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Issue No. 34 [Back Issues]
1st March 2005

This Week: [Wilton Castle - Community Hospital] [Topical Photography - Nature Watch] [More Photography - Archive Ross]

English Heritage Grant to Repair Wilton Castle

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The present owners of Wilton Castle, Alan and Sue Parslow have been given a substantial grant by English Heritage towards the huge cost of repairs of this historic monument.

Currently in a dangerous state, repair work has begun on the North West Tower and West Curtain Wall of the castle. The work is due to be completed in the summer and follows work completed last autumn to repair the South West Gatehouse.

Wilton Castle was reputed to have been built by King Stephen in 1141, but it is more probable that it was built by Hugo de Longchamp who received the manor of Wilton from Henry I.

In 1200 the castle went in a dowry to the de Grey family. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, it passed to the Hon Charles Bridges. In 1645 the building was owned by Sir John Bridges, who died of smallpox in 1651 and is buried at Peterstow. In about 1722, it passed to Thomas Guy, founder of Guy's Hospital.

The castle was remodelled in the 15th century, becoming a mansion rather than a military castle and during the 19th century, neo-Gothic ramparts were added and a Victorian farmhouse was built on the ruin.

On an extremely cold and murky Thursday, 24th February, Chris Robertson, Editor of the Ross Gazette and I went to meet Sue Parslow, current owner and Bill Klemperer of English Heritage at the Castle for a look around. I took advantage of a kindly provided hard hat (which I had to wear back to front to avoid keep knocking it off my head with my camera flash) and the scaffolding to climb up onto the battlements and take some photographs.

Pictured above is Sue Parslow standing in the doorway of the dovecote. Below you can see part of the castle and the farmhouse. Below that, Bill Klemperer of English Heritage is inspecting an original chimney found in the ruin, which is going to be reinstated. The photos are a little murky due to the good old British weather but by arrangement with Sue, I shall return on a sunnier day to take some better ones for this web site.

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Herefordshire Primary Care Trust Supports NHS 'Think Clean Day'

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On Monday, 28th February, Herefordshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) joined trusts across the country to support NHS Think Clean Day. The aim of the day was to raise the profile of cleaning in NHS hospitals and clinics. In particular, nursing and cleaning staff were brought together to make changes to improve cleaning or tidiness and develop action plans to deal with long term issues.

Prior to the day, Trish Jay, Director of Clinical Development and Lead Executive Nurse for PCT said,
'We know from our patients that when they are ill in hospital they want clean, comfortable and welcoming surroundings to aid their recovery and this is what we strive for in our PCT units. Cleanliness is a key aspect of this.

One of the key messages for Think Clean Day is that cleanliness on NHS premises is everybody's responsibility - nursing staff, cleaners, managers and visitors. A team approach to cleaning and infection control is essential and we hope that Think Clean Day will reinforce this.

The assessments we had of the cleanliness of our community hospitals and Stonebow Unit, carried out by external experts, have been good, but we know there is always room to improve and that is what we want to do.'

Ross-on-Wye Community Hospital took part in Think Clean Day. Pictured above are hospital cleaners, Caroline Hatch and Denise Colwell. (The day was also Caroline's birthday. Many Happy Returns!) Below, Doctor Richard Cook, Sister Jeannie Bevan, Chief Executive Paul Bates and Sister Julie Akester try out a combination of glitter gel and an ultraviolet light system which can be used to determine how thoroughly staff are washing their hands.

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