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Issue No. 39 [Back Issues]
5th April 2005

This Week - [Vikram Solanki - Record viewers] [Philip Price - Larruperz - Topical Photography] [Nature Watch - Archive]

Vikram Solanki flies in to help Ross-on-Wye Cricket Club

Ross-on-Wye Cricket Club became one of 650 cricket clubs to take part in the UK's largest ever volunteering event, 'NatWest CricketForce' last Saturday

In an unashamed celebration of hit BBC programmes Ground Force and Changing Rooms, NatWest CricketForce encourages supporters, friends and families to give something back to their local community cricket club by volunteering to undertake major renovations to it's clubhouse and grounds over the weekend.

Vikram Solanki, Captain of Worcester and member of the England cricket team flew in on Saturday morning to help with Ross Cricket Club's plans for the weekend, as well as sign autographs and give a little bowling tuition to younger club members. He even enjoyed helping with painting the Pavilion, saying, 'They had better not see me doing this at home or I will have to paint the house.'

Below are just a few of the photographs I took on Saturday morning. If you would like to see them all, you are welcome to visit the gallery.

Continued . . .

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Developed to be part of the ECB's NatWest Volunteer programme, CricketForce is currently in it's fourth year. Participation has grown by over six thousand percent from humble origins in 2002 when just one club took part. In 2005 over six hundred and fifty registered to participate, which represents one in ten of all cricket clubs across the UK.

Ross had ambitious plans for the weekend and asked it's members and volunteers to help with renovating the old pavilion, which was built in 1887, provide a new scoring facility, paint all external woodwork including the posts, flagpole and sight screen, general gardening and groundworks to the patio area, repair/ build benches for spectators, and overhaul the machinery shed.

Continued . . .

Vikram Solanki with younger members of Ross-on-Wye Cricket Club. Ref: DSC_0223

Keith Pont, Director of Development at the ECB said, 'NatWest CricketForce has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity over the last four years, which shows the passionate support cricket enjoys from the grass roots up through to the national team.

The ECB is proud that cricket not only leads the way amongst UK sports in supporting the Year of the Volunteer, but also acknowledges the crucial role that cricket loving volunteers play in maintaining their clubs throughout the year."

Lee Bailey, NatWest Sponsorship Manager said, "2005 is a particularly proud year for NatWest as we celebrate supporting English cricket for 25 years. NatWest is committed to investing in the community so developing grassroots cricket in this way is important to our involvement in the game. For NatWest CricketForce to become the biggest volunteer event in the UK is a great achievement for all involved.

We have encouraged NatWest staff across our branch network to go out and get involved with activity at their local cricket club, and by giving up their personal time they could also receive up to £500 for their local club as part of NatWest's Community Cashback Award Scheme."

Volunteering plays a crucial part in sustaining amateur cricket and can have a significant impact on the long term future of a club. Ross Cricket Club hopes to follow the success of Lingfield Cricket Club, who after weekend renovations during the first CricketForce enjoyed an 83% increase in bar takings following the renovations of the clubhouse bar, more juniors and seniors are playing than ever before and new sponsorship and business interest is at an all time high.

NatWest CricketForce was launched at Bexley Heath Cricket Club, Bexley, Kent on Friday April 1st by England cricketers, Andrew Strauss and Geraint Jones.

Next week - Ross Rugby Club's generous donation plus David Nokler - Level III ECB.

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Sorry mate - I'm afraid you're going to have to paint the house. Ref: DSC_0291

Record viewers during March 2005

I have to admit to being totally stunned by the amount of visitors to during the month of March! With the tourist season just beginning, the server had a record amount of hits (approaching a third of a million in one month) and actual pages served also hit record numbers. The 'Accommodation' page was the most visited and this was closely followed by 'Wyenot News'.

During the month of March, I added some new advertising pages to and, to my own surprise, four of them shot into the top thirty most visited pages on the web site for the month. One new 'pub page' had 467 visitors in 17 days - another had 428 visitors in 21 days - A new 'B & B page' had 368 visitors in 21 days and a further new 'pub page' had 315 visitors in only 16 days. Three accommodation businesses taking out new advertisements reported bookings from their new page within two days of them being put on-line, one being a brand new guest house which had not advertised anywhere else. If things continue at the same rate, these people will make back the £45 they spent on a year's advertising on this web site many times over!

The page which clocked the least amount of visits during the month (to be precise - one visit) was a page about a morris dance event which took place back in 2002. I felt sorry for it and visited the page myself - nobody can accuse me of being morris danceist!

Listed below are the main visitor figures for between 1st and 31st march 2005:

Hits: 315,683.
Unique human visitors: 15,984.
Number of pages viewed by above visitors: 47,518.
Data downloaded (bandwidth used): 3,924,884 KBytes. (3.92 gigabytes)

The top ten most visited pages over the same period, highest to lowest were: Home Page, Accommodation, Wyenot News, Street Map, Site map, Pubs, Shops, Scenic Ross-on-Wye, Dining Out, What's On? .

891 people added home page to 'Favourites' on their web browser during the month. (In answer to your question, Dave - I can tell by a unique file, which gets downloaded only when somebody 'adds to favourites'. The marginally more difficult one to analyse is what the viewer ate for breakfast.)

Out of interest, to show the rate at which is increasing in popularity over the years, here are the March Unique Visitor figures for the web site over the past five years:

March 2001: 186
March 2002: 331
March 2003: 1,734
March 2004: 8,668
March 2005: 15,984.

The Hits and Page View figures for the month of March over the same period are many times higher.

The main visitor statistics for 2005 from 1st January to 31st March are as follows:

Hits: 794,465
Unique human visitors: 42,913
Number of pages viewed by above visitors: 119,813
Data downloaded (bandwidth used): 9,778,357 KBytes. (9.77 gigabytes)

Independent statistics from the Hope & Anchor web server showed the following visitor referral figures during the month of March: - 150 referrals
Search engine, including Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask Jeeves - 34 referrals
All other Ross-on-Wye based web sites combined - 20 referrals

Thank you for your visit and I hope you were able to find what you were looking for!

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