May 2023: Letters

Time to take back control of buses

MANY readers will remember this, especially if you are 40-plus years of age. 

Before Emersons Green was developed, some bus services used to run between town and Blackhorse Road, one via Downend and the other one via Staple Hill and Mangotsfield, before swapping numbers and returning to town. 

Now, with First bus only going to Emersons Green every other trip, why have they not gone back to doing this, with the other 48s and 49s stopping at Blackhorse and swapping numbers? 

Since the latest timetable change (Voice, April), every other 48 will only go as far as Downend and every other 49 will only go as far as Staple Hill. Surely this is causing even more inconvenience to many bus users? 

Another example of things going wrong is the disappearance of the 47 service to Yate.

The replacement 525 service, run by Stagecoach, will be starting from Emersons Green and not touching a bit of Fishponds, Downend or Blackhorse, like the 47 did; nor does it touch any part of Staple Hill or Mangotsfield, which the 47 missed out. 

Lets get together and call to get our buses back – bring back the franchising.

Terry Stevens


Leaders needed

THE 85th Kingswood Scout Group is based in Bromley Heath, at our HQ in Quakers Road, and has been running for well over 50 years.

Like so many Scout groups we are in need of help, preferably from a female, to assist with our Scout troop, which has an age range of 10½ to 14 years, on a Monday evening from 7.30pm to 9pm.

As the Scout Association has mixed groups for boys and girls, from Beavers through to Scouts, it would be great to have a female join the young team of Scout leaders.

You do not need any previous experience, as training can be undertaken.  Like all troops, the 85th offers a varied programme throughout the year, with weekend camps and a week-long camp in the summer.  

Prior to covid we also had an active Explorer Scout unit for ages 14-18 but sadly this closed due to lack of leaders.

Once again this is a mixed Group and ideally we would require male and female leaders/helpers to re-start it. 

Anyone would be interested in helping with either of these ventures, please contact me on 07884 455901.      

Sally Green

Group Scout Leader,

85th Kingswood Scout Group 

Concert was an Easter treat

Your recent edition (Voice, April) was popped through my letterbox in time for me to read about the Salvation Army Easter Music Evening at their premises in Staple Hill that very night.

Well, what an uplift that was for me!

The power of the band and songsters was like attending an expensive stage concert, with an added annotation of beautiful biblical moments by its theme ‘Come As You Are’.

What a surprising Easter treat!

A Downend local

Call us for a chat

WE know it can be difficult to stay socially connected, but keeping in touch and chatting with others can have a huge impact, which is why the NHS Volunteer Responders programme has reintroduced the Check in and Chat service, where local readers who would like a friendly chat or simply a listening ear can request a phone call with a volunteer, whether it be a one-off call or a series of calls.

Receiving a Check in and Chat call is easy and completely free. Readers in Downend can organise it by calling 0808 196 3382 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week).

Reach out on the number above, or share this information with a loved one, friend, neighbour, or anyone who may need a little extra support.

 Sam Ward OBE,

Royal Voluntary Service