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Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015





editions old!


Baths Street Pastors / A Personal Experience of AA

Woodworks Project / Art Attack / Fishing at Bathampton

Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015

Who are DHI?

Developing Health and
Independence is a charity
that challenges social exclusion
by supporting people to achieve
their potential and contribute
to the richness and wellbeing
of their community.
We provide a comprehensive
range of services in Bath and
North East Somerset, South
Gloucestershire, Bristol,
Wiltshire, and Somerset for
people who are socially
excluded for reasons such as
homelessness, alcohol or drug
problems, learning disabilities
or emotional difficulties.
We help people to turn their
lives around by tackling both
the causes and consequences
of social exclusion through
practical and emotional support
services such as information
and advice, supported housing,
counselling, activities, and
employment and training

Get involved with

Off The Wall
OTW is a magazine for service
users of DHI by service users
of DHI. We would like for service
users across DHI to contribute
to the magazine. The OTW team
meet every Wednesday at 12pm
at the Beehive in Bath. You are
very welcome to attend these
meetings and become part of
the team that puts the magazine
However if this isnt for you,
you can still get involved by
sending any contributions or
suggestions for the magazine to:
ellaopher@dhibath.org.uk or by
speaking to your key worker.

Hi there!
Welcome to the 30th edition
of Off The Wall, DHIs service
user magazine
Its great to be celebrating the 30th edition of Off
the Wall DHIs peer run magazine. Off the Wall
started life on the wall, as notice board area that
a group of service users took charge of because
they wanted to share information that had been
useful to them in their recovery with others. The fact
it continues today is testament to the power
of peer support.
Off the Wall continues to offer many different
things to many different people. For those who
contribute to its production it offers a space to
learn or use skills in creative writing, editing or
design, as well as being part of a team. For its
readership it offers information on a wide range
of relevant services, personal insights, as well as a
space to showcase the poetic, artistic and other
talent of those who use our services. Basically it
is whatever its authors and readers want it to be.
So, get involved. If theres something youve been
dying to say or tell others about, come along and
say it at a meeting or write it down!

Rosie Phillips
Chief Executive

Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015

Caring for the city 4
Keeping it street

Art Attack

AA by Becky


AA timetable


Woodworks Project




Fishing at Bathampton


Andys Jokes


Quiz Time


Get in touch with DHI


Top pic: The Woodworks Project, page 14

Middle: Art Attack, page 8
Bottom: Fishing at Bathampton, page 18

Patron Midge Ure Off The Wall Editorial Team Feature writers & contributors: Andrew Campell, Becky, Lee, Charlie, Terry, David, Jan,
Jason, Jeremy, Ben, Chad and Rosie Phillips Check us out online: www.dhi-online.org.uk/clients/category/Off-The-Wall Get in touch!
Off The Wall Magazine The Beehive, Beehive Yard, Bath, BA1 5BD. Tel 01225 329411 Email info@dhibath.org.uk. Copyright 2015 DHI.
All rights reserved. The Group of Seven assist with production.

Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015


for the city
Andy Campbell finds out what its like to live an evening
in the life of a street pastor and how theyre doing their best
to help the local community

arrived at the Street Pastors

base of Manvers Street
Baptist Church at 9.40 p.m.,
about five minutes early.
One of the Street Pastors
was already there to let me
in, and shortly afterwards the
other two arrived. At 9.50 we
had a short prayer time lasting
five minutes, then after making
sure all the items needed for
the evening were packed into
the rucksack including radios
for contact with the police
we departed at 10 p.m., with
me wearing a Street Pastors
Observer vest...
Next to the front entrance of
the church we had a conversation
with three homeless men who
were in the Julian House Shelter,
chatting with them about
student accommodation and
personal matters.
With time pressing, we moved
on to Orange Grove for the 10.25
Briefing Meeting with the Taxi
Marshall and representatives

of the Police and Ambulance

services. There was a discussion
about various arrests made and
reports of incidents.
When the briefing finished
we began the shift, walking to
Westgate Street (myself and one
of the Street Pastors on one side
of the road and the other two
Street Pastors on the other side),
where we had a chat with the
doorman of the West Gate pub.
I asked him if he had trouble
from anyone coming into the
pub, and he told me that hes
very careful who he allows in.
Just before 10.50 we were called
to an incident at Schwartz Bros.
takeaway. An inebriated man
had lost his balance and fell, but
was caught before he was injured.
When we arrived he was
being treated and an ambulance
had been called, so everything
was under control. Two of us
stayed back from the incident
to allow space while the other
Street Pastor spoke to the man.

While there another call

came in from the next street
over, so while I stayed where
I was at a distance two of the
Street Pastors went off to the
other incident. While I was
waiting for the ambulance to
arrive, I spoke to a passer-by
who asked me about the work
of the Street Pastors, and asked
me if I or the Street Pastors ever
got angry with homeless people
who drink a lot of alcohol. I told
him that there was no point in
getting angry with them as it
would only make the situation
worse. Also, we dont know their
history, what led them to their
current position in life and their
dependence on alcohol and/or
After the ambulance arrived
and the man was taken off to
hospital, I and the other Street
Pastor joined the other two in
the adjoining street, where a
man had been sick after overimbibing on the alcohol. We

Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015

The Street Pastor I was with

handed out two pairs of socks
and two energy bars each to two
homeless men who had settled
down in one of the doorways
got him to his feet and helped
him as far as Molloys, by which
time he felt strong enough to
carry on. At Malloys I talked
to one of the pub goers about
his family and how he was
getting home, then we moved
on, up Milsom Street and then
onto George Street, where we
chatted to several of the security
doormen about their evening so
far and how things were going.
Crossing the road, we went on
to Mandalyns at the bottom of
Lansdown Road (opposite my
flat!) and talked to the Security
people and regulars there for a
while, and also sweeped up some
broken glass. Walking down
Broad Street shortly afterwards,

the Street Pastor I was with

handed out two pairs of socks
and two energy bars each to two
homeless men who had settled
down in one of the doorways.
Further down, two pairs of flip
flops were handed out as well,
and directions were given to a
group of women on their Hen
Night following a good-natured
We got back to base just after
12 a.m., where after getting
coffees we discussed the events
of the shift and the conversations
we had, then entered another
short period of prayer time. I
then walked with them as far
as Henry Street, then said my
goodbyes and went home.

So to the summary. It was a

very interesting and illuminating
evening, where I discovered
that the Street Pastors are wellliked by the people in the city,
both the general public and the
security staff of the various pubs
and clubs. I also discovered
while wearing the Street Pastors
Observer vest that security staff
were more open with me, more
willing to talk to me about their
evening than if I was just an
ordinary member of the public.
I also received a compliment
from the man I spoke to opposite
Schwartz Bros., when he said
to me following my reply to his
question that I was a wise and
caring person. Which was nice.

Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015


Keeping it street
Shirl Fraser and Seb Walker are Street Pastors working
in Bath city centre. Andrew Campbell spoke to them
in two separate interviews, the first at DHI and the
second in a lovely coffee shop.

The Bath street pastors

Top: Seb Walker
Bottom: Shirl Fraser

How did you first get involved

with Street Pastors?
Shirl: Im a Christian. Someone
gave a talk at church, and asked
if people would like to join. I
enquired, and was told when
the training was happening.
You have to know techniques,
how not to get involved. You
can go out and observe before
the start of training, then you
can choose if you want to start.
Seb: When I was younger I
was part of the night economy.
Every Friday and Saturday
I went out, and enjoyed it.
Theres a big culture with the
youth, live for the weekend.
When I became a Christian
I stopped that lifestyle and
wanted to help people, so I
Googled Genesis Trust [who
run Street Pastors] and looked
at volunteering opportunities.
I sent an email, saying I was
interested, and they invited me
to the induction.

Tell me about a typical

evening for you as a Street
Shirl: We meet for debriefing at
9.40pm., speak to the police at
10. 30, and then start. We stay
in the city centre, but could be
called by the police warden to
other places to talk to people.
We walk some people around
and talk to them, to get them
sober enough to get into a taxi,
and go round the clubs and
chat to security about how
things are going. Young people
ask us why we do this work,
and it is because we love doing
it. We work in groups of three,
ideally five or six, picking up
glass bottles with a dustpan
and brush and putting them
in bins, and handing out flipflops to girls who have taken
off their high heels. We also
carry lollipops to give people
sugar and give blankets to the
homeless, especially in winter.

Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015

street pa


Seb: If youre the shift leader
you arrive at base at 9.30 p.m. to
prepare bags (water, flip-flops,
tea flasks). We pray before going
out, then meet the police for
briefing at Bath Abbey at 10.30.
Also at the meeting are taxi
marshals, street marshals and
ambulance crew. The police say
if anything is on, such as a rugby
match. We then start the first
shift, although there is no set
route, we go where God leads us.
We do a circuit, which includes
busy bars, speaking to homeless
people (to whom we hand out
blankets, socks, gloves and food,
including cereal bars.
We speak to people, and anything can happen, although we
dont meet many drunk people
on the first shift, we encounter
them on the second shift. After
prayer and tea the second shift
begins, walking round Bath
till 3 a.m. looking for vulnerable people to help. Could be

anything from sobering up

with water, taxi home, handing
out flip-flops to girls who have
taken off their high heels. We
go round busy clubs at closing
time, and this is where the
shift is at its busiest. We have a
night watch radio, as we might
be called to different scenes
and incidents, and it enables
you to pray for the situation on
the way over.
On the training day prior to
becoming street pastors we learn
not to be too much of a presence,
not so pushy that people
dont want you there, not too
overpowering. The right person
is chosen for each encounter a
man for a man, a woman for a
woman. We return to base at 3
a.m. for prayer and discussion,
then finish. I get home about
3.30-4.00 a.m. The scariest
thing is in mid-winter, seeing a
kid in a doorway and taking five
minutes to wake him up.

What sort of feedback have

you had from the people you
speak to?
Shirl: Always good. We say that
were from all the churches in
Bath. We never preach to people,
we discuss with people, as were
never there to judge anybody.
We have a really good team,
which goes out once a month.
Students call us Street Pasties
because they like us, since were
Seb: Weve had amazing feedback, and feel welcome on the
streets. People have said really
nice things, and are pleased
that street pastors are out there.
Theres usually a bit of banter,
with us being called Street
Pasties. There is great feedback
from both the community and
the police and taxi drivers since
youre there as a neutral, helping
people who would otherwise take
up the polices time, thus freeing
up the police.

Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015

Art Attack

Every Thursday morning, three adventurous souls venture into the

common room of DHI at the Beehive to brighten up their day with
some colourful drawings and paintings. We caught up with them
to ask a few arty questions.

Ive done Picasso,

Dali and also Beatrix
Potter. I didnt appreciate
art before now.

Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015

What first made you try

the art group?
Charlie: It was suggested to
me among a few other things,
including pottery, as part of a
programme to get me out of the
house. I thought, I cant do that,
its the last thing on my mind!
Then I thought, Theyre offering
me this, I might as well try it.
So I tried it, and it brought my
blood pressure right down!
Everyone around the table is
very social, and theres a variety
of different styles, although I
havent heard of some of the
artists. Ive done Picasso, Dali
and also Beatrix Potter. I didnt
appreciate art before now. You
learn a lot, and its much better
than being barred from your
local! It gives people hope.
Terry: I was told it was available
while I was in the dry house at
Burlington, among a list of other
things, and I thought That looks
Rose: I didnt at the start, since
I cant paint or draw. I was
encouraged by Kara to try it,
and I started with little bits, and
its grown. It takes you away
from your own problems, and I
like the social aspect. Whatever
the painting, when you leave
here you always feel like youve
achieved something.
turn over for more pics

Charlie, Terry and Roses

artwork, created at the Beehive.


How helpful has the art

group been in your recovery
Charlie: A great help. Its given
me a sense of ease and peace.
Its escaping in a different sort
of way.
Terry: Its brilliant. I havent
painted since primary school,
and here I have everything I
want. I have a real sense of
achievement when I complete
Rose: Its really very helpful. Its
taught me how to relax again,
how to talk to people.

Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015

Have you always known you

were an artist, or have you
only recently discovered your
Charlie: Ive never known I
couldnt even draw matchstick
figures before. Ive had a chance
to paint different styles, not just
famous artists. Ive done water
painting, Chinese calligraphy,
scratch and feather painting. You
grow in love with it. I now stop
outside art galleries to look at
the pictures, and watch art TV
Terry: I started painting in
primary school, but havent
painted since. The Art Group has
rekindled my interest.
Rose: Just recently discovered.
I previously couldnt draw a
matchstick man! My artistic
talent has surprised me, that
I can actually paint! When I
started painting I used to really
shake, I was so nervous.

Would you recommend the

Art Group to other clients?
Charlie: Definitely, yeah. Its a
challenge. Its structured. When
people are painting theyre in a
relaxed mood.
Terry: Most definitely.
Rose: Absolutely. Its a brilliant
place to meet other people, learn
from them, and have a chat. Its
the best thing thats happened to
me since I stopped drinking.

Charlie, Terry and Jan at the Beehive


Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015

A personal experience
of AA by Becky
AA is a fellowship of men and women who support each
other to recover from alcoholism. It is open to anyone that
wants to stop drinking.

donation is asked for at

the end of each meeting
to contribute to general
costs but your first
meeting is free. AA is a world
wide fellowship, it has been going
since 1935 and its members are
in the millions. AA meetings
are a confidential and careing
environment in which you can
share your experiences and where
you can gain knowledge and
experience from fellow alcoholics.
AA is based around a 12 step
program, each step is designed
to work on the character traits
that make us addicts. There are
12 Traditions of AA which are
designed to keep AA a safe, fair
and supporting environment for
all. It is recommended that you
attend 90 meetings in 90 days
when you first attend AA, this is
so that you can gain knowledge of
the program & of your condition
of alcoholism. You would need to
find a sponsor to take you through
the 12 steps. A sponsor is someone
in the AA program whom you
can discuss your problems with
& get advice from, they should
be the same gender as you and
they should have strong sobriety
eg: they should have been sober
for at least a year & they should
have worked through most of if
not all of the 12 steps. AA works
on the principle that alcoholism

is an illness to which there is

no known cure, therefore it is
recommened that you stay in the
AA program for life, attending
regular meetings & keep in
regular contact with your sponsor
and other alcoholics in AA. AA
also works on the principle that
we all help each other to stay
sober, therefore AA recommends
that you sponsor other alcoholics
in the program for as long as you
can. AA has one main text book
which explains the 12 steps this
is nicked named the big book.
This book is used along with other
texts to guide you and help you
through the 12 step program and
through your recovery in general.

There are 12
Traditions of AA
which are designed
to keep AA a safe,
fair and supporting
environment for all


Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015

Alcoholics Anonymous
Call our National Helpline on: 0845 769 7555

Weekly timetable:




Bath: Keep It Simple

Hay Hill Baptist Church,
Fountain Buildings, The
Paragon BA1 5DU
Time: 13.00

Bath: Big Book Step

Hay Hill Baptist Church,
Fountain Bldgs, Paragon
Time: 19.30

St John the Evangelist,
South Parade, Manvers
St BA2 4AF
Time: 19.30

Friends Meeting House,
York St, (downstairs)
Time: 19.30

Bath: Lunchtime
Basement, Baptist
Church, Manvers St
Time: 12.45
Postcode: BA1 1JW

Bath: Lunchtime
A Vision for You
DHI, The Beehive,
Beehive Yard, Bath
Time: 11.30

Bath: Just For Today

The Windsor Room,
Manvers St Baptist
Church, Manvers St
Time: 19.00

Bath: As Bill Sees It

Basement, Baptist
Church, Manvers St
Time: 18.15
Bath: 12 & 12 Step
& Tradition
Upper Room, All Saints,
High St, Weston
Time: 19.30
St Hughs Church Hall,
Wells Hill, Westfield
Time: 19.30

Bath Women
Baptist Church,
Manvers St BA1 1JW
Time: 19.30
Bath Oldfield Park St
Bartholomews Church
Hall, King Edward Rd,
Oldfield Park BA2 3PB
Time: 19.30

Bath: Lunchtime Living

Baptist Church Hall,
Manvers St, (basement
entrance) BA1 1JW
Time: 12.45
Bath Newcomers
St Michaels Church,
Broad St BA1 3LJ
Time: 19.00
Keynsham Saltford
Saltford Hall,
Wedmore Rd, Saltford
BS31 1BY
Time: 20.00


Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015




St Michaels Without,
Broad St, Bath BA1 5LJ
Time: 07.30

Bath Newcomers Step

1, 2 & 3 Saturday
DHI, The Beehive Yard.
Time: 11.30

Hay Hill Baptist Church,
Fountain Bldgs, The
Paragon BA1 5DU
Time: 19.30

Bath Share Saturday

United Reformed Church
Hall, Grove St, (off Argyll
St) BA2 6PJ
Time: 19.30

Bath: Big Book Study

Weston Parish Hall,
Church Street, Weston.
Time: 10.30

Ground Floor, Baptist
Church, Manvers St
Time: 18.00
Bath: Step & Tradition
Ground Floor, Baptist
Church, Manvers St
Time: 19.30
Bath: As Bill Sees It
Chaplaincy Centre,
University of Bath,
Claverton Down
(No meeting outside
of term time).
Time: 12.15

Bath: Lunchtime
Baptist Church, Manvers
St, (nr Bus & Train
Station) BA1 1JW
Time: 12.00
Midsomer Norton Big
Book Study
The Hub, High St,
Midsomer Norton,
(Sainsburys car park)
Time: 11.00


Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015

The Woodworks


The Woodworks project is a Bath based, furniture making, restoration

and upholstery workshop project with ten years experience of providing
a meaningful and engaging activity for a variety of groups on their
journeys to recovery, not least those in recovery from addiction.

he Woodworks was
originally a project
of the Genesis Trust
but was closed down
by Genesis in June
last year. However
since then, Stephen Budd and Byll
Pulman, who were the management team of the old project, have
formed a new charity and are now
on the brink of reopening the project from their new workshops in
Victoria Park Business Centre.
Clients attending the project
work on restoring donated quality
furniture and are taught by a staff
of experienced cabinet makers and
upholsterers, all the woodwork and
upholstery skills needed to make
furniture from scratch. The project
operates structured whole day
workshop sessions that help re-introduce some structure and order
into their service users lives whilst
teaching new skills and sometimes
discovering unknown talents. The
project works in a completely unpressurised way that allows service
users to move forward at their own
pace, in the company of a friendly
and supportive peer group. The
new and often transferable skills

learnt in the workshop are hugely

empowering and do wonders
helping to increase self confidence
and foster self belief, factors which
are so important in helping people
move forward in their lives.
All the furniture worked on
and made in the workshop is sold
through the projects beautiful
furniture shop in Southgate Street,
and seeing their work on sale in the
shop provides clients with a real
sense of achievement.
For more information about The
Woodworks Project, visit the website
at; www.thewoodworksproject.com.

Main image: Ben working under

Bylls guidance. Inset: Beautiful
craftsmanship from The
Woodworks Project


Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015

I can usually tell how someone

will approach woodwork just by the
way they stand next to a piece of
wood and people have a moment
when it just clicks and that can
give me a lump in the throat
Byll Pulman

Talking to
Byll Pulman who runs Bath charity The Woodworks Project
alongside Stephen Budd, one cant fail to be caught up in his
enthusiasm for teaching parallel life skills to his students.
l Ben, a DHI client, was homeless
and addicted to heroin. Although
progressing with his treatment, Ben
felt he wasnt doing enough to see
the progression he wanted and
craved routine and productivity in
his life. Ben tentatively went along
to his first Woodworks session and
immediately had a lot of respect
for the skill and the beautiful wood
types. Ben admits that turning up
promptly three days a week was a
big shock to the system, however
boundaries were in place and this
allowed him to escape his chaotic
lifestyle. It calmed me down,
levelled me, knowing I was learning

skills that people have honed

over hundreds of years.
For Ben, the personal gain was
enormous, but the fact that he
was part of doing something for
the greater good, touched me
and instantly made me change
my ways. Ben has thrown himself
in wholeheartedly and now
volunteers for TWP, enjoying the
team work and camaraderie whilst
doing deliveries and collections of
antique furniture.
Byll of TWP explains his
approach is about attitude and
knowing where the fine line is of
encouraging someone to have

a go, but not so that theyre

too stressed by it. Ben says that
alongside the practical work
people talk about their lives,
their challenges. For Ben this
may be a career avenue, as he
has achieved support from DHI
and TWP to begin a carpentry
college course.
For more info:
or 01225 435566 or visit their
beautifully styled shop on
Southgate Street, a few minutes
from the bus station.


Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015


(Self Management and Recovery Training)

So youve taught yourself about
problematic substance misuse.
Want to learn something new?

n alternative or
accompaniment to
12 step programmes
is SMART Recovery.
Not everyone can relate to 12
step programs, and SMART
although having the same goals
as A.A or N.A, uses a vastly
different approach to recovery.
Since attending SMART
groups I have been made to
feel welcome and supported
throughout my various
stages of recovery including
lapses and successes. I have
learnt new techniques to
keep me motivated, tools to
combat the urges to use,
ways of dealing appropriately
with my thoughts, feelings
and behaviour and most
importantly how to live a
balanced life without the aid of
SMART is a peer led mutual
support group and focuses
on changing the behaviour
surrounding addiction using

science based methods such as

cognitive behaviour therapy
(CBT) and rational emotive
behaviour (REBT). The
main focus of SMART is to
give you back empowerment
over personal addiction and
provides a safe place to discuss
with others who have similar
difficulties, problematic
SMART groups meet at the
beehive Wednesdays 5pm
6pm, Saturdays 10am 11am
and at Rock Hall on Thursdays
2pm-4pm. What I have found
really helpful is the 24 hour
online SMART community
which anyone can access for
advice, encouragement or just
to have a good old rant!
SMART recovery provided
me with the tools to combat my
problematic behaviour but now
I use them in everyday decision
Thank you SMART and all at
the Beehive

Wednesday 5-6pm @ The Beehive (DHI) Beehive yard,

Walcot Street, Bath, BA1 5BD
Thursday 2-4 @rockhall (SDAS) 34 Oldfield Road, Bath,
Saturday 10-11 @The Beehive (DHI) Beehive yard,
Walcot Street, Bath, BA1 5BD

NA is a none profit organization
and fully self supporting. It is
based on a 12 step program.
The first step is admitting that
you are powerless over your
addiction. I found this very hard
to do, as I thought that I was in
control of my drug use(which
clearly I wasnt).
Many people think that they
can give the drugs up and thats
it theyre cured Unfortunately it
doesnt work like that but I wish it
were the case.
Giving up drugs is easy, its
staying off them thats the hard
There is a saying in NA and
that is one is too many and a
thousand is never enough this is
so true and why I am complete
abstinence from all drugs.
For me, if it wasnt for NA and
other fellowship members then
i wouldnt be here today clean
and sober!!!
For a good recovery you
will need to be open minded,
willingness to change and
honesty. With those three things
you are well on your way.
I would highly recommend NA
to anyone and I would also be
willing to talk with anyone if they
have any question or doubts.
This stuff works, if you work it
and best of all, ITS FREE :)


Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015

Visit us online at: www.ukna.org
Call our National Helpline on:
0300 999 1212 (10am midnight)
Weekly timetable:
The Crypt, St Michael & St Paul Church,
Walcot street (opp, Waitrose) BA1 JHL
The Hub, High Street,
Midsomer Norton, BA3 2JA
7:30 pm
Beehive Yard,
Walcot street, BA1 5BD
Hay Hill Baptist Church,
Fountain buildings, the paragon,

Poetry corner
Suicide bombers and civil war,
Men killing men what is it for?
What we want is much,
much more
Where on Earth is hope?
Unemployed and seeking
a job
Shouting for attention above
the mob
Wanting work and not a fob
Where on Earth is hope?
Blasphemy and violence
on the cinema screen,
And on TV, more than theres
ever been,
A bad influence on all our teens,
Where on Earth is hope?
My hope is not on Earth but is
With Jesus Christ my Saviour,
and His
Death on the cross for my sins
Where on _ _ _ _ _ is your


Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015

Fishing at

Bridget hadnt been fishing since she was about
thirteen. She used to go with her mates down by
the sewers in the River Avon at Weston. Here she
writes about her experience on a DHI fishing trip to Bathampton

havent been fishing since I

was about thirteen. I used to
go with my mates down by
the sewers in the River Avon
at Weston. We used maggots.
Size eighteen hooks. It was
rubbish. I spent more time
drinking and smoking than I
did fishing. Once I foul hooked
a Dace through the dorsal fin.
Sometimes we caught eels
which were covered in slime and
messed up the line by curling
themselves around it. Slippery as
an eel is a true saying. I caught
Roach (beautiful silver fish with
red fins), Rudd but nothing
big. I used to spend more time
untangling the line than I did
fishing. Eventually, when I
dropped my rod into the river I
gave up.
So some forty years later it was
with a little fear but also some
pleasurable anticipation that I
signed up for the DHI fishing
club which starts out at ten in
the morning every Wednesday
from the Beehive.
The club is run by Andy
Evans. A former professional
fly fisherman Andy has been
volunteering for DHI for
five years now. After a bad
motorcycle accident Andy has
devoted himself to fishing.
He loves sea fishing down at
Portishead where he tells me


Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015

there are plenty of skate, sole

and cod.
In all there are six of us,
Bridget whose never been fishing
before, Sureeta, Nickie and
Chris, me and Andy. Today we
load up the rods and kit and take
a bus from outside the beehive to
the London road.
We walk down narrow lanes to
Bathampton where we set up by
the weir
Andy has set up two rods for
pike and two for perch or smaller
fish. He uses a frozen sardine
on a triple hook on a ten pound
line. The sardine looks bigger
than most of the fish I caught as

a teenager.
We cast off and I settle down
expecting nothing. In the past
I would spend all day catching
nothing but it was good to be
out and chat with other people.
I was happy that the hooks were
out and then, well at least there
was a chance of something
Bridget tells me about how she
split up with her partner and
found herself homeless.
I was living in a tent, drinking
myself unconscious every day!
She didnt believe there was
help available to her. After she
experienced a theft she got in
touch with local services and
found a place in Julian House
Night shelter. She is currently
abstinent and attending DHI.
She is thrilled to be moving into
a hostel.
Suddenly my rock jerks to the
right. Sureeta tells me I got a
bite. I pull the rod to the side and
feel the weight of something big
on the end. I start to reel in the
line and then it goes limp. When
I pull up the bait only the head of
the fish remains.
The one that got away
You were too busy talking!
Sureeta tells me.
I sit back down and talk some
more to Bridget when her rod
moves, Andy stands up and pulls
in the line.
You got to give the fish some
slack, and then tighten up the
back of the reel as you pull it in!
Suddenly we see the fish. A
giant Pike, its massive head
and its huge prehistoric mouth
comes out of the water, we see a

flash of its fearsome teeth as it

snaps to the side thrashing in the
water in an attempt to get away,
as Bridget reels the fish closer to
the shore we see it leap out of the
water, gills pumping as it beats
on the surface of the water with
its tails.
When Andy pulls the fish in
we see its long head and silver
spotted flanks.
Must be close to twenty
pounds! Andy says and
we all group around taking
Bridget is made up. Her first
ever fishing trip and she lands a
She poses for photographs
with the giant fish in her arms.
Andy pulls the hook out of its
mouth, I notice the teeth more
clearly, long and raggedy like a
shark. Andy moves the fish back
and forth in the water to get
water back into its gills.
You got to be careful with
Pike! Andy says and turns his
hand to show me a big scar on
his hand.
A pike bit me and the bite
became infected
I watch as the fish swims away
into the depths of the water. Who
would expect such a tranquil
scene, ducks and swans, a
picturesque weir with occasional
boat trips would hide beneath
its surface such formidable
Pike are the top of the
food chain! Andy explains,
They take smaller fish, even
The day carries on. Bridget
catches an eel. We chat some
more. Its sunny and bright, the
leaves are still green and winter
feels a long way off.
I tell Andy Ill see him next
Wednesday. Andy gives me
information about buying a rod.
Maybe this is it. Prefer this to
golf any day. Out and about in
nature and something big and
alive out there just waiting for
the right sardine.


An employee of
the Mars company
had to flee the country,
as he had a Bounty
on his head.

An executive of
Cadburys refused to talk
about his shady dealings.
Whenever anyone asked,
he Fudged the issue.

When a nun left the

convent, she decided
to set up her own bar.
She called it The
Best Bar Nun.

A man went out for

a roll. He was quite dizzy
when he got to the
bottom of the hill.

An employee of
Cadburys had a
nervous breakdown,
and got a bit Flaky.

Employees at a
Cadburys factory loved
winter. The snow was
so Crunchie.

A young woman
went down onto the
beach for a spell. She
was a sandwitch.

A nun had Pepsi

labels all over her
gown. She couldnt
help it, it was her
Coke habit.


Off The Wall No.30, Summer 2015


Its Quiz time

Good luck with our quiz, answers are at the bottom of the page

In 2014, which song by

Meghan Trainor became
the first song released in the
2010s to reach the Top 40 on
streaming alone?


The Pharrell Williams song

Happy was No. 1 for a total
of how many weeks 2,
3 or 4?
Which American country
singer had a No. 4 hit in
2012 with We Are Never
Ever Getting Back Together?
Snow Patrol, who had a hit
in 2006 with Chasing Cars,
were from which country?
Which Welsh singer
had a No. 1 in 2008 with
Madonnas 1996 No. 10 hit
You Must Love Me came
from which musical film?

In 1990, Elton John

achieved his first U.K.
No. 1 single with which
Double A-Side single?

The first Comic Relief

single was released in
1986, and was a comedic
re-recording of which Cliff
Richard 1959 No.1?


What was the title of

the only No. 1 single for


Which (mostly) 1970s

group had nine No.
1s between 1974 and

Eye Level, which was

a No. 1 in 1973, was
the theme for which TV
detective series?
What was the title
of The Beatles
first UK hit single,
released in 1962?

Gerry and the

1963 No. 1 Youll
Never Walk Alone originally
featured in which musical?


Which group had

hits with Oh Boy
and Thatll Be the
Day in 1957?
Jimmy Young was
the first UK artist to
take Unchained
Melody to No. 1, in 1955. Which
American duo took the song
back to No.1 in 1990?

1. All About That Bass; 2. 4; 3. Taylor Swift; 4. Northern Ireland; 5. Duffy; 6. Evita; 7. Sacrifice/Healing Hands; 8. Living Doll; 9.
House of Fun; 10. ABBA; 11. Van Der Valk; 12. Love Me Do; 13. Carousel; 14. The Crickets; 15. The Righteous Brothers


Winter 2015


and other useful websites

www.samaritans.org (08457 90 90 90)


Available 24 hours a day to provide confidential

emotional support for people who are experiencing
feelings of distress, despair or suicidal thoughts.

Shelter believes everyone should have a home.

More than one million people a year come to
us for advice and support via our website.



A to Z list of substances explains appearance and use,

effects, chances of getting hooked, health risks and UK law.

Register with Universal Jobmatch for services like

saved job searches, uploading a CV, email alerts
and keeping track of your past applications.

Drinking alcohol can affect lives in a number of ways.
Visit our resources covering binge drinking, alcoholism,
drinking calculator, alcohol limits and more.




Raising awareness about alcohol, health issues,

legislation and drinking. Find useful information
on binge drinking, hangover remedies and the
health effects of excess alcohol.

Charity for people who are homeless giving

critical help & information

Find out more about SMART Recovery, find a meeting
near you or participate in an online meeting!

Find out more about AA meetings and locate
a meeting near you.

Narcotics Anonymous UK Find out more about NA
meetings and locate a meeting near you.

Guides, tips articles and a forum about mortgages,

credit cards and loans from Martin Lewis.

Homelessness is about more than rooflessness.
A home is not just a physical space, it also has
a legal and social dimension.

Volunteering England is an independent charity
and membership organisation, committed to
supporting, enabling and celebrating volunteering
in all its diversity.



The National Association for Mental Health in the United

Kingdom campaigns on behalf of those
with mental illness.

Cocaine Anonymous UK Find out more about CA

meetings and locate a meeting near you.



Working together to help everyone affected by

severe mental illness to recover a better quality of life.

Provides a range of services dedicated to meeting

the health, welfare and legal needs of drugs users
and those who live and work with them.

Erowid is an online library containing tens of thousands
of pages of information about psychoactive drugs,
plants, and chemicals.


Off The Wall No.29,

No.30, Winter

DHI offices

Get in touch
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Telephone: 01225 478730

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