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  • The process of supplying someone or something with such necessary items

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  • The necessary items for a particular purpose

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  • the inflated oblong ball used in playing American football

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History of Arnos Court Park

History of Arnos Court Park

Arnos Court Park, just off the Bath Road past Arnos Vale cemetery, is a historic place which was once part of a larger estate. We take a look back.

Believe it or not, Arnos Court Park, tucked away just off the Bath Road in Brislington, once made the headlines.That was in 1968 after the local vicar, the Rev Millican and his wife, had seen a dome-shaped object floating near the old pond about two metres above the ground.

Inside the three-metre high glowing dome they glimpsed a dark figure. The vicar saw it as a Christian sign of a coming cosmic battle, but to the national press it was yet another example of a close encounter with a UFO.

Whatever the truth of the sighting (was it just mist?), the matter has never been resolved.

The park, rising gently up a hillside, connects and serves communities both in Brislington and Knowle, which can be reached via the so-called Nuns' Steps.
Still don't know where it is? Well, it's that large area of grass and woodland situated behind Arnos Manor Hotel and the ITV West studios.

It's been speculated that a Roman road may run nearby - after all, the remains of a substantial villa was discovered in Brislington.

But our story really starts in the 17th century when the park formed part of an estate belonging to Half Way House, a long- demolished building which stood near where the cemetery's main gates are today.

In 1705, owner Henry Newton left the estate to his daughter Sarah, a Quaker, who subsequently married a William Reeve.

Their son, another William, who was born in 1713, became a wealthy merchant with interests in copper smelting.

He decided to put his money into a new mansion, Mount Pleasant, built in the Strawberry Hill style, along with outbuildings such as the outlandish Black Castle (now a pub), built of copper slag, and a fine stone Bath House.

But in 1774, Reeve became bankrupt and the house and its 26 acres were sold off.
The estate then passed through many hands, ending up, in 1850, with ardent Roman Catholic William Gillow.

It was Gillow who gave the house and land to the Order of the Good Shepherd for use as a convent. But it was actually more than this, as the nuns decided to open their doors as a Voluntary Home for women with personal and social difficulties.

Then, in 1856, they founded St Joseph's, the country's first Roman Catholic reformatory school for problem teenage girls up to the age of 16.

Holy Souls, between the mansion and Arnos Vale cemetery, is meant for those of that faith, and the nuns who died, I presume, are buried there and not, as legend would have it, under the hotel car park.

Although ghostly nuns have been seen in the hotel, none have yet been seen in the park.

Bomb damage during World War II destroyed two thirds of the buildings and the six sisters and 80 girls were wisely evacuated.

In 1943, they decided to sell up, with the convent finally closing five years later. In 1948/9 the council bought 19 acres of land for use as a public park - a snip at just ?14,400.

More land for the park was purchased in 1954 and 1962.

But the historic link between the mansion and the estate was finally broken in 1960 when Arnos Court, formerly council offices, became a private club.

Brislington Football Club say that they used part of the park, known as The Paddock, for practice.

At the same time that play equipment was installed in 1953/4, the former pond, now a skateboard area, was converted into a paddling pool.

The former park keeper's house at the Bath Road entrance, now a private dwelling, was once the lodge to the convent. The park toilets, closed for many years, have also gone.

Throughout the early 1990s, the park was financially helped by the Arnos Court Improvement Campaign.

The monies they raised - matched by council funding - have paid for new play equipment and a sand pit, as well as the landscaping of a new play area (with a safety surface), tree and shrub planting and fencing.

In 1997, volunteers from the Save Arnos Park Society began reinstating the stepped pathway through the woodland to Knowle known locally as the Nuns' Steps.

Now another grass roots initiative, APAG (Arnos Park Action Group) has been busy planting bulbs and erecting five-a-side goal posts next to the old Paddock area.

The next step, APAG says, is a gate link between the park and the cemetery, which is, as you are probably aware, now being restored with the help of lottery money.

Much of this information has been taken from A History of Arnos Court Park by Ken Taylor. Promoted by APAG, it's unfortunately not for sale.



If you’re still living under the delusion that the TSA is just restricted to airports then think again. A joint VIPR “security exercise” involving military personnel has Transportation Security Administration workers covering 5,000 miles and three states, illustrating once again how the TSA is turning into a literal occupying army for domestic repression in America.

The TSA, in alliance with a whole host of federal, state, local agencies as well as military personnel, is currently conducting a massive “security exercise” throughout Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.

“The participating teams are composed of a variety of TSA assets including federal air marshals, canine teams, inspectors and bomb appraisal officers. They will be joined by state and local law enforcement officials to supplement existing resources, provide detection and response capabilities. The exercise will utilize multiple airborne assets, including Blackhawk helicopters and fixed wing aircraft as well as waterborne and surface teams,” reports the Marietta Times.

Although the exercise is couched in serious rhetoric about preparedness, it relates to “no specific threat” and the details are nebulous to say the least and seems to revolve around little else than testing out high-tech surveillance equipment and reminding Americans who their bosses are.

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“In addition to using three helicopters for aerial inspection, the exercise made use of the Ohio Highway Patrol’s camera-equipped Cessna Caravan, which is capable of transmitting close-up, detailed real-time images of objects on the ground taken from more than five miles away,” reports the Charleston Gazette.

The exercise seems to be about little more than a show of force by the TSA in light of a massive resistance against their agenda, particularly in Texas where a recent bill that would have banned invasive TSA grope downs almost passed and is set to be up for debate again.

Michael Cleveland, federal security director for TSA operations in West Virginia admitted as much when he said the event was about letting, “people know we’re out here.”

As we have documented, TSA grope downs and body scans are now being rolled out on highways, street corners, train stations, bus depots, public buildings, at sports events, and even at local prom nights as part of the VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) takeover of the country.

The TSA has also announced its intention to expand the VIPR program to include roadside inspections of commercial vehicles, setting up a network of internal checkpoints and rolling out security procedures already active in airports, bus terminals and subway stations to roads and highways across the United States.

These internal checkpoints, run by Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation, and the TSA, involve trucks being scanned with backscatter x-ray devices in the name of “safety” and “counter terrorism”.

Since the launch of the Department of Homeland Security’s “See Something, Say Something” program, the DHS has also released promotional material which depicts would-be TSA agents conducting searches at public events, including a Buccaneers football game.

Homeland Security is also developing technology to be used at “security events” which purports to monitor “malintent” on behalf of an individual who passes through a checkpoint.

Forget the airports, the TSA has already spread its tentacles to invade almost every public facet of American society

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