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NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
People - Chris Robertson
Reporter at the Ross Gazette since 1994 and Editor for
the past seven years, is well known for her news stories, writing
about others but she has also led a very interesting life herself.
in Baghdad as a child as her civil engineer father was there
designing the Baghdad town plan. Later at boarding school, which
she did not enjoy, her favourite subjects were English and history.
Chris enjoyed reading and writing essays, some of these were
for her own school projects but some were for others, written
'at a price'. Whilst at school, the careers woman visited but
was very unhelpful, telling her that her ambition, of being
a journalist, was not an easy thing for a woman to get into.
Chris later went to the University of Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia
which was run by Canadian Jesuits. She studied English, history
and majored in journalism under a former editor of the New
work then took the family to Borneo, where for a time they lived
in the jungle, amid very hospitable longhouse people, mostly
Dayaks. Chris taught herself to touch type from her mother's
old Pitman manual. Radio Sarawak asked if she could do reports
and gave her a job as an announcer on the English radio channel.
to the United Kingdom in the mid 1960s, Chris worked for the
the BBC at Broadcasting House, training for studio
management, part of which was on the night shift. Her husband
was not happy about this and Chris took a job which came up
at The Listener, with Editor, Maurice Ashley and Deputy
Editor, Oleg Kerensky. But it was the lady sub-editors who appeared
to do all of the work. They often had to fish things out of
the bin after editorial meetings.
Chris researched and wrote about contributors. Jonathon Miller,
Patrick Moore, Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney were all regular
visitors to the office. She then went to work for BBC World
in Essex, Chris worked for an agricultural journalist before
taking on a variety of jobs while her two children grew up,
including being PA and a stock controller with Paddy Lightfoot,
of Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen fame.
to Ross-on-Wye with her partner in 1989 to nurse her mother
and, on her mother's death took on the responsibility of her
elderly father. Thinking that she needed to keep abreast of
computer technology, in Ross, Chris took a course in Information
Technology before beginning her career at the Ross Gazette
in 1994. She worked as a reporter with editor, Tony Hall. The
Gazette was Dickensian, it was like taking a step back
in time. The paper was produced wholly in house, including 'paste-up',
printing was done locally there was just one advertisement on
the front and few photographs. Eventually computer technology
reached the Gazette, Tony retired and Chris became the
an admiration for female writers who have had to face male prejudice,
such as the Brontes, Jane Austen, Mary Shelley and thinks of
Adie as a great example of a successful woman journalist.
Photography This Week
Above: The River Wye rose to quite a high level on Sunday 13th
February, bursting its banks and flooding part of the Ropewalk.
Congratulations to Doris and Stan Hindmarsh of Walford, Ross-on-Wye
on their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. Here they can be seen
celebrating sixty years with a family meal at the Axe and Cleaver.
Left to right: Emma Dunning, Mark Mills, Doris and Stan Hindmarsh,
John Hindmarsh, Lyn, Fred and Sarah Mills and Prokopis Revvis.
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Common British frogs of the amphibian family, Ranidae.
The three above were photographed on 12th February 2005, along
with several thousand of their eggs after spawning in one of
my own garden ponds in Ross-on-Wye. British frogs live most
of their lives on land, in damp places and begin spawning at
about two years old, usually in February and March but sometimes
as early as January in this part of the country. They tend to
return to the place of their own birth to spawn after hibernation
for the winter, then remain in the water until April. Tadpoles
begin to emerge from the spawn after about two weeks. I will
continue to photograph the emerging tadpoles and later baby
frogs for this column as the happy events take place.
Very early blossom on a fruit tree, photographed on 14th February
2005 by the River Wye at Ross. I am not sure of the exact variety
of tree but I am surprised to see it in flower at this time
of year. No doubt somebody will email me to tell me that this
is a common occurrance for this variety of tree but for the
time being I shall remain amazed.
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