Ross on Wye Home Page, Wyenot News - The weekly online news magazine for Ross-on-Wye., Herefordshire.
The place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley

The Local On-line Newspaper for Ross-on-Wye with a World Wide Circulation

Issue No. 73 [Back Issues]
6th December 2005

This Week - [Advent Market - Christmas Lights - Community Forums]
[Roaming Robots - Upton Bishop Christmas Fayre - The Year So Far - Novice Practitioner]
[Dedicating the Crib in Hereford Cathedral - A Night at the Races - Letters - Topical Photography]
[The Ross-in-Bling Awards 2005]
[Classified Advertisements] [What's On?] [A to Z Site Map]

Roaming Robots Champions

Gordon Townley and Thomas Horton were proud winners of a "Roaming Robots" competition held in Folkestone. Gordon is the engineer who built the winning robot and young Thomas Horton the driver of the machine.

Roaming Robots came into being after the main organizer of the event, John Finlay became fascinated with the popular television series Robot Wars. He decided to build his own arena, costing around £10,000. Groups who talk to each other via the internet take part in the competitions. Gordon and Thomas entered the Roaming Robots Winter Tour, which is now into its second year and events were held at Merthyr Tydfil, Birmingham and Folkestone.

The eight robots with the highest accumulated points went onto the final in Folkestone, where Gordon and Thomas won first place. They get to keep the rather interesting trophy being held by Thomas, which is made up of scrap metal items such as nuts and bolts. The other is a perpetual trophy, which has to be returned.

Gordon Townley, Pete Seabourne and Thomas Horton with trophies at their home in Tudor Rise. Ref: DSC_3510

Upton Bishop Church Christmas Fayre

Santa Clause arrived at Upton Bishop Church Christmas Fayre with a donkey bearing gifts for children on Saturday, 3rd December. Outside the Millennium Hall, he was given mince pies and a glass of mulled wine to provide sustenance for the rest of his pre Christmas visits and the fact that he arrived on a donkey answered my question as to why he had also been left a couple of carrots.

The Fayre was very well attended and visitors enjoyed a variety of charity stalls whilst children met the man himself inside Santa's Grotto.

Pictured below are a couple of scenes from the event as well as organizers, Glen Ruscoe, Brenda Edwards - Church Warden, Margie Davies, Di Buckley and Steph Hail.

Ref: DSC_3675

Ref: DSC_3682

Ref: DSC_3691

The Year So Far and How Wyenot News Works

I thought I would show this month's visitor figures in a slightly different format to the usual by including a totally unedited summary report for the year so far, reprinted direct from my server log analyser.

As can be seen, has been extremely popular so far this year with a 4 million 'hits' mark being reached in less than eleven months and over 700,000 pages of the site being viewed by real people within the same period.

During November 2005, an average 676 people viewed 2,600 pages of the site every day. Throughout the year 2005, and Wyenot News has brought an absolutely huge amount of tourism business to the area, from which every single business in the area which relies on tourism has benefited. More local business have supported me this year than in previous years and the renewal rate from those businesses still trading who supported me last year by advertising has been 100%. Not one of them has even needed to be sent a reminder! Although I am still running at a personal financial loss, I do now see light at the end of the tunnel. It has been a long hard and physically exhausting struggle with eighteen hour days, several times per week but I am determined to continue because I know that very soon my efforts will begin to pay off and, as well as continuing to help everybody else, will begin to reap me some benefits.

When I first started this web site I had two big disadvantages. Firstly, foot and mouth disease hit the area within months of its launch and, although the web site was bringing tourists to the town during the crisis, local internet awareness was virtually nil. Although I approached the main tourism group trying to make the area popular again with my idea, they dismissed me with an attitude indicating that I was an insignificant, silly little boy with a no hope idea.

Secondly, I had to contend with the copy cats who had more money than I and were able to throw launch parties for councillors and other 'important' people. I think after five years of genuine dedication and strong will to continue, despite the setbacks has come out on top and local people have become very well aware of what works and what clearly does not. I think in fact that the misinformation readily disseminated by above mentioned group has actually done more harm than good to local business. By offering a service which was not provided or at least, provided very badly, they gave the internet in general a bad name and local business lost faith in a system which could in fact have been their saviour.

I have deliberately never gone around the local businesses pushing as an advertising medium and I have never sent out monthly emails to my advertisers, supplying them with a 'monthly hits' figure which can only be described as absolute misleading rubbish. (The number of people who have shown me these emails is just incredible!) Four hundred 'hits' on an advertisement means absolutely nothing if they have all been visits by internet scanning robots and the page has never actually been seen by a human being or generated any business whatsoever for the advertiser.

I am a firm believer in allowing local people to discover this web site in the same way that the tourists themselves do. The figures below speak for themselves... Four million hits in eleven months actually equates to a little under two hundred thousand viewers. Rather than just switch off, those two hundred thousand viewers actually went on to look at over seven hundred thousand pages of the web site and all advertisers on Wyenot, especially those in the tourism industry have reported a significant increase in business as a direct result of having a page on this web site.

The thing which makes work is total dedication to keeping it current and interesting to both local people and visitors alike. If the BBC showed the same episode of Eastenders every day, nobody would watch it. Wyenot News has regular readers from all continents, all parts of the UK and even in Ross-on-Wye. Building a regular readership in Ross has been by far the most difficult task to accomplish but it's getting there and when I go somewhere to take a photograph, more people are recognizing me as the Wyenot photographer, as opposed to the Ross Gazette photographer. After all, I was the Wyenot photographer first but the Ross Gazette liked my photos and started using them. I am extremely grateful to the Ross Gazette for this as I would have had to give up long ago without photo royalties keeping me afloat financially. The way it works now is that we help each other - some of my news leads come from the Gazette and some of the Gazette's come from me. Unlike the copy cats who are still out there, copying without a single idea of their own, I never go out of a Wednesday, buy a Gazette and just copy a story word for word hoping that this will increase readership. I research the news myself.

To answer the most frequent question I am asked. No I do not get paid when people visit or read Wyenot News and I have never received any grants. The only money I receive from this web site is from those businesses who pay me £45 per year to advertise and the very rare, odd donation. So far, in five years, I have made £40 from donations and a little under £3,000 from advertisers. The rest has come from my own pocket.

If you take the official Herefordshire Tourism web site as an example, assuming you can find it. I have been told that the Council pay £46,000 per year to maintain that web site. If this figure is accurate (and it seems quite reasonable as they would have to employ several people to do the maintaining) I therefore calculate that in five years, had I been given the same budget I would have made £226,960 less the cost of equipment required. As it is, I have made £3,040 and spent far more than that on computer and camera equipment. As I mentioned earlier though - more local businesses are taking an interest these days, I now see light at the end of the tunnel financially and I'm absolutely determined to continue. and Wyenot News are hard work but I enjoy what I do and, if you enjoy what you do, you need never 'go to work' again.

Visitor Statistics Summary for
January to November 2005

Summary Period: Last 11 Months
Generated 01-Dec-2005 16:50

Summary by Month
Month Daily Avg Monthly Totals
Hits Files Pages Visits Sites KBytes Visits Pages Files Hits
Nov 2005 13735 11058 2600 676 12704 6635494 20285 78005 331768 412053
Oct 2005 13169 10600 2266 664 11072 6299929 20604 70259 328602 408242
Sep 2005 18902 12930 4762 649 10854 6795827 19475 142888 387913 567068
Aug 2005 15956 12610 2353 678 11160 7074243 21039 72948 390923 494654
Jul 2005 12751 10134 1809 571 10459 5349640 17706 56088 314177 395297
Jun 2005 12907 10637 1957 598 10475 5463732 17953 58715 319113 387225
May 2005 13387 11190 2007 604 11137 5638517 18737 62236 346900 415027
Apr 2005 11954 9831 1811 582 9933 4614510 17463 54354 294944 358632
Mar 2005 10183 8312 1532 515 8904 3924884 15984 47518 257695 315683
Feb 2005 8330 7073 1212 491 7760 2886634 13770 33957 198068 233263
Jan 2005 7911 6300 1212 423 6932 2929918 13134 37600 195308 245271
Totals 57623502 196179 714643 3365832 4232936

Scholarship Novice Practitioner

The 2005 JWC / Tendra (Molnlycke) Scholarships and Honours proved without a doubt that there is some fantastic practice happening within wound care and tissue viability and that there are practitioners who are champing at the bit to develop both themselves and more importantly, practice to improve the lot of their patients.

Presentations to the Scholarships and Honours winners took place over lunch on 21st September at the House of Commons. We were able to use this venue thanks to sponsorship by Anthony Selous, MP for South West Bedfordshire. One of these presentations was made to Julie Evans, Senior Staff Nurse / Emergency Nurse Practitioner of Ross Community Hospital, Ross-on-Wye.

Julie has been interested in tissue viability since she started her nursing career. She is already using information and experience gained from local study days, degree modules in tissue viability, pressure ulcer intervention and management and developed in her role as a link nurse to teach her colleagues and make inroads into improving care.

Julie will use the scholarship and support framework provided by Journal of Wound Care/ Tendra to plot a course towards being a specialist by completing a BSc in tissue viability, attending appropriate conferences and subscribing to relevant journals ( although, of course, there is only one!), developing an image library and establishing a local wound care forum.

In the photo below, taken last Monday, 28th December are Deborah Glover - Editor of 'Journal of Wound Care', Jeannie Bevan - Matron, Julie Evans, Cathy O'Neill - Clinical Affairs Manager from Mölmlycke Health Care, Rebecca Stubbs - Tissue Viability Nurse and Julie Akester - Sister.

We wish Julie every success.


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