August Column: Bishopston Mum

August 06 2013

Bishopston Mum on the end of a long-running, much-loved playgroup and getting news on her son's first school

Welcome to August’s Bishopston Mum column! It has been wonderful to have had sunshine recently and start the summer holidays off on a high.

My son has now finished pre-school for good and will be starting “big school” in September. I took him to his “transfer afternoon” at his new school a couple of weeks ago; an opportunity for children to meet their new classmates and teacher.

Luckily the afternoon was a success. When the teacher led the children off to their new classroom, my son went off smiling without a backwards glance and when he returned an hour later, he was positively beaming.

My daughter also recently attended something similar at the pre-school she will be starting in September. It was as much as of a success. Both my children are clearly ready for the new chapters in their lives to begin.

Now that the summer holidays have officially started, I have been on the look-out for activities to occupy my children. My children are Gromit-obsessed and we have enjoyed much Gromit spotting recently. Bishopston has two Gromits of its own: one outside Nailsea Electrical on Gloucester Road and the other just inside
the entrance to the cricket ground. Gromit spotting

We have also enjoyed visiting The Golden Hill Community Garden. It is open to the public every Wednesday, 10am-4pm, and one Saturday a month and is a great place for children to learn about nature. One of the volunteers there kindly let my son pull up a carrot which delighted him (and which he gobbled down soon after!). My kids loved the pond and found its inhabitants fascinating. There is a little lane that surrounds the pond, hidden by tall grass and reeds and my children had great fun exploring this.

Unlike other playgroups which shut down for the summer, there is one playgroup that remains open through much of it (apart from the last two weeks of August). Cairns Cafe is aimed at 0-5s and is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. There is lots of space and apparatus for toddler and pre-schoolers to climb as well as a secure area for babies and crawlers. Cairns Cafe also provides heavenly homemade cakes!

I am sorry to report that Chatterbox, the wonderful playgroup at Horfield Baptist Church, has now finished. Valerie Harwood, Heather Davidson and Sheila Walsh volunteered at Chatterbox for more than 17 years but are unable to continue and there is currently no one to take over from them. However, if new volunteers  come forward, then Chatterbox could carry on. So, if you are able to offer one or two afternoons a week, please email
Have a fantastic summer!

Bishopston Mum