LOOKING back on some of the stories the Gazette has reported through the years...

June 1997

A SUCCESSFUL year at The Castle School in Thornbury was said to have been “marred” by vandals, arsonists and burglars in June 1997.
A series of attacks on the school building had worried the school’s governors and teachers.

Headteacher Adrian Verwoert said he had made an appeal to the public to “keep an eye” on the school in the evenings and weekends, and stressed that no pupils at the school were linked to the attacks.

“The situation the school finds itself in is a sad reflection of society today,” he told the Gazette. 

“There is little we can do other than going to enormous expense to install security systems.”

A catalogue of break-ins and vandalism at the school had already taken their toll on the school funds with higher pupil premiums. 

“Costly surveillance equipment will take away from the school’s budget for educational resources,” said Mr Verwoert.

June 2007

POLICE were accused of just “standing by” after travellers invaded private land in Almondsbury in June 2007. 

Parish councillors were concerned about an alleged lack of law enforcement after travellers forced open a locked gate in order to occupy the car park at the former Harry Ramsden’s restaurant in Cribbs Causeway.

However Avon and Somerset Police told the Gazette that they were perplexed by the allegation, as their log showed no police attendance at the scene at the time in question.

Cllr Margaret Hems said: “It appears that a police officer was there but just stood and watched as they moved onto the site. He said ‘what can I do about it? I’m on my own.’

“If there is a problem with manpower then this is something that needs to be addressed.”

The travellers reportedly moved on after five days.