place for information on Ross-on-Wye and the Wye Valley
NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
News - The weekly News Magazine for
No. 95 - 10th May 2006
Way Visits Ross-on-Wye - Congratulations Alan and Jennifer]
Making - Fifth Grammar School Reunion - A Mother's Pride]
[Wilton Ducks - Topical Photography - Letters - 25 Years Ago]
[Wyenot TV] [What's
to Z Site Map] [Property]
bit like Aylesbury Ducks but from Wilton (though I haven't
tried the test which involves a finger and a very surprised
duck). I took these two photos of a duck with her ducklings
from the beer garden of the White
Lion Inn, whilst dropping Tina at work and
enjoying my lunch on a hot and sunny Sunday morning, 7th
May. They are a bit bright as the sun was on the wrong
side of the river and I tried to adjust accordingly.
come to think of it, I haven't seen many ducklings this
year on the River Wye at Ross. This might just be because
I have changed my nature watching area slightly down stream
since last year. I am also wondering whether otters eat
duck. I have only ever seen them eat fish but I have heard
Calling all Communities! Connect your village to the
World through ICT!
Access Point (CAP) can be a total village resource giving
personal Internet access, accessibility to jobs and learning
opportunities, local news and village information, leisure
and hobbies. It can also link to council services, library
services, the Citizens Advice Bureaux (offering private
real-time video-cam interviews), volunteering opportunities
etc. - the possibilities are endless.
Community Access Points project can offer rural community
venues ICT equipment (computers, printer, scanner, cameras,
webcams, projector, screen, software for virtually any purpose
etc.), broadband connection and support to establish your
own locally run ICT facility. And it's all free! If you're
keen to see this type of resource playing a central role
in the heart of your community life, Herefordshire's newest
ICT (Information and Communication Technology) project may
be able to make it happen.
you think your community can benefit from a Community Access
Point, or if your Parish Plan has identified new facilities
as a priority, Herefordshire Council wants to hear from
you. Expressions of interest are welcome from anyone living
in a rural community, who would like to find out more about
obtaining this resource for your village.
if you like the idea of your friends neighbours or community
groups using the Internet for pleasure, leisure or work
at a community-run web-enabled Access Point, contact us
today to find out more. Call Mike Truelove on 01432 383461
or e-mail: email@example.com.
Community Access Points Liaison Office
at the website today, I have to agree with “Pete from Canada”
that the news from good old Ross is always good to see (however
much there is).
out here in California it is good to see the faces of people
that we used to see in town, and the news of all of the
local events. Keep up the good work.
ODC - Nimbus
you for that, Pat. It is good to know that Wyenot News is
being read in California. There's a story from closer to
your home below. Ed.
Twenty Five Years Ago
realize that this has absolutely nothing to do with Ross-on-Wye
but having watched the recent coverage of the 25th Anniversary
of the event on NASA TV I thought I would cover it anyway
- one month late. Becoming increasingly aware of my own
mortality of late, I just feel like taking a few hours
out to escape back to memories of a time gone by. The
frightening thing is - although this happened a quarter
of a century ago now, it seems as if it were only yesterday!
five years and one month ago I was in the USA to watch
and photograph the first ever space shuttle, Columbia
return to Earth and I think this has to be one of the
most exciting events I have ever witnessed! Trouble is,
it took place near a God forsaken town in the Californian
Desert called, 'Barstow' - and it was. A right one! (I
said that in my best Cockney-French accent.) It was as
hot as Hell with no shade whatsoever, other than my little
blue tent and the car I had hired at Los Angeles airport,
a black 'Plymouth Champ'.
travelling companion was Graham Taylor and we arrived
at Edward's Airforce Base three days before the landing,
camping in the desert with just rattle snakes for company.
That is, until the American media arrived and discovered
that we were 'Limies'. What a bunch of plonkers they were!
We were interviewed by the San Francisco Herald Examiner
and the Los Angeles Times, both of which misquoted us
as saying the space shuttle was 'dandy'. Can you imagine
that? It was difficult enough just now bringing myself
to type the word. I would never have said it!
. . .
in Death Valley. An aptly named place if ever there was one! Temperature
130 degrees Fahrenheit.
among the first ten or so people to arrive at the landing
site, we were able to choose the best position to watch
the event and so we set up camp as close to the fenced off
landing strip as humanly possible. The runway was simply
black lines painted on a dried up, prehistoric lake bed.
People started to arrive and we made friends with two Americans
of a similar age to ourselves.
our new found friends time passed quickly. We spent the
days drinking beer, lots of water and listening to REO Speadwaggon
on the car stereo. The song, 'Time for me to Fly' always
takes me back to this event. The nights we spent getting
up to adolescent male stuff. (No, not that!) There was a
small gap in the fence, just wide enough to get the car
through and the desert nights were totally black. I don't
think I have ever experienced darkness like it! Under cover
of this darkness, we squeezed our two cars through the gap,
turned the lights off and bombed up and down the runway
at velocities approaching warp speed. There was absolutely
nothing to hit - just completely flat lake bed for ten miles.
After these little excursions, we would head back towards
the lights of the campers, flick the headlights on quickly
to find our way back through the fence and watch the police
cars converging on the runway and round the perimeter of
the camp site. With the bonnets of our cars almost smoking
with heat, each time we prayed that this would not be the
thing which would give us away. I hate cars now and have
little time for 'boy racers' but have to confess that, back
then I was one.
I cannot remember the names of the American friends with
whom we shared this rather dangerous experience but they
are pictured below. If either of you see this web page,
please get in touch.
. . .
Shuttle flight ST01, Columbia returns to Earth. Photo taken whilst
standing on the roof of my car. The reflection is caused by a mirage.
other memorable total darkness antic was 'flashguns across
the desert'. In the distance, in the photo below, you might
just notice another fence. This was where the television
crews were camped and at night, both camps would set up
telescopes and large mirror lenses. We would then fire camera
flashes through the lenses at each other and the result
was like a scene from Star Wars. Thousands of blue flashes
streaking across the desert.
the time for the landing finally arrived, numbers on the
camp site had increased from the initial ten of us to around
one hundred thousand spectators and the atmosphere was just
out of this world! TV helicopters filmed constantly and
the American Airforce were showing off their flying skills
to the crowds. It was as good as being at a Pink Floyd concert
and better than any other air show I have ever been to.
Dad was either in Cape Town or Athens on business at the
time of the event, I cannot remember which. Wherever it
was, he saw night-time fireworks as the spacecraft re-entered
the atmosphere. We compared notes and times when we next
met and twenty minutes after he saw the first signs of re-entry,
three loud sonic booms occurred over California followed
by a sudden eerie silence. 100,000 people held their breath
as we watched Columbia, accompanied by two white chase planes,
grow from a tiny white dot, almost immediately overhead
in the perfectly blue sky to the recognizable shape of a
spacecraft before gliding silently to a perfect landing
on the desert bed. The cheer that went up was just phenomenal
as the spacecraft touched down, decelerating on the ground
for probably five miles, eventually slowing and coming to
a fantastic moment! On the camp site, and probably on board
the Shuttle too. It was one of those moments which will
be etched on my memory for the rest of my life. Perfect
strangers began hugging and kissing one another like Woodstock
revisited. This was followed by the traffic jam! 100,000
people all wanting to drive their cars through the same
exit. First in, last out. That used up the rest of the day
so we found a motel to get some rest before heading for
Boulder City, Nevada to see my friends from a previous visit,
George Ann Hollingsworth and LaWana Wood (no relation).
our cars and by the fence with a gap, Myself, Graham Taylor and
our American friends. Photo taken with my camera by a friendly German.
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