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

Issue No. 86 [Back Issues]
7th March 2006

This Week - [Publication Day Change - Jobcentre Plus - Skipping and Hula Hooping - Aztecs - Viewer Statistics]
[Video Experiment - A Look at Betzdorf - Sue Ryder Volunteers - The Arts]
[Topical Photography on World Book Day - Nature Watch - Business Support - Community Forums]
[Pre-school Mums and Kids - Elephants - River Tales - Rugby]
[Home Page] [Classified] [What's On?] [A to Z Site Map] [Property]

Video Experiment - Thank You

Thank you all for taking part in week two of my Wyenot Television video experiment. Again, I received hundreds of replies. This time there were only two people who could not view the clip, and I suspect that this was due to slow internet connections.

I think I can safely consider both tests a success and will start filming the odd Ross-on-Wye or other local item for Wyenot News.

I have not recorded any video yet as this week has not been one of my best weeks ever. Since leaving the air conditioned office where I used to work with 500 other people back in the last millennium, I have hardly ever been ill but this week, I have had my second nasty flu type virus this year and I have only been out with the camera when absolutely necessary. Much to the amusement of my family, I'm on my fourth day now and counting with a complete loss of voice. It just does not seem to want to get better - if anything, it has got worse and I can just about get by with whispering.

Something which very much surprised me about the second video test was the amount of people who wrote and said that they liked the music and asked what it was. It was actually one of my own tunes. I recorded it under the pseudonym, 'Palaeolithic Man' some time around 2000. The track was called, 'Pangaea' and I used it on the video as I owned the copyright, so there were no royalty issues to worry about. I have put a higher audio quality version below for download, if you liked it - along with another track, 'Palaeolithic Storm', from the original CD. (Right click the links if you want to save to your computer or MP3 player.) Both were inspired locally - by the Doward Caves. The natural sounds, including cats mating, bees, birds and the huge thunder clap and heavy rain were recorded in my garden. The 'cave man' voices on Palaeolithic Storm are my own voice, (I had one then) electronically adjusted.

I'll try to get some video news up and running over the next week or so. Thank you for your help in determining the method of transmission.

Pangaea Palaeolithic Storm

A look at Betzdorf - Ross-on-Wye's Twin Town Since 1978 . . .

Betzdorf, the twin town of Ross, is a small city which lies in the north of Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. Betzdorf City has a population of about 10.800 people but the community as a whole, which includes the villages Alsdorf, Gruenebach, Scheuerfeld, Wallmenroth has a population of 16.000. Betzdorf grew large between the years of 1890 and 1910 due to the railroad and took on 'City' status in 1953. In nearby Siegerland, the iron industry had become an important part of the region and as a result, the railroad became a major means of transportation for Betzdorf. Many new people arrived and the community grew.

The idea of twinning Ross-on-Wye and Betzdorf began in 1978. The Mayors of Betzdorf and Ross began to exchange visits and meet people. Three years later, in 1981, they establish associations and four years later, the twinning of the towns became official. Since 1982 the associations have met annually, either in Betzdorf or in Ross-on-Wye.

The schools of Betzdorf and Ross-on-Wye also exchanges students every year. When students from Ross arrive in Betzdorf they visit the Mayor, Michael Lieber and talk about what is new in Ross.

Below are some photographs of Betzdorf, or if you would like further information you could visit

A view over Betzdorf.

This building stands in the middle of Betzdorf.

Betzdorf Townhall.

The road sign to Ross-on-Wye in Betzdorf.

Städtepartnerschaft zwischen Ross-on-Wye und Betzdorf begann im Jahr 1978

Betzdorf, die Partnerstadt von Ross, ist eine kleine Stadt und liegt IM Norden von Rheinland-Pfalz; Deutschland. In der Stadt Betzdorf leben ungefaehr 10.800 Menschen. Die Verbandsgemeinde Betzdorf besteht aus den Ortsgemeinden Alsdorf, Gruenebach, Scheuerfeld, Wallmenroth und der Stadt Betzdorf. Betzdorf bekam IM Jahr 1953 die Stadtrechte verliehen. In den Jahren 1980 bis 1910 wuchs Betzdorf immer mehr, Grund hierfuer war, dass die Eisenbahn noch Betzdorf kam. IM nahe gelegenen Siegerland wurde die Eisenindustrie für die Region immer bedeutender. Damit wurde auch das Transportmittel Eisenbahn für Betzdorf sehr wichtig. Viele Leute kamen nach Betzdorf und halfen dabei, dass Betzdorf von einem kleinem Dorf zu einem groesseren Dorf wurde.

IM Jahr 1978 begannen dann die ersten Partnerschaftsbegegnungen zwischen Betzdorf und Ross. Die beiden Buergermeister begannen damit, sich gegenseitig zu besuchen. Drei Jahre spaeter, 1981, wurden in beiden Staedten Partnerschaftsvereine gegruendet. Weitere vier Jahre spaeter wurde dann die offizielle Partnerschaft zwischen Betzdorf und Ross gegruendet. Seit dem wird sich jedes Jahr getroffen - ein Jahr in Betzdorf und das andere Jahr in Ross.

Ebenfalls zwischen den Schulen von Betzdorf und Ross-on-Wye werden Schueleraustausche jedes Jahr durchgefuehrt. Wenn die Schueler in Betzdorf sind, dann besuchen sie Buergermeister Michael Lieber und erzaehlen ihm, was es an Neuigkeiten in Ross gibt.

Auf den folgenden Fotos kann man sich einen Ueberblick ueber Betzdorf verschaffen oder man besucht einfach die Betzdorfer Internetseite unter:

Can you help Sue Ryder?

A rallying call is being issued to people in Ross-On-Wye to help man the decks at a Sue Ryder Care shop. Willing volunteers are needed to help with a variety of tasks, from merchandising to helping customers find the perfect vintage piece and steaming clothes ready for display. The shop also sells furniture, so people who can assist with moving larger items or who have an eye for potential antiques would also be welcomed.

Sue Ryder also welcome donations of good quality furniture. A self-employed driver is being sought who could pick up donated stock in the surrounding area. The new recruits will be joining a friendly team of staff and volunteers who are dedicated to helping the Broad Street shop and to raise as much money as possible for the charity's care services.

Like all of the charity's four hundred shops on the British High Street, the Ross-on-Wye store raises vital funds for the specialized work of the charity's seventeen care centres throughout the UK. The centres provide palliative and neurological care for people living with a range of conditions including Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Huntington's Disease and Acquired Brain Injuries.

Shop Manager Glynis O'Donnell said: "We would love to hear from anyone interested in volunteering, whether they can spare a couple of hours once a month or a full day once a week. There is an opportunity to suit everyone. It is very rewarding to know that our work here in the shops helps to make a real difference to the lives of so many people. People can pop in anytime for an informal chat and find out more about volunteering from our staff."

Anybody wishing to know more about volunteering can contact Glynis on 01989 762158. For further information about Sue Ryder Care visit

Ross Staff, Belinda Holdsworth - Assistant Manager, Glynis O'Donnell - Manager and Catrine Bell - Volunteer. Ref: DSC_6726

Heart & Stone

Wayward parishioners and eccentric parsons will be taking centre-nave at St Mary's, Ross-on-Wye on Sunday 2 April. New Theatre Works' touring production of Heart & Stone, by local playwright Peter Roberts, is an epic of passion, pain, laughter and heartbreak across the centuries.

'We're bringing theatre back to its mediaeval birthplace with a combination of site-specific performance and an engaging story-line," explained NTW founder Ellie Parker. "There certainly won't be any snoozing in the pews!'

Heart and Stone, directed by Estelle Van Warmelo dramatizes core issues of faith, love and truth embodied in the lives of four people as they rehearse their community play in a West Midlands church. Acting out the building's vibrant history, from Black Death to the Blitz, they celebrate daily life in the parish, its festivals and follies. But for the curate Anna, her arty sister Jo and their partners, the show also becomes the focus of deeply private history and hard-won convictions. Beneath the banter of their dress-rehearsal they have crucial choices to make.

'I hope the play attracts those who would enjoy the personal drama of the contemporary story, as well as people contemplating questions of belief or the role of the church in the community today,' said Peter Roberts, whose plays have been frequently performed on BBC Radio 4 and in major regional venues. 'There is plenty of music and humour too!.'

The tour has been produced by New Theatre Works in partnership with the Diocese of Hereford. 'We're currently exploring new ways of placing our ancient buildings at the heart of the community," added Wendy Coombey, Community Partnership and Funding Officer. 'We've already made a start with several church buildings already acting as village meeting places.

Tickets for the St Mary's show cost £6.00 and can be purchased from the Ross Ministry Team Office, Church Street, Ross on Wye or The Courtyard Arts Centre, Hereford. Tel: 0870 1122330. Some tickets will be available on the door (subject to availability). There will be a free post-show discussion. Heart & Stone are touring thirteen churches across Herefordshire and Shropshire from Friday 24 March to Sunday 9 April. For the full tour schedule visit The tour is supported by Arts Council West Midlands, the Elmley Foundation and Herefordshire Council. New Theatre Works is resident at The Courtyard, Herefordshire's Centre for the Arts.

Bare Bones Theatre

Ross based amateur theatre company, Bare Bones must surely be one of the county's most active groups. Taking their productions to communities throughout the county, they open soon with their twelfth production in the eighteen months since their formation. Their youth section presented 'Our Day Out' by Willy Russell in mid-February and on 25th March the adult group open 'The Cemetery Club' by Ivan Menchell at Upton Bishop's Millennium Hall before taking it to Monmouth, Bartestree and Fownhope.

In the interim they present no less than three entries in the Hereford County Drama Festival at The Courtyard Theatre between 15th and 18th March. Their touring production, "The Cemetery Club" is a Jewish American comedy very much in the style of Neil Simon. Three elderly widows, long time friends, together visit their husband's graves each month. Then Sam, the local butcher, appears on the scene to attract the attention and affection of one member of this trio to the dismay of the other two. Will the newcomer break up this 'cemetery club'? Or will other events shape their future? The witty dialogue is wonderfully entertaining in a play of great emotional variety. Laughter with a tear in it's eye.

Details of where you can see The Cemetery Club can be found on the 'What's On?' page of this web site.

Passion from Ross Live!

'Ross Live!' will launch its 2006 season with an excitingly unusual concert in Ross on Tuesday 11th April. The Musical and Amicable Society Baroque Orchestra play using period instruments, directed from the harpsichord by Martin Perkins.

The Passion According to St Mark by Reinhard Keiser opens the performance. This wonderful work has been translated into English especially for this performance by society founder Kate Fawcett. Festival Director, Robin Symonds says 'Some will deplore using any language other than the composer's German, but in this case the dramatic effect would be spoilt for an audience if they had to bury their heads in their programmes to follow the plot!'

Lasting just over an hour this may be first time it has ever been performed in this country. The soloists include German tenor Christian Sturm and the part of Jesus will be sung by bass, William Burn. The chorus, the Ross-on-Wye Baroque Singers will be directed by David Backhouse.

Stunningly sung in Latin, the second part of the concert is the hauntingly beautiful Stabat Mater (1736) by Giovanni Pergolesi. This cantata for soprano, alto soloists and string orchestra lasts about forty minutes. The soloists have Herefordshire connections. Soprano Katharine Hawnt, went to the Cathedral School and the Royal Academy of Music, followed by a scholarship at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis. Ben Turner, alto, comes from Bromyard and is a lay clerk at Westminster Abbey.

The concert, sponsored by the Alan Cadbury Trust will take place in St Mary's Church at 7.30 on Tuesday 11 April. Tickets, price £15 (central aisles) and £10 (side aisles) are now available at the Tourist Information Centre, Ross (01989 562768); The County Collection, Market Place, Ross and The Outback, Church Street, Hereford. Booking forms may be downloaded from


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