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Issue No. 60 [Back Issues]
6th September 2005

This Week - [Mamma Mia - What a Show - Ross Wins Gold - Trikers and Bikers - Llangrove Flower Show]
[Take Your Dog to Work Day - Visitors - Naming the Thieves - Out of This World - Topical Photography - Nature Watch]

[Mamma Mia - The Day's Events]
[Mamma Mia - The 'Abba' Performance]

Mamma Mia! What a show!

Compere, Den Rickets with the girls from 'Abba'.DSC_9358

At the very least, 5,000 people turned up to support the afternoon and evening fund-raising event in aid of Cancer Research, which was held at 'Hill Top', Upton Bishop on Saturday, 3rd September.

I have to admit that I am more a Pink Floyd than an Abba fan and when I went there to take photos, I imagined it was going to be one of those ''panda' events (eats, shoots and leaves). I was totally stunned however by the sheer professionalism of the organization, the support - both local and from afar and by the performance itself.

The afternoon began with a jazz band stepping in at the last minute, whilst 'Alfredo, the Clown' and David Prouse, the magician entertained groups of children and various other entertainment took place around the huge 'Hill Top' site, donated for use by farmer, Les Edwards.

A falconry display by 'Ancient Art Falconry' then captivated the growing audience. Due to the crowds and high noise level, this caused quite some amusement as the peregrine falcon decided to go backstage and the falconer spent a good ten minutes chasing to retrieve the bird, who then gave a great performance.

At this point, I decided that it would definitely be worth staying to the whole event and shot off home briefly, to collect Tina, who used to be an Abba fan. On returning, half an hour later, the ' Allstars' a band from Newnham were providing some great rock music.

The auction, conducted by Herefordshire Auctioneer Richard Williams, which followed, included all high quality lots donated by too many local businesses to mention. This raised a lot of money towards the good cause.

'Mamma-Mia', the internationally acclaimed Abba tribute band began their performance at nine o'clock, immediately captivating the by then, small town size audience. After an initial generator problem, which brought about a sudden silence, the girls filled in the downtime by singing unaccompanied and then carried on with the band as if nothing had happened, getting everybody cheering and singing along to all of the well known Abba songs.

The amount of money raised for Cancer Research is not known at the moment but will be published next week, once it has been fully calculated.

I took lots of photos during this event. Above, compere Den Rickets from Bolton can be seen backstage, after the event with the two girls from Mamma-Mia. I took a series of three shots of this pose and they are quite funny to look at due to Den's expression changing between the shots. When animated they remind me of a scene from the Benny Hill Show. You will see what I mean if you view the gallery.

Below, the band and organizers of the event can be seen. Many more photographs from the event can be seen on pages three and four of this news. In the gallery, those who wish to can view all photos of the event.

Den Rickets - Compere, 'Agnetha', 'Bjorn', Adrian Cook - Organizer, 'Frida', 'Benny', Jan Blackmore, David Fouracre, and Co-organizer, Sally Cook.

Ross wins Gold!

Ross-on-Wye's Mayoress, Margaret Lucas and Mary Sinclair Powell, both of Ross-in-Bloom travelled to Trentham Gardens, near Stoke last Friday, to the Heart of England in Bloom Awards. Over three hundred representatives from the region were there to find out who had been successful in the many 'In Bloom' competitions. There were sixty competition entrants this year, ranging from village to large city, with seventeen entries in the Royal Horticultural Society 'Neighbourhood' competition.

The Heart of England in Bloom Judges visited Ross on a wet day in July. A pageant of characters from the past took place in the town on the day and everybody had a wonderful day, despite the weather.

The awards were announced by population size, so Margaret and Mary waited eagerly for the results of the town judging. When Gold for Ross-on-Wye was announced there were whoops of delight from the Herefordshire tables, where thirty representatives sat together to either congratulate or commiserate with one another. There was even more delight when it was announced that Mary had been awarded an individual award by Royal Worcester for work with 'In Bloom'.

Continued . . .

Proud Ross in Bloom Organizers at the Market House on Monday, 5th September. DSC_9512

Ross has waited a long time for a Gold award. The last time Ross-in-Bloom achieved a top award was during the very early 1990s, when they achieved a first for the town. Mary has been working for the past eight years with Ross-in-Bloom and has certainly earned this accolade.

In their comments the judges said "Nobody denies that taking up the baton for In Bloom can be all consuming, but the recipient of this award always manages to have a ready smile and a word of encouragement for everyone who gets involved in her town's entry. She is a wonderful asset to Ross-on-Wye and we congratulate her for all of her hard work, commitment and enthusiasm".

In her interview afterwards, Mary told how proud she was to have received this award, not just for herself, but in memory of her family, who taught her well in the art of organization and how to carry it out. Mary had previously decided to retire from the organizing of the 'Heart of England in Bloom' due to time and to work commitments. She would however continue for now with the organization of the local judging. Following this award, and of course the highest accolade the town can receive in regional level, she will now have to reconsider but will announce her decision at the Presentation Evening later in the month.

'I would like to thank everyone who has helped this year to make it such a successful one. A year like this can only succeed with a good working team and I have certainly had that behind me this year. I would especially like to thank my fellow committee members, without whose backing I would not have been able to carry this through. I am also extremely grateful to all of my work colleagues, who do a tremendous amount for me in the background. If I do decide to pass on the baton, I wish my successors every success for the future. There is now an excellent grounding for future members of Ross-in-Bloom to work with,' she added.

This year has been a very successful year for the whole of Ross. Not only did the town receive Gold, but also four other individual awards, as well as Mary's. Representatives from the Friends' Meeting House at the ceremony were delighted to receive a Merit Award in the National Neighbourhood Awards, as were those who had travelled to represent Ross Court. Nursery Road Community Gardens also received a Merit whilst Brampton Abbotts School received an Outstanding Achievement, both in the same competition.

Herefordshire did very well this year as a whole. There were fifteen awards in all across the county, of which Ross gained six. Bromyard, Ledbury and Hereford joined Ross with a Gold and Leominster (first time entrants) gained a Silver Gilt. Eardisland and Tarrington (again a first time entrant) gained Silver. There were three other awards for waste management and schools. A haul of awards which exceeded the thirteen Herefordshire won last year.

The judges' comments for Ross were: 'Overcast skies and eventual rain did nothing to hamper the enjoyment of the residents of Ross-on-Wye, who were enjoying a fun historical day for the judging of the Heart of England in Bloom campaign. Admiral Lord Nelson, Mr John Kyrle, Nell Gwynne, and not forgetting the peasants, all helped to promote Ross. The judges' tour followed a comprehensive itinerary and they met a wide cross section of the community. The 'flame' colour theme was well executed throughout the town and gave a warm welcome to residents and visitors alike'. The judges were impressed with: 'The well planted gardens in Crossfields, the Prospect Gardens and Rotary carpet bed, the colour theme for the town, Nursery Road Community Gardens, Permanent Planting in Prospect Gardens, Brampton Abbotts School new ECO garden and environment, tree planting, recycling areas, the cleanliness of Broad Street, the whole theme and community involvement - a really fun day.'

Well done Ross!

Trikers and Bikers raise money for charity

The South West Trikers and Bikers held their 'Footloose and Fancy 3' rally at Symonds Yat West between Friday, 2nd and Sunday, 4th September with all profit from the event going to two worthwhile causes, the Meningitis Trust and the Foundation of Sudden Infant Death. On Friday night, the group enjoyed live music from 'The Holloh', a young local group who are fast making a name for themselves.

Both Stevie, 'One Bloke and his Mandolin' and the ever popular classic rock band, '1st Offence' entertained on Saturday evening. There was a raffle held with many great prizes as well as trophies for the best bike and trike.

The South West Trikers and Bikers would like to say thank you to everybody who attended including Meteor Motorcycles, 'Fundemental' Biker Clothing, Bike Spec, Digger Custom Motorcycle Seats and Motoring Artist. They would also like to thank Henry Danter and everybody at the Symonds Yat Leisure park.

Theresa Davies, one of the group said: "Without their help we would not have managed to raise the £840 which is to be equally divided between the two charities." The group would also like to thank all of those who kindly donated the raffle prizes.

Fund raising 'South West Trikers and Bikers' at Symonds Yat West. DSC_8970

Llangrove Flower Show

The Llangrove Flower Show took place at Llangrove Village Hall on Saturday, 3rd September. The event was very well attended with some beautiful exhibits on display.

Pictured below are some of the prize winners at the show: Anne Whiteley, Sheila Howarth, Jean Hawksworth, Mike Hawksworth and Maggie Pridgeon.

Prize Winners

The Llangrove Cup - Most Points in the Show - S Howarth
Div 1 - Llangrove Gardening Society Cup - Highest points - S Howarth
Div 2 - Llangrove Gardening Society Cup - Highest points - G Hicks
Div 5 - Llangrove Gardening Society Cup - Highest points - M Wall
Div 6 - Llangrove Gardening Society Silver Salver - Highest Points - J. Oakley and J. Rowen

Div 1 - Perpetual Challenge Cup to the member gaining the most points - S Parkinson
Div 2 - Roger Robson Memorial Cup to the member gaining the most points - S Dean
Div 5 - Perpetual Challenge Cup to the member gaining the most points - S Howarth

Cups / Prizes for the best exhibit in each division

Div 1 Harry Stancer Memorial Cup (vegetables) - M Hawksworth
Div 2 - Harry Wall Memorial Cup - H Ackerman
Div 3 - For a Pot Plant - P Walshe
Div 4 - For Handicrafts - K Knowles
Div 5 - Bert Hall Memorial Cup (Arrangements) S Howarth
Div 6 - Margaret Storer Trophy - J Morgan.

Winners, Anne Whiteley, Sheila Howarth, Jean Hawksworth, Mike Hawksworth and Maggie Pridgeon. DSC_8960

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