Restoration begins on historic Severn Princess car ferry

Restoration begins on historic Severn Princess car ferry

Author: David Mclean

Restoration begins on historic Severn Princess car ferry
Plans to create permanent heritage display take first important steps
The first phase of restoration work has started on the derelict and historic Severn Princess car ferry, the last remaining of a fleet of three ferries that provided a vital link across the Severn Estuary from 1931 until the opening of the Severn Bridge in 1966. Once restored it is hoped that the Severn Princess will form a permanent heritage attraction and reminder of the ferry service’s importance to the economic growth of the region.

“The historic importance of the ferry service should not be underestimated,” said Tim Ryan, Coordinator of the Severn Princess Restoration Group. “It was a hugely popular service and in the last year of operation around half a million vehicles used the ferries. It’s very important that the Severn Princess is restored and preserved as a permanent relic of that crucial period in the history of the region.”

Along with sister vessels the Severn King and Severn Queen, the Severn Princess transported vehicles between Beachley and Aust. Prior to the establishment of the ferry service, vehicles would have to detour 60 miles through Gloucester – a considerable challenge as the first stretch of UK motorway did not open until 1958.

The first stage of the restoration programme has been enabled thanks to the involvement of specialist bridging and steel manufacturer Mabey Bridge, which is donating expertise, materials and staff to initially assess the condition of the vessel and then conduct the vital repair and replacement of the metal fabric. The physical repair work will be carried out by apprentices from the company’s award-winning apprenticeship programme.

“Mabey Bridge has a long history of supporting industrial heritage and community projects,” said Chris Droogan, CEO of Mabey Bridge. “Our company’s industrial heritage is rich and we have the skills and capability to support projects that preserve industrial history. It will take a significant amount of effort, management and investment to fully restore the ferry to good condition, but we will support the Severn Princess Restoration Group where we can.”

Steve Armstrong, Special Projects Engineer at Mabey Bridge added, “The pressing need is to stop the further degradation of the Severn Princess, and that alone is a considerable challenge. Once this phase is complete we will be in a better position to further assess and plan the next stage of the restoration programme.”

The Severn Princess Restoration Group has three trustees – Tim Ryan, Richard Jones (a former GP), and Councillor Ned Heyward MBE – and can call on around 20 supporters to get involved with physical work and fundraising.

“We are delighted that the physical restoration work has finally started in earnest and that the Severn Princess will get the care and attention she deserves,” said Cllr Ned Heyward MBE. “It’s also good that Mabey Bridge apprentices will learn new skills on this important community project.

“It’s been a long and difficult process to get this far and at times it has looked as if she might disappear altogether. It is very important that we preserve this last relic of what was a significant service. Once this first stage of the restoration is complete, there will plenty of opportunities for people to get involved in the programme, right up until the final presentation to the public when the project is completed.”

You can find out more about the project by visiting the  Severn Princess Preservation Group website at

Our response to the arrest of ASU professor Ersula Ore + “Use of Force” review panel?

ASU profesor Ore arrest

We have received a LOT of emails asking about our opinion about the arrest of ASU professor Ersula Ore. We wanted to comment about this situation and also tie it into other issues we’ve previously mentioned on The Integrity Report (to bring the discussion full-circle).

First, we would like to preface this post with the qualifier that none of the writers of the blog were there for the arrest of Ms. Ersula Ore. We have not spoken to the arresting officer nor any other officers involved in this situation; our conclusions come solely from second-hand and media accounts of the situation.

Our blog, The Integrity Report, was created after problems involving accountability and integrity with ASUPD employees began to overshadow the goal of having a safe and secure learning environment. Our mission is to hold officers accountable for their actions which tarnish the oath all of us swore to uphold; we have absolutely NO interest or stake in defending the officer involved in the arrest of Ms. Ore.

That being said, we are pretty perplexed by the statement made by Arizona Critical Ethnic Studies where they state Ms. Ore was racially profiled by ASUPD Officer Ferrin. There was nothing in any part of the initial contact or arrest that was remotely racially based! ACES made the assumption that Ms. Ore was contacted while walking in the City of Tempe only because she was black; what they failed to mention is that Ms. Ore was walking down the middle of the street in a major intersection and the officer contacted her because nearly hit her while responding to a call.

Walking down the middle of the street is behavior that can be indicative of someone in mental distress, under the influence of alcohol/drugs, or possibly suicidal. As first responders, sometimes we don’t have the ability to stop and explain the entire situation with someone if the circumstances are too exigent. This is just common sense! Would you want an officer responding to a burglary call at your house to stop and give you the play by play while the bad guy runs out your back door?

Officer Ferrin reportedly had no intention of citing Ms. Ore for walking in the street (which is against the law!). Ms. Ore repeatedly refused to show her ID multiple times when asked by the responding officer (which she is required to provide under the law). When Officer Ferrin attempted to take Ms. Ore into custody, she began to resist arrest and also attempted to trip the officer by wrapping her leg around him. Once Ms. Ore was taken into custody, the dash cam video clearly shows her kicking Officer Ferrin in the leg.

ACES stated that Ms. Ore’s lower body was exposed during the altercation, but they fail to mention if it occurred while Ms. Ore attempted to trip the officer (something that occurred–her dress flew up–as a result of an action she did–tripping the officer). The fact that Ms. Ore’s lower body was exposed was unfortunate, but certainly not intentional, especially given the fact there were multiple witnesses filming the situation.

If Officer Ferrin was at fault, ASU would throw him under the bus in a heartbeat to preserve their image. Additionally, the officer would be facing administrative punishment or criminal charges, neither of which is occurring at the moment. Is the dash cam video footage shocking? Absolutely. But the untrained observer must realize there is no pretty way to use force on a subject. Unlike the scenarios TV shows and movies portray, there is no “easy” way to take someone into custody that is actively and physically resisting arrest. In this scenario, the force used to affect the arrest certainly appears reasonable given the circumstances of the arrest.

Does ASUPD need a “Use of Force” review panel?

The above scenario involving Officer Ferrin raises the larger issue of reviewing officers’ use of force; are the members of the department that are actually investigating these incidents even qualified to do so? In this circumstance, due to the very sensitive subject matter, ASUPD requested that DPS review Officer Ferrin’s use of force, even after the department found that his use of force was reasonable. DPS undoubtedly has people that are certified defensive tactics instructors that possess the training and experience to review the case with a certain degree of expertise that ASUPD cannot do (We are extremely confident that DPS will also find Officer Ferrin’s use of force was justified, by the way). ASUPD’s Commanders (who would be tasked with an investigation such as this) have NO advanced DT training or certification that would make them qualified to investigate a use of force scenario, period.

How would ASUPD respond to a use of force scenario that was much more muddled than this one (no video or audio)? Or perhaps a scenario in which the responding officer used force, was tried in the court of public opinion, and the university wanted to fire him/her to save face? Better yet, what about an officer who used excessive force and was never reprimanded or investigated? ASUPD’s ability to initiate and investigate use of force scenarios is arbitrary, at best (just like all ASUPD initiated IAs).

The deciding factor in an officer’s fate shouldn’t be left to a supervisor who has little training on the topic of use of force, and who may not be able to review the case without bias due to a preexisting relationship with the officer or external influences. ASUPD should consider establishing a “Use of Force” review panel comprised of DT instructors, some administrators, and possibly a civilian, none of which would have any ties to ASUPD. A review panel is in place at almost every other major law enforcement agency in the valley already! This would serve to vindicate officer’s whose use of force was justified (Officer Ferrin), and punish those who have used excessive force (Corporal Khalid).


Edited to add some links to media coverage of this incident:

Solidarity from Bristol to Tottenham

Bristol Antifascists stand in solidarity with the Tottenham community and anti-fascists in London following the recent attack on a family music event by a mob of Polish fascists
Bristol Antifascists stand in solidarity with the Tottenham community and anti-fascists in London following the recent attack on a family music event by a mob of Polish fascists

On Saturday 21st June, a small, family-orientated ‘Music Day’ festival was being held in Marksfield Park, Tottenham, north London. A group of around 40 Polish neo-Nazis and football hooligans belonging to Zjednoczeni Emigranci (ZE – United Emigrants) attacked the event with flares, rocks and bottles. Attendees defended themselves, pushing back the fascist attack. A Polish festival goer was stabbed during the fight, fortunately only suffering superficial injuries. A Jewish man was also assaulted by the group before they reached the festival, with one ZE member arrested for religiously aggravated common assault.

Two days later, 200 locals and anti-fascists gathered in Marksfield Park to demonstrate against the attacks on the community. London-based Polish anti-fascists, Dywizjon 161, have been at the forefront of this response to the attack, along with London Antifascists and London Black Revs. They have cleared the park of fascist stickers and graffiti, leafletted the area and created a visible anti-fascist and anti-racist presence there.

On Saturday 28th a second rally and march was held in Marksfield Park, with between 200-300 people attending. The same evening anti-fascists in Bristol gathered in solidarity, holding a collection and leafletting session in a number of pubs, raising awareness and funds to be used in our work and to support others.

At a time when far-right attacks are on the rise in this country and the political establishment along with the mainstream media are using the age old tactic of divide and rule, we need to stand together now more than ever. We are proud to work alongside anti-fascists from across the world here in the UK and realise that the recent events stress the need for a diverse, organised and militant anti-fascist movement in this country. Fascist organisation must be and will be resisted in whatever guise it takes, wherever it comes from.

For international working class solidarity and community self defence. Zero tolerance of fascism!


Former local news presenter GRAHAM ‘COMPULSIVE’ PURCHES is, by most people’s reckoning, an irritating twerp who needs to shut up and learn some manners -but not for awe-struck council managers.

Purches, who was big and going places at the BBC in the “golden age” of the 70s and 80s when the corporation was a playground for paedophiles and rapists, has for years been running a truly OBNOXIOUS CAMPAIGN against er, Elmlea Primary School in snooty Stoke Bishop, which his posh £600k home happens to overlook.

Purches – whose ascent to media stardom stalled somewhat when Beeb bosses sidelined him, leading him to jump ship to HTV – made the national news in 2012 thanks to his fixation on silencing kids. The washed-up newsreader fixed a massive sign to his house in full view of Elmlea’s playground, reading: ‘Please do not allow the children to scream or shout near our home. Thank you.’

Purches has also TERRORISED staff and children at the school with a strimmer and a leaf blower, and even reported the head for attempted murder – after she drove down the street when he was walking his dog!

Enter Bristol City Council and its interim Manager NEIL TAYLOR, who recently went to visit Mr Purches to sort it all out.

And what did he do? Tell the old fool to shut up? Suggest he move, perhaps? Er, not quite. No, our intrepid Man From Shitty Hall agreed to spend £30,000 OF OUR MONEY on a six metre acoustic fence so that poor Purches wouldn’t be disturbed by vicious infants!

Does this mean that any resident bordering a school who has an issue with noise will be able to claim a £30,000 fence from the council? Or is this a special privilege reserved for posh BBC types living in Stoke Bishop?

I think we should be told…

Undisclosed – 4AM Sound System (MORE INFO REALEASED THE NIGHT OF)

Here we go again, another dirty warehouse party brought to you by those guys at the 4AM Sound System. This time it’s going to be a large, grungy warehouse space in Stockton, CA. This is the perfect opportunity for SAC town kids to come meet up and party with the rest of us SF Bay Area party people! Unite the scenes! Lets all party till the sun comes up under one roof!

Main room lineup:
9-10 BigMax (House)
10-11 Aleks (Techno/Breaks)
11-12 Clover Beats (Electrohouse)
12-1 STML (Hard Techno)
1-2 Dan The Man b2b Anglerfish (Hardcore)
2-3 Funkin J (Hardstyle)
3-4 Spencer Hardwick (Uplifting Trance)
4-5 Sausee (Acid House)
5-6 MetraMonic (Deephouse)

Confirmed vendors:
-Nacho Average Tacos

August 1st, 2014



The BRISTOLIAN has already broken news on how BUNGLING BOSSES in a desperate attempt to save money have cut services to the vulnerable.

As we reported in issue #4.11, council chiefs inappropriately lumped together elderly people suffering with dementia with adults with learning difficulties, some of whom have challenging behavior and can be violent. Then they actually SLASHED STAFFING LEVELS. The result? People are already being hurt, and the needs of service users are not being met. But that’s not the end of it.

The two muppets responsible for all this, senior Social Care bosses Sheena ‘Grim Reaper’ Huggins and Vareta ‘Mad Dog’ Bryan, have now turned their attention to the BUSH RESIDENTIAL UNIT.

A respite centre for children with learning difficulties who otherwise live at home, Bush provides an essential service by giving parents the short but much-needed break they often need when caring for kids with complex needs. Its highly-trained staff are well-respected and professional and can look after the children’s physical, social and emotional needs. Excellent facilities include a sensory room, computer facilities, a large garden, trampoline, swings and bicycles.

So what are ‘Grim Reaper’ Huggins and ‘Mad Dog’ Bryan going to do? Protect funding for Bush? Commend the hard-working staff ? Work with parents to ensure the security of the service? No – they plan to CUT THE SERVICE BY ONE-HALF.

If parents lose this service, some will have to put their children into residential care, which will cost the council a whole lot more than the £250K these DEMENTED MANAGERS think they are going to save.

Parents were only given a couple of hours notice of a meeting to discuss the plans, despite managers knowing full well that these caring parents find it difficult to drop everything to come to a meeting.

The council now refuses to talk properly to the parents – mainly because they know their plans are barking mad and dangerous.

Meanwhile, ‘Mad Dog’ is getting a tasty redundancy package of TENS OF THOUSANDS OF POUNDS. Suitable reward for devastating the lives of families in need?

And the poor sods who are working in these conditions are running for the exit, which will lead to more dangerous conditions for staff and service users.

Don’t let them get away with it. These managers should be held fully accountable for their decisions, the cost to our city and the destroyed lives. When will they stop? When they finally kill someone?

Behind closed doors


What happens to a council boss accused of unacceptable behaviour, of having “cast a bad reflection on the city” and who was found in a tribunal to have “failed to comply with the basic requirements of natural justice”?

In Dundee they get invited into a closed door meeting where they are given a promotion and £20,000 pay rise. Despite being an unmitigated failure in her previous role and been found to have ignored “correct legal advice”, the good councillors of Dundee found it acceptable to hand Janet Robertson a £80,000 pa  job which was not advertised internally or externally.

Looking forward to how the honourable Cllr Ken Guild spins this one.



Am I an Adult? (Part 1. Definition…)


I have six criteria for being an adult. Each prospective adult must be able to:

1. swim,
2. defend him or herself both emotionally and physically,
3. think critically and build logical arguments,
4. understand statistics,
5. drive manual (stick-shift) cars. (Also, knowing how to ride bicycles and horses can be useful survival skills.)

These all imply the most important criterion:

6. accepting responsibility to think independently,
taking responsibility for one’s actions and for preventing exploitation.

Personally, I have spent a good deal of time studying each of
the above items, and also reflecting on my own principles. I
believe this reflection to be part of both #3 and #6, as each
adult must know the basis of his or her life principles, if he or
she is to live a fulfilling and stable life. Not only meaning, as
Dr. Viktor Frankl described, but pondered one’s
principles and deciding what gives life meaning, is crucial.

Thus, I believe that the final test for being recognized as an
adult should be to teach someone else a necessary life skill.

For example, swimming, or writing. This Adulthood Challenge is described in an earlier post.

Love, Peace, and … Community Cooperation !!!
Shira Destinie
Gregorian Date: Friday, Jun 27, 2014
Meow Date : Tuesday, June 26, 12014 H.E. (Holocene Era, aka Human Era)



AS the 2014 World Cup gets underway in Brazil, the nearest to the authentic ‘Festival de Futebol’ vibe most people in Bristol get is hoping the rain, hail and thunderstorms hold off for long enough to sip a cold beer while they watch a match or two on telly.

But that’s not good enough for two enterprising directors at Bristol City Council, who have managed to wangle themselves a trip to a certain South American country on a ‘FACT FINDING MISSION’ – complete with £900 SPENDING MONEY courtesy of your good selves!

What ‘facts’ the as-yet unnamed piss-takers – who rake in average salaries of around £85,000 – expect to ‘find’ on their ‘mission’ to Brazil, entirely coincidentally at the same time as the World Cup, is not yet clear.

But rest assured, The BRISTOLIAN will make it our business to enquire with them on your behalf…