City of Bristol
High Sheriffs Awards
City of Bristol
Forthcoming important events’ to which all are invited to.
Friday 14 June 2013 - High
Sheriff of Bristol's 2013 Concert
Further details from myself.
The year has flown by and we have enjoyed an active diary. The City of Bristol is the smallest County in England and Wales, which has made it easy to travel to all invitations and also enabled us to attend more than one event on a day.
The year started with my Declaration at the Bristol Crown Court, attended by dignitaries, friends and family in the presence of the presiding Western Circuit Judge Mr Justice Jonathan Baker, followed by a small reception at home.
Apart from the Declaration, the High Sheriff of Bristol organises three main events; a fund–raising Concert, Legal Sunday and a Reception.
The annual fundraising High Sheriff’s Concert was held at Bristol Cathedral in June in aid of the High Sheriff’s charity, BYCA. We were delighted that Paul Potts, the renowned tenor, returned home to Bristol to perform for the evening together with rising soprano Josephine Goddard and Bristol Ensemble. It was a most enjoyable evening and was completed by a standing ovation for Paul’s encore of Nessun
Bristol Legal Sunday Service – The High Sheriff, The Queen’s Remembrancer, HM Lord Lieutenant
and Presiding High Court Judge of Western Circuit Mr Justice Baker.
Legal Sunday held in October is now a High Sheriff event in Bristol, having been abandoned by the Bristol City Council due to cost cutting measures. The Service, held at Bristol Cathedral with much pomp and ceremony, was attended by 500 of the City’s legal fraternity together with the Presiding High Court Judge, Mr Justice Baker and we were honoured to receive the Queen’s Remembrancer, Master Stephen Whittaker. There were around 150 dignitaries processing, including, our Lord Lieutenant, visiting High Sheriffs, Judges, Barristers, Lawyers and Magistrates. The High Court Judge arrived with the Lord Mayor of Bristol in the City’s horse drawn carriage, (which is the only one outside London) accompanied by the Lord Mayor’s Police Mace escort. Graham Knowles, former Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral gave the sermon. We also invited law students from both Bristol University and University of the West of England (UWE) and I am glad to report a good number attended.
Arrangements are in hand for my forthcoming reception being held at The Colston Hall, which I hope will promote the launch of the new Bristol Music Trust. I have invited 200 guests, most of whom I have met during the year and are all doing great work in the city. There will be a performance by a talented youth choral group Gathering Voices to entertain us and food will be provided by restaurant Rice’n’Things restaurant who gave us probably one of the most enlightening evenings of our year by hosting an awards ceremony for the elders of their Bristol Afro-Caribbean Community.
We have entertained a number of Judges throughout the year, dining either at home or finding some entertainment in the city. On one occasion we took a Lady Judge to Bristol Old Vic Theatre School’s excellent performance of Cold Comfort Farm. On another occasion, we fortuitously chose a Bristol Harbourside restaurant for the evening that the Olympic Torch arrived in Bristol by boat where we had full view of proceedings. In December we hosted a dinner at home for three visiting High Court Judges and were joined by Bristol’s newly elected Mayor, Mr George Ferguson, and the Dean of Bristol Cathedral, Dr David Hoyle, an evening much enjoyed by all.
We have had the honour of receiving several Royal visits, three from HRH The Princess Royal and one from the Duchess of Wessex, but the main event was in November when Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh made a surprise and late request to visit the City as the final engagement of their Jubilee year. We were part of the welcoming party on her arrival from the royal train at Bristol Temple Meads Station. Her first visit was to a local family run caravan manufacturing business, she then had a full guided tour of the newly refurbished historic Theatre Royal Bristol Old Vic, which is the oldest continuingly operating Theatre in England. Her Majesty sat in the Royal Box and enjoyed a rehearsal scene from the performance of Peter Pan. Her tour then continued to the M Shed, which is Bristol’s newest Museum where lunch was served for 200 guests. Her afternoon was spent at the Gateway Community Centre in South Bristol. The weather was a truly dreary November day, but her Majesty’s smile shone for the full five hours she spent in the city.
Bristol Diamond Jubilee Downs Day – June 2012
Bristol celebrated the Royal Jubilee by holding a well attended family fun day on the City’s Downs. All cadet forces were represented together with a visit from the Air Ambulance. There were games and lots of hands on experiences available. Our day started by hosting a lunch for local dignitaries, including Sir George White (whose family started the Bristol Car Company), who drove his open top Bristol car from our home to the event with The Lord Lieutenant, the Lord Mayor and myself, to join other classic cars on show. Bristol is renowned for its hot air ballooning and there were balloon rides on offer. The evening culminated in the lighting of the Jubilee Beacon at 9.45pm by the Lord Lieutenant and myself, and technology meant that this was shown on the local BBC news at 10.30 pm, including a short interview with me.
All monies raised by the High Sheriff during the year go towards the High Sheriff’s charity BYCA, Bristol Youth Community Action. The purpose of BYCA is to provide positive holiday activities to young people in Bristol during the school holidays. The £60,000 raised will support 70 different events involving 5000 young people. My wife and I had a rewarding tour of ten organisations that benefitted from the grants made. I am grateful for two events organised that have chosen to support the High Sheriff’s fund, The Salvation Army’s Christmas Concert and the Escape Ball both gave very generously of their proceeds to
Avon & Somerset Police Awards Ceremony: The High Sheriff with Chief Constable Colin Port
receivers of Awards.
Bristol is a wonderful and diverse city but has some challenging problems. During my visits, it has been humbling to see the commitment of many people, without financial means but with determined ability, to change their community for the better, and succeed. I have regularly thought it a role reversal whereby the High Sheriff has been invited to morale boost a particular community project but in fact I have come away impressed and uplifted seeing such positive work being carried out.
It has also been an honour to hand out awards during the year, some to young people who have gone through foster care and then at the age of 18 are pretty much left to fend for themselves. Bristol City Council has an agency who encourage these young and some vulnerable to enter adulthood with a degree of support. I was asked to hand out certificates to a number of young people who had all achieved in some way. Another award ceremony was to members of the public who had assisted the Police with their work and again it was uplifting to hear of remarkable accounts of how ordinary citizens had intervened and saved lives and prevented crimes in their community.
Remembrance Sunday – Lord Mayor Councillor Peter Main, HM Lord Lieutenant
and The High
Sheriff of Bristol.
The High Sheriff receives many privileges, including attending trials at Bristol Crown Court. It has been a fascinating insight into the legal process, sitting at the front of Court next to the High Court Judge and have learnt that it’s not necessarily the high profile cases that are the most interesting. I have spent several days out with the Police, including a particular interesting shift out in a patrol car with two police officers in a challenging area in Bristol. An unexpected bonus of the year has been the numerous invitations from the Military. Bristol is home to a number of Military Reservist organisations and it has been a pleasure to learn about their operations. Laying a wreath to remember the fallen on Bristol’s Remembrance Day service, the largest outside London, on a beautiful sunny day, was a moving and memorable occasion, including travelling in the Lord Mayor’s carriage with our Lord Lieutenant and the Lord Mayor.
Bristol was the only city to have chosen the new policy of electing a Mayor and I particularly enjoyed being involved in the proceedings during such an important change to the City’s leadership. This along with the election of the new Police Commissioner, all occurred within a week of the visit of HM The Queen, a week I will not forget.
High Sheriff of Bristol 2012/2013
For the past ten years the High Sheriff of Bristol has organized a concert in Bristol Cathedral, profits from which are shared between the cathedral and Bristol Youth Community Action which has essentially the same aims as Crimebeat. My planning for the year ahead started a year before I took Office; I secured the band of the Grenadier Guards for the concert and enlisted the help of Philip Wilby, Emeritus Professor of Music at Leeds University and a noted conductor and composer for brass bands. Bristol already has a city fanfare but I asked Philip to compose one for my concert, which he did using intervals of 3, 2, 5 because the Grenadier Guards were celebrating their 325th anniversary. He was so enthused that he added a fugue – and in September last year he and I went up to London to hear the band recording the fanfare for their CD. I was allowed to sit, very quietly, next to one of the French horns and it was, needless to say, a thrilling experience.
I also asked the outreach section of the Bristol Ensemble to create a short musical interlude using children from a school in a challenging area of South Bristol. Most of the children had no musical background and none had ever been to the cathedral – and they were certainly not used to seeing a man in tights walking round their school. The morning spent there, visiting every classroom, was memorable. The boys all wanted to hold the sword; at one point one was rushed out of the room, bleeding, and we could just see the headlines in the local paper … fortunately it was a nosebleed and nothing to do with me. I gave each one a medal inscribed with the date and title of the concert.
The concert was a sell-out and raised just short of £19,000. We made grants to 31 activity schemes for the summer holidays, amounting to £40,000 and Sue and I visited 22 of them during August (which we had been told was the quiet month). Again these were very rewarding occasions and we were able to talk to the children and the dedicated people who run the schemes. I’m not sure whether the children always grasped exactly who we were: Nadia, aged nine, went home and told her parents that the king and queen had popped in to see them!
The recession bites and Bristol City Council is no longer able to organize Legal Sunday so I have taken this on, writing to all the judiciary in the area, other High Sheriffs, solicitors and magistrates and trying to find funding for the various aspects like printing, the reception, the City Trumpeter and the Lord Mayor’s coach and mace-bearers. This has been extremely time-consuming and was not a task which had to be undertaken by my predecessors. All the strands will come together on 16th October, I hope.
I regard support for the police as a basic tenet of my Office. Therefore I have visited every police unit in Bristol, eight with two to go, and have been fascinated by the technological advances in detection. We took four of our grandchildren to see how they train the horses and dogs, I went out in a patrol car in the city centre on a Saturday night, up in a helicopter and went through the custody suite procedure as a prisoner. We have also enjoyed meeting and entertaining the High Court Judges and, in my case, sitting with them.
Halfway through and we are never bored.
Dr John Cottrell
High Sheriff of Bristol 2011/2012
Themes for the year and High Sheriff’s Fund
First, I want to get a detailed picture of the work of the police in Bristol as they are heavily engaged in youth and community projects as a major part of their strategy for crime prevention. To this end I have arranged, with the endorsement of the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police, an extensive programme of visits to every unit in the County. Armed with a deeper understanding of their objectives and progress, I hope to be able to speak with authority to a wider audience in promoting the positive value of their work among young people.
Secondly, I want to help, where I can, with some outstanding work going on in unexpected places to introduce young children in Bristol to music-making. The importance of these projects in engaging young minds, building self-esteem, and articulating ideas and emotions that words cannot express, is immeasurable. They have a direct bearing on steering children away from ant-social and criminal behaviour, and that is a significant function of the High Sheriff.
The High Sheriff’s Fund is the principal charity which supports the work of the High Sheriff through grants particularly to activity schemes as described in the Voluntary Sector page.
My Declaration pursuant to S.7 of the Sheriffs Act 1887 was made at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday 22nd March, 2011 before Mr. Justice Burnett QC, Queen’s Bench Division. The ceremony was preceded by breakfast on the Glass Boat. Those present included the Lord-Lieutenant, the Lord Mayor, the Dean of Bristol, the Chief Constable, our sons, daughters-in-law, other members of our family and friends. Our newest grandchild, Georgina, aged 5 months, it was noted by the judge, was probably the youngest witness ever to a Declaration.
Since the Declaration I have attended:
• A performance of Die Fledermaus by the Welsh National Opera at the Bristol Hippodrome accompanied by Mr. Justice Burnett.
• A Gala performance of The Yeoman of the Guard as guests of the Bristol Gilbert and Sullivan Society
• Bristol Festival of School Sport and Culture as guests of the University of Bristol
• Trinity Road police station as part of my programme of police visits
• Dinner at the judges’ lodgings hosted by Mr. Justice Burnett
• The Colston Hall for “Live and Unsigned”, the final of a competition organized by Avon and Somerset Police for bands of young people with a slot at the Glastonbury Festival for the winner
• “The Walk of Fame” organized by Bristol Zoo to celebrate 40 Bristol icons e.g. SS Great Britain, Concorde, Wallace and Gromit, Cary Grant, Paul Dirac
I have also spent a day in court with Mr. Justice Burnett and visited holiday activity schemes which received grants from Bristol Youth Community Action (BYCA – see Voluntary Sector page), chaired by the High Sheriff in office.
A major forthcoming event is the High Sheriff’s Gala Concert on Friday 17th June in Bristol Cathedral with the Band of the Grenadier Guards and a young Bristol soprano, Josephine Goddard.
This programme in Filwood, south Bristol, is aimed at 8-13 year olds using sport to engage young people positively. Around 30 % of attendees will be known to local police, Social Services and other local agencies. In addition to sports coaches, the grant supports a breakfast club as many will have had nothing to eat since the previous day.
One of many activity schemes receiving grants from Bristol Youth Community Action funded by the High Sheriff's Fund.