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Issue No. 82 [Back Issues]
7th February 2006

This Week - [Ross Pre-school Playgroup - The Otters - Sleeping Beauty - Golf Unites for Acorns]
[January Visitor Figures - Cycling for MS - Walford Scouts at Leadership Trust - Big Schools Birdwatch]

[Important Notice, Samaritans - Topical Photography]
[Nature Watch - Ross Boys trained by WBA - Heritage Centre Exhibition II - Howle Hill Football]
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Ross Pre-school celebrate the Chinese New Year

The children at Ross Pre-school Playgroup can be seen below enjoying and celebrating the Chinese New Year on Wednesday 1st February.

Ross Pre-school Playgroup is a non profit making registered nursery for children, from two to five years of age. These children are encouraged to enjoy themselves and achieve by experienced and caring staff, with a varied activity programme and Foundation Stage Curriculum.

The Treasurer, Iris Price said, 'In order to ensure the continuation of this important service for the children and families of Ross-on-Wye, the Trustees are organizing fund-raising events and making every effort to increase the number of children on the register.'

Mrs. Joyce Thomas, President and founder of the playgroup said, 'We have survived thirty five years as a great playgroup with high standards and an enviable reputation. I am very proud and grateful to the many people who continue to make Ross Pre-school Playgroup one of the best in the county. Unfortunately we have seen good voluntary playgroups come and go. We ourselves are experiencing a difficult financial time but I am confident that with the goodwill of organizations and fund-raising and the good people of Ross-on-Wye, we will continue to have a playgroup of which we are justifiably proud'.

To find out more about Ross Pre-school Playgroup, please contact Pauline Williams on 01989 562435.

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The Ross-on-Wye Otters - Wow!

Thank you all very much for your feedback about my otter photographs. I had no idea that there would be so much interest in the subject! This week, I have been stopped in the street, I have received dozens of emails and been telephoned by the BBC for a radio programme (which I did not actually hear as I have not had time to listen to the radio). I did not speak on the show, I simply provided as much information as I could, although I asked them not to broadcast precise locations.

I was a little worried about giving information as I am not an otter expert. Indeed, in conversation I keep wrongly referring to them as beavers. That, I guess is what's known as a Freudian slip and earned me an amused 'one of those looks' from Tina the first evening I proudly announced that I was, 'just off to hunt beaver'. 'Well, it is the weekend!' I added, suddenly realizing that I had got it wrong again.

I actually took far more photographs the day I caught them than I published so, as there was so much interest in the subject, here is just one more for now. Although it is difficult to see, the otter had a fish in its mouth at the time of this photo. It is just slightly visible above the tip of his/her nose.

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A rather unusual performance of Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty, that age old favourite fairy story enjoyed by millions of people world wide, was not on the agenda at John Kyrle High School from Wednesday 1st February until Saturday 4th February. The tale of Sleeping Beauty as seen through the eyes of the spell casting, very flatulent fairy 'Goody' was however. This production was put on by the school in order to help raise funds for the South Africa Tour 2006.

The set was spread over the whole of the main hall and the excellent lighting and sound created a really dramatic atmosphere, in particular during the 'Forest' scenes.

The humour in this great production had a strong Monty Python flavour, mixed with a little Black Adder and the very able cast soon had everybody laughing. Apart from the main characters, Beauty, King, Queen, Fairy etc. there were lots of cleverly arranged groups. There were minstrels, accompanied by a very punky guitarist, courtiers, court dancers and wolves, but of all these, I think my favourite group was the Thorns, who grew up around the castle, spikily twisting around Beauty's mother to the sound of 'God Save The Queen' by the Sex Pistols.

The 'orchestra' was made up of just four musicians (photo next week) who all performed brilliantly, and as well as taking part in the acting, many pupils were also involved in the stage management and choreography. Pupils, staff and parents all worked very hard together to make this production the great show that it was.

Tina Jones

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Golf Unites for Acorns

'We cannot change the fact that their child will die, but we can promise that they will not have to face that death alone.'

Those are words from the brochure of Acorns, local children's hospices, who have recently had to shut down four beds in each hospice - twelve beds in total, leaving only eighteen remaining due to lack of funds.

To help raise funds for Acorns, with hospices covering seven counties, Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands and Worcestershire, golf clubs are uniting to raise money for the good cause.

South Herefordshire Golf Club are asking a minimum donation of £1.00 per player (Ladies, Seniors, Juniors and Club) during March and April from those playing Monthly Medal, Stableford or any other similar competitions to help the children's charity. A similar request has been sent to two hundred other Golf Clubs within the seven counties in a hope to raise between £5,000 and £10,000 for the cause.

Pictured below, launching the fund-raising effort at South Herefordshire Golf Club on Wednesday last, 1st February are Leo Tarrant, Golf Pro, Mayor of Ross, Gordon Lucas, Presenter of BBC Hereford and Worcester's Breakfast Show, Howard Bentham and Hugh Elliott - Captain of South Herefordshire Golf Club.

I am sure that whether you play golf or not, any donation to Acorns would be very welcome at their shop in Gloucester Road. Please try to help this worthy cause.

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