January Letters

October 27 2012

Readers' letters in January

Readers' letters in January

Remember the village knocked down for airfield

I feel I must write to you as you keep mentioning Filton Airfield which is now closing down.

I see you printed a picture of the airfield but there was once a village in the middle of that runway.

I was the fourth generation to be born at Charlton Village, my great grandfather built Rose Cottage in 1834 and my dad was brought up there.

My mum lived in the council houses on Catbrain Lane and met my dad when they started school.

They got married in 1940 and lived with his mum at Rose Cottage.

In 1946, a dreadful day, the bulldozers moved in and flattened the whole village.

I know a few programmes have been made about Charlton and my mum and dad were both on there.

I know June Keating has written books on Charlton and I have provided her with lots of photos.

My dad was a keen photographer and the day before they left he went round the village taking photographs, which I still possess.

We never had any electricity in the village, and no running water but there were two wells in the village and we had one of them. There were no bathrooms.

We had to move to a new council house on Patchway estate with all mod cons but my mum hated it.

My grandmother went to live with her daughter at Southmead Road. We were promised a new village by the MoD but it never happened.

The runway was built for the Brabazon which never went into service.

The only good thing to come out of it was when Concorde used it.

I hope when they put the facts of Filton Airfield into a museum, they remind people a village once stood there.

Mrs M Richmond
(nee Dangerfield)


Welsh spelling

I was interested to read the article on page 40 of December’s edition about Filton Garden Club’s enjoyable visit to the National Botanic Garden of Wales, I keep meaning to swing by there one day when going to north Wales from here.  However I wondered what the heck "CRUESCO" means?!

My first guess was perhaps Croatian, Romanian & Ukranian Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation?  But it seems to be equated with the word "Welcome" in which case I suspect it was meant to be "CROESO"?  I have it on the reliable authority of a native Welsh speaker that this is the Welsh word for "Welcome".

On the subject of public participation at meetings, Cllr Drewitt seems to have a point, how can you submit questions 7 days in advance if papers are not available before then?!

On your Facebook page, there’s been comment about risk to dogs of not capping the goalpost holes when not in use. 

Anybody know whether the council is going to do something or are we waiting for a dog to actually bust a leg to prove the risk is real?

Huw Thomas

I need a move

My New Year Resolution for 2013:. Move out of Filton before all the stupid housing developments are finished and we are grid-locked in our homes. I was once proud to live and work here - not any more!

Fran Read

Cash scrutiny

In principle I would be happy to contribute an extra 7p per week for youth services.

I am heavily involved in fundraising for Charborough Road school and fully understand the funding requirements of essential youth services.

My concern though is how the rest of this precept is made up. What is it spent on and have the council really done their best to make sure that it is being used efficiently? There is no doubt that funding should be made available for youth services but is the funding we already provide as tax payers used effectively? I’m not sure and that is why I have reservations about this potential increase.

I’d really like some transparency from the council on this issue and see some evidence that spending is really being scrutinised and that they money they have is spent with care.

Jules Trucks

Heritage gone

Re the airfield closure, it’s really a shame for the town’s heritage. My family, in a master stroke of timing, moved from rural Somerset right next to an aircraft factory...in 1939.

My mum who was nine then made sure we grew up with tales of the Filton home front and of the raids on Filton. My grandfather, who was the first Shield Rd school caretaker, had to open up for bombed out families (as you can see I am decended from local aristocracy!)

Also we were told of the various  squadrons who defended the town, one of which had many Poles and of the fraternisation between the residents of Gayner Rd and the balloon barrage that was based on the Millennium Green. (That’s where the ATC huts came from!)

From my own time, who can remember the Concorde engines on the test beds blocking out lessons or the USAF F111 from Upper Heyford tearing up the Filton High School field in the 70s on approach to the strip. (BTW was FHS the only one in the country to run an Aviation Studies course)?

We have to look positively to the future now, we have no choice. However as an unashamed aviation buff I would love to see a Filton Aviation Heritage museum in addition to the larger one proposed along the lines of the Frenchay one, that is incidentally run by a wonderful man himself a retired Filton aviation engineer who headed up the Bristol 188 project in the 60’s. Now THAT was one one shiny aeroplane!!


I saw the lights on the runway today and it made me sad that we won’t be seeing them again. I will miss that aircraft noise and watching them fly in and out of Filton from my window.


Jules Trucks 

I used to work at the BAC when I was 16 and had many nights helping out cleaning some of the planes ready for the next morning We had some great laughs. It’s a shame as that’s what Filton is know for !!!


What’s happening to our history? Yes we do need more housing but if this land (airfield) is for housing, where are these people going to work or send there children to pre-school  or school? Just a thought.


Elizabeth Jane Clark

Seek re-election!

Re Tory councillors standing as Independents, if they had any respect for democracy, Cllrs Rikki Teml and Kieran Hyde would do the honourable thing, stand down and seek re-election.

Failure to do so would show the highest contempt in which they hold the democratic process.



The last 12 months have shown a significant and obvious decline in the general "well being" of the town, with its rapid decline and degeneration now becoming more obvious and accelerated than ever.  Unfortunately because of the constant infighting and bickering the town has now become overlooked financially and in priority with no clear strategic direction or control.


Do us all a favour, sort yourselves out…but don’t take too long.





Felix, we were still elected to represent Filton and will continue to do so until the end of our term. Resigning would potentially trigger a bi-election and cost the tax payers further money.


We will still represent all the people of Filton, if you have any further concerns then please email us and we will happily meet with you.

Cllr Rikki Teml