Archivist

Speaker Meeting January 11th 2021: City of Bristol Archives, Allie Dillon City of Bristol Archivist

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We welcomed our speaker Allie Dillon our first speaker in 2021.  She started by describing the purpose and importance of the archives which are based at the Create Centre in B Bond Warehouse close to Cumberland Basin. The team of 19 maintain the archives of the City of Bristol and surrounding areas, as well as the British Empire and Commonwealth Collection.  Some are stored as hard copy and some have been digitised.  It is both an historic and cultural resource. The public have access free of charge and the records are used for many reasons including accessing records for public enquiries.  Bristol Archives was established in 1924 and it was the first borough record office in the United Kingdom and holds documents going back to the 12th century.  There are many valuable documents such as the Royal Charter circa 1190 (this is still a valid

Speaker Meeting 10th December 2020: Road to Equality, Andrew Wallis OBE, CEO of Unseen

Speaker Meeting 10th December 2020: Road to Equality, Andrew Wallis OBE, CEO of Unseen

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Our 16 Days of Activism (see programme Action Report “Orange the World”) culminated with a talk delivered via Zoom by Andrew Wallis.  In addition to members of SI Bristol, the talk was ‘attended’ by members from our Friendship Link clubs: SI Chester, SI Halifax and by SI Weston super Mare.   Unseen has been operating in Bristol and beyond for over 10 years and we have been involved with them in many different ways since 2013. “Human trafficking is a crime. It does not always involve international transportation. Trafficking in the UK includes commercial, sexual and bonded labour. Trafficked people have little choice in what happens to them and often suffer abuse due to violence and threats made against them or their families. In effect, they become commodities owned by traffickers, used for profit”. Andrew is an inspirational speaker and he started by telling us

Speaker Meeting October 12th 2020: Lucy’s Impressions of Syria

Speaker Meeting October 12th 2020: Lucy’s Impressions of Syria

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One of our members, Lucy, gave a talk (via Zoom) about her impressions of Syria in 2008.  This was before everything changed in such a devastating way with the onset of the civil war. Lucy spent several days there for work and was able to see something of the country as well as meeting some Syrians.  Visits to the mosques in Damascus as well as the Syrian Coptic churches where she heard the Lord’s Prayer recited in Aramaic were very interesting, but the highlight was a visit to the impressive Krak de Chevalier Crusader castle. She recalled the welcome of everyone she met there and how she often wonders what has happened to them now.