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Wyenot News - The weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 98 - 31st May 2006
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This Week - [Bank Holiday Monday in Ross-on-Wye - Meanwhile, 10 miles away in Coleford]
[Meet the Swallows - Ross Pre-school Shop - Rugby - Various other articles]
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Meet the Swallows of Ross Weather Station

June and Rex Swallow were recently congratulated by the Meteorological Office for their regular monitoring of the local weather via Ross Weather Station. They stated in their letter that Ross weather station has been chosen because detailed results have consistently been sent in, every day of the year and that the station was one of twelve important weather stations around the UK. Nine of the others are RAF stations.

June and Rex have been monitoring the weather at the station since it reopened in 1985. The station was run by retired chemist, Howard Ellis then and they just helped out. June has been in charge of the station since 1995 though and reads the instruments twice per day, at 9:00 GMT and again at 5:00 local time. They do have helpers, who come along twice per week so that they can take over during holidays and in case of sickness.

Pictured below, June and Rex Swallow can be seen at Ross Weather Station on Saturday morning, 27th May 2006. The weather was overcast with light rain showers at the time.

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Why not visit the High Street shop and support Ross Pre-school Playgroup?

'The Basement' shop in High Street, Ross has opened for two weeks selling goods to raise money for Ross Pre-school Playgroup. Pictured below at the official opening on Saturday, 27th May are Iris Price, Mayor and Mayoress, Phil and Chris Cutter and Playgroup Founder, Joyce Thomas MBE DL.

If you would like to visit the shop or would like to donate goods for sale to help boost much needed funds for the playgroup, please call by between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm (11:am to 3:00 pm on Sundays).

The organizers would like to thank Caroline Rhodes of Jonathan Preece for temporary use of the shop premises.

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Newent Onion Fayre

Preparations for Newent's 11th Onion Fayre are well on the way. September 9th will see the streets full of stalls selling local produce, arts & crafts and those magnificent street acts will be keeping the crowds entertained throughout the day. If you would like to set up stall on this day, why not contact Christine Howley at or on 01531 820977 to secure a space.

We also hope your onions are beginning to take root because this year we are hoping for a bigger and better display (if that is possible) at the Onion Show. You are not too late to get an entry form from Mike Davis on 01531 822750.

Every year we look to bring something new to the Fayre so if you have any ideas for future fayre's, please let Charlotte Jones (Advertising & Publicity Officer) know at or on 01531 890870.

More information on the Fayre will be published in the coming months.

Never Mind the...'s the Wye Valley

In Liverpool during February of this year, Amanda Monti, 24, was sent to prison for two-and-a-half years because she flew into a rage when one, 'Geoffrey Jones' rejected her advances at the end of a house party. Feeling upset by the rejection, she pulled off his left testicle and tried to swallow it. She spat it out however and a friend handed it back to Mr Jones saying, 'That's yours.'

Ouch! What has this got to do with Ross-on-Wye, I hear you ask. Well, in a rather bizarre kind of way it has probably helped people to discover Ross and the Wye Valley.

Virtually all new visitors to this web site discover its existence, either by word of mouth or by searching the 'Google' search engine. For the latter, via my server log, I can see the search terms these people use.

Although comes up in the number one position on 'Google' for the search term 'ross on wye' and many people arrive at the site by making that particular search, this term is only one of many that bring visitors to In actual fact, those who use that search either live in the town or have already heard of it. Just out of interest, one of the most frequent searches which brings people to is 'medieval entertainment'.

This is what makes Wyenot so successful in attracting tourism to the area - people discover the web site and the town as a result of searching for the oddest things. This is also where poor old Geoffrey's misfortune enters the equation.

Search engines regularly scan through the text on every page of this site and by coincidence, the completely unrelated name, 'Geoff Jones' is mentioned in a couple of football articles on Wyenot News. In another, completely unrelated article, the word 'testicle' appears. As a result, since February a surprising amount of people have arrived at Wyenot News and have discovered the town, purely because they used 'Google', inputting the unlikely search words, 'geoff jones testicle'.

I wondered what was going on when the search term, 'geoff Jones testicle', kept appearing in search strings listed on my server log and felt compelled to investigate. I discovered that an issue of Wyenot News, on which I had jokingly defined the word 'Yat' as 'the left or right testicle of the Herefordshire Long Eared Mountain Goat, served as a delicacy in local restaurants' was being detected. That, along with a football article were causing Wyenot News to appear on about page five of Google for that particular search.

I do feel for poor old Geoff after his misfortune (although I am rather glad that I don't in the literal sense) but they do say that every cloud has a silver lining.

If you have decided to come and visit Ross-on-Wye as a result of initially searching Google for 'geoff Jones testicle', I would be interested to hear your story.

Rugby - Ross RFC, Season Review, 2005/2006

'Onwards and Upwards, Getting Away With It'

Ross’ season began slowly but competitively. Ross' first game against Gloucester Civil Service claimed the narrowest of wins 18_15, but it was a win never the less and an early indication of Ross' intentions in the league. Subsequent games showed momentum starting to build, Ross beating Tredworth by 17_0, then Gloucester Civil Service 24_3. Ross had now started its campaign on the league. As the nights drew in and conditions started to get wetter and colder Ross sent out a clear message to the other teams in the league, this was their year. Subsequent wins over Cainscross 34_5 and Westbury on Severn 20_6 left Ross positioned nicely at the top of the league with a clean sheet. A pattern was emerging and so it is with disappointment that the next two league fixtures were cancelled as the oppositions could not raise a side. Gloucester All Blues and Minchinhampton withdrawing from the next two fixtures. Whilst this gave Ross the points this was not how Ross wanted to maintain its position at the top of the league table. However Tredworth did turn up for the last game before Christmas and were rewarded for their trouble with a 28_0 defeat at the (nimble and safe) hands of Ross. January through March saw again the winning results that almost seemed inevitable, Gloucester Civil Service 10_6. Cainscross 30-7. Westbury on Severn 13_5 and Ross had now won the league. The Gloucester All Blues again failed to raise a side at the end of the season before Ross ended their league Run in a decisive 41_5 points against a Minchinhampton.

The league ended up with Ross unbeaten throughout the season and defensively allowing only 37 points in 12 games to be scored against them.

End of Season League Table 2005-2006 (top two positions)

Team P W D L For Agt. Diff. Pts.
Ross-on-Wye 12 12 0 0 217 37 180 24
Westbury-upon-Seven 12 8 0 4 200 119 81 16

Ross Cup runs ended somewhat differently to their league success. The challenge was set against a lot of sides who Ross would not regularly play from both the Forest, and at the beginning of the season, the Midlands leagues. It was respectable test of the mettle of Ross, both in terms of keeping the variety and as an insight into the teams they would be coming up against in the future and further a field. Though into the Combination Cup Final Ross just could not seem to hit gear they had been in for the majority of the rest of the season and silverware eluded them on this occasion.

It was also good to see a second team beginning to flourish both in the friendly fixtures and then in the Miners Cup at the end of the season, they entered a mixed side of both youth and veterans and gave a credible performance in a competition in which they can only progress next year.

Off the pitch sizeable investment is being made into the future of the club. Training is now under flood lights and means that Ross is now training throughout the winter unhindered by lack of proper lighting. New training equipment and a comprehensive training plan are being put in place so Ross can engage the higher league with the same ferocity they attacked the league this season. The club has made valuable connections with other organizations both in terms of increasing the networks of support for Ross and in terms of being able to share experience and information from those who have been within the game of rugby at a higher level or for a longer time. Ross is also now sponsored in terms of Players attire for those who are members of the club. Looking sharp both on and off the field.

The presentation dinner saw this seasons awards being presented to; Presidents award – Michael Davis, Top Try Scorer – Wayne Bishop, Top Points Scorer – Christopher Gage, Young Player of the Year – Daniel Weston, Clubman – Floss Morgan, Most Dedicated Player – David Mince, Second Team Player of the Year – Chay Brine, Most Improved Player – Gavin Oates, Best Newcomer – Hugh Bellamy, The Players Player – Gavin Oates / Kevin Healy.

There are of course a number of members of Ross RFC who need to be thanked. Captain Simon Gwynne, Vice Captain David Mince. The Training team; Paul Hayley and Andrew walker. The lead members of the Committee; Martin Pocknell, David Cooke, Tim Morgan. Thanks must go to the hard work of Keith Scrivens in support of the Second Team. Thanks also to the work of Christopher “Pressure” Gage for his club fund raising. And thanks of course for the ongoing input of so many players and members of the club in the tasks whether big or small which regularly go unrewarded but without which the club could not function and which subsequently make such a big difference.

Particular thanks needs to go to those who have fed the players throughout the season, a most welcome input at the end of a well fought match. So it is with gratitude Ross RFC thanks Mrs Rosie Pollock, Ms Sarah Pearce, Mrs Vicki Walker and Mrs Anne Mince, for their outstanding work in support of the players off the field.

Thanks also to the landlady of the Drop Inn who has both sponsored us and put up with us, whatever country we came from and however many items of clothing we were wearing, or not! Ross RFC also recognizes the support they received directly from the county air ambulance this season that ensure the welfare of a number of our players. Thanks for the direct support from Charlie’s Bar (King Charles 11), Neat and Cheap (high street discount shopping) Wye garden services, HE Philips the Jewellers. And the ongoing media support from and Daniel Weston’s very own for both rugby news and social and personal comment about those involved in the game. Thanks Dan – side-show bob.

The team are getting together through out the summer on Tuesdays and Thursday nights at the sports centre. It’s a more informal opportunity to get a non contact game and stay in touch over the summer. Training proper starts on Tuesday July 11th at 6.30pm. Then on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6.30pm throughout the season at the sports centre off Wilton Road. Ross extends an offer to anyone experienced or new to the game to come down and have a run out at their local club. There are opportunities in both the first team and second team or just to enjoy the training. Alternatively Drop into the Drop Inn and offer your support in one of the many other ways you may become involved with the club even if just taking a passing interest you will always be welcome at the club.

Ross Annual General Meeting will be held Friday 9th June at the Drop Inn 8pm.

Congratulations Ross RFC on a spectacular 2005/2006 season and Good Luck next year.

And with regard to tour “I’d have got away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling twins!”


Age Concern - Heyday Launch - 30th May 2006

'Heyday,' a new and exciting nation-wide membership scheme catering for the changing needs of the over 50s, will be launched on the 30th May 2006. Heyday aims to foster the concept of a modern retirement; a retirement that offers freedom, flexibility and new directions.

Heyday's membership is based on five benefits:

Information: a bimonthly magazine with articles on travel, relationships, and interviews with celebrities who are in their 'heyday', a fully supported website including regional chatrooms encouraging you to be a part of the online community of Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and over 75 fact sheets written by national experts.

Voice and influence: Heyday aims to be a political lobbying group for the over 50s. During June Heyday will be distributing 11,000,000 'National Surveys on Modern Retirement.'

Social Activities: Heyday will support the social network of over 50s within Herefordshire and Worcestershire by supporting and creating events, clubs and societies.

Products: Heyday will be using the collective buying power of the over 50s to negotiate deals for their members.

Offers and Promotions: 'Heydaters,' members get three months free subscriptions to '' worth £35, six free DVD rentals with and much, much more.

If you hear of 'Heyday' during the month of June, and would like to add to the social wealth of the over 50's community within the two counties, please contact Jim Smith, Membership Organizer, at or 07737 024376 (Mon-Thurs 9-5pm)

Spring Half Term Activities in Ross-on-Wye

My apologies for forgetting to include this article last week. It is a little late for one event but the other is still valid.

Ross Heritage Centre is to hold two activity days for youngsters during the spring half-term holiday in May this year.

The first will be "Make Crowns and Flags to Celebrate the Queen's 80th Birthday". Those taking part will be able to design their own flags and crowns to take home. This will take place on Tuesday, May 30, from 11am to 3pm. Heritage centre staff will run the session, which is free to all ages and drop-in, so there is no need to book - however, all children must be accompanied.

On Friday, May 26, the education staff of Hereford Museum will be at the Heritage Centre to run the activity day "Fancy Fairies and Gruesome Goblins". Attendees will be able to make a mobile based on Heath Robinson's illustration "The Fairy's Birthday". The free session runs from 10.30am to 1pm, and again is drop-in, with accompanied children.

Anyone wanting more details about any of the activities should contact Ross Market House Heritage Centre on (01432) 260675 between 10am and 5pm, Monday to Saturday, and 10.30am to 4pm on Sundays.

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