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Issue No. 3 [Back Issues]
27 July 2004

The Day of Judgement for Ross in Bloom

It was hot and sunny when the Day of Judgement finally arrived. Bob Harris and Les Goodman of the Heart of England Tourist Board visited Ross-on-Wye last Friday, 23rd July. It had been an early start for the Ross in Bloom committee, setting up a Charity Market at the Market House before making certain that the route was clean and tidy. Chairman, Jacky Bedford and Margaret Lucas met the judges at the Royal Hotel to begin their drive around the town.

Having inspected the river side from both the Royal and the Rope Walk, the judges walked around Nursery Road and were delighted with the way the gardens had been constructed and worked on by the residents, under the leadership of Rita Haggett. 'Your group have done a very professional job on that bed,' Bob told a delighted Rita.

Recycling and conservation are high on the list of judging criteria and the judges were pleased with what they saw on the Ashburton Estate and in Station Approach. The manager of Goodrich Court showed the party around the garden before they finally travelled along Gloucester Road to the Market house to be presented with a 'Welcome to Ross' scroll by members of the Girls Brigade, who formed a Guard of Honour on the steps leading to the Heritage Centre.


Ross in Bloom Judges with Ross-on-Wye Carnival Princess 2004.

    Ref: DSC_1441

Ross-on-Wye Girls Brigade.
A Girls Brigade 'Guard of Honour' waiting for the arrival of the RiB judges. Ref: DSC_1395


Heritage is the theme for Britain in Bloom this year and the judges were given a guided tour of the John Kyrle High School Exhibition. They were particularly taken with the 11th September tribute and the paintings of Cawdor Allotments.

Later at the Prospect Gardens, Suzanne Neville, the delightful Carnival Princess welcomed the judges to Ross-on-Wye and presented them with a portfolio, showing how hard the town had worked. They spoke to the children of Abacus Playgroup before meeting the Mayor and Mayoress, Cllr. and Mrs Nigel Gibbs and the Rector, Rev. John Honeysett.

The visit finished with refreshments at Harlequin's, a relaxing end to a busy morning.

Family Fun at Ross-on-Wye International Festival

Ross-on-Wye International Festival, which runs from 13th to 22nd August, will be providing a range of fun for the whole family. Events range from international artists in the main Waterside marquee, to workshops, puppets and the spectacular Opening Parade, lots of hilarious street theatre in the town over the first weekend and the Festival Firework finale!

Family events in the main Waterside marquee include a unique opportunity to witness a truly astounding Berlin Circus Cabaret Evening on Wednesday, 18th August. An extraordinary evening of humour and daring, this amazing show has underwater dolphinesque dancing, body hoop-spinning, an amazing human acrobatic bath, breathless contortion and fantastic aerial acts with a wonderful, live musical accompaniment. A fabulous family performance which will defy belief!


Japanese Garden.

Les Petites Frappes come to Ross-on-Wye with the UK premiere of their mad-cap show ‘I HAD A DRUM’ on Saturday, 21st August. These crazy masters of rhythm bring a riotous mixture of rock, afro-latino, funk, reggae, rai, techno and rap, playing an unbelievably varied ensemble of instruments from drum kits, wind machines, electric guitars, feather dusters, hot water bottles, tom-toms, congas and djembes. This hilarious and extremely enjoyable show has already sold out in the Netherlands and Belgium and will be a great evening’s entertainment for Festival audiences young and old.

There will be a fabulous juggling, comedy and percussion double-bill spectacular by the Gandini Jugglers and Canadians BAM. The Gandinis are considered by circus connoisseurs to be the crème de la crème of the juggling world, weaving hypnotic and complex patterns with colourful balls, clubs and rings to leave audiences completely spellbound. The characters from BAM look like they have walked out of a mad cartoon to present The Blue Barrel Show, with powerful savage drumming virtuosity and deliriously funny sketches to overwhelm the audience!

From 16th to 18th August at St Mary’s Church Hall, adults and children alike will be mesmerized by Italian theatre company TPO, who will be creating a brilliant live animated stage show, 'The Japanese Garden,' using the latest in digital technology and video projection. The show creates a magical story with extraordinary interactive video illusions leading you on a journey through a very special garden with a multi-media soundscape.

The Norwich Puppet Theatre Company will be presenting 'Jack and the Beanstalk' and 'Snow White' at the Phoenix Theatre, using an unusual mix of puppet forms, drama and live music. There will also be a brilliant array of workshops at Ross Youth Centre during the Festival to give children the opportunity to learn new skills and have a go. Professional touring band, Dubmerge will be showing how to get to grips with mixing and DJ-ing. Herefordshire’s 'Dancefest' will be giving young people the opportunity to devise and perform their own exciting dance using a variety of contemporary dance techniques, and two professional circus and acrobatic performers from 'Bright FX' will be teaching how to juggle, plate spin, walk a tight rope, acrobalance as well as use a diabolo and devil sticks!

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