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Wyenot News - The weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 130 - 17th January 2007
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This Week - [JKHS Specialism - Coin Mountain - No Cold Calling - Upton Bishop Music - Zebras - Lions - No Smoking]
[High Water Levels on the River Wye]

[Rapping at Y-Zone - Table Tennis Tournament - Music at the Prince - Local People: Geoff Gwatkin]
[Regeneration at St. Mary's Kempley - Ross Town Council Finance Committee Agenda - Nature Watch - Rugby - Weather]

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New Specialisms For JKHS

John Kyrle High School has been invited to take on Modern Foreign Language and Vocational specialisms to complement its role as a Technology College.

The decision by the DfES has arisen because of John Kyrle's performance over the past four years which has led to its designation as a High Performing Specialist School.

Continued . . .

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Headteacher, Nigel Griffiths, said he was delighted with the news and felt the exciting opportunities the specialisms would bring would launch the school into the next phase of its development.

The new status will lead to a substantial cash injection into the school and will allow the school to further develop its close relationships with feeder primary schools, partner secondary schools and colleges, local businesses and universities.

Mr Griffiths said that the school will, in effect, be offering a GCSE Baccalaureate qualification to the majority of its students, all of whom will have an entitlement to study up to three modern languages as well as having input from and visits to business, industry and Higher Education Institutions. These will complement additional areas of study, including artistic, technological, mathematical, scientific, social, ethical and sporting, all of which will be delivered using high-quality ICT facilities as part of the school's Technology College practice.

John Kyrle is the only school in Herefordshire and one of only a small number in the country to obtain this new status of multi-specialisms. The letter from the DfES informing the school of the new status said, '.. on behalf of the Specialist Schools Designation Team, we would like to congratulate you and the school on this significant achievement and send our good wishes for success in the years ahead'.

Crown and Sceptre - Winners of the Coin Mountain Challenge

Over the Christmas period a 'Coin Mountain' challenge was set between the pubs in Ross-on-Wye to see which pub could raise the most money for Child Line. A total of £848.62 was raised locally. The Challenge winners were Sarah Dean and her team from the Crown and Sceptre, who managed an amazing £332.50, producing a coin mountain over 54.7 metres tall, equivalent to the height of 12 double decker busses.

The two runners up were Mike Winter and his team at the Hostelry, Goodrich, who raised £196.87 and Andy Gooding and his team at Charlie's Bar, who raised £103.98.

Other teams taking part in the contest were from the Millrace, Walford, The Inn on the Wye, Kerne Bridge, the Red Lion, Peterstow, the Travellers Rest, the Eagle, the Drop Inn, Connolly's, the King's Head, the Hope & Anchor, the Riverside Inn and the Man of Ross.

Pictured below are the winning team from the Crown and Sceptre, Mark and Abigail Frankland, Sharon Sparrow, Frances McClure and Sarah Dean.

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No Cold Calling in Gorsley

Gorsley, near Ross-on-Wye has just become the first No Cold Calling Zone in Herefordshire and one of the first in the West Midlands in a joint campaign by trading standards and the police to protect residents from rogue traders and distraction burglary.

The campaign was officially launched on Thursday, 11th January and in the photograph below at the launch are: Mike Pigrem, Ralph Hale - Nation Wide Co-ordinator, Richard Smith of Gorsley Neighbourhood watch, Councillor Phil Edwards, cabinet member for the Environment, which includes Trading Standards, PC Wendy Powell, Tereza Atyeo from Trading Standards and Councillor Harry Bramer who is the Local Member for Weston-under-Penyard which covers Gorsley.

Continued . . .

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Distraction burglaries involve criminals, often called bogus callers, distracting or tricking individuals into letting them access their property. Rogue traders call unsolicited and carry out shoddy work for which they charge extortionate amounts of money. On occasions they are known to take their victims to the bank for cash payment which may amount to several thousands of pounds.

The Trading Standards Institute launched the 'No Cold Calling' initiative in 2005 after research showed that cold callers were a major concern to people. No Cold Calling zones have increasingly been set up in the country with encouraging feedback from these areas reporting reductions in cold callers, doorstep crime and the fear of crime.

Setting up such a zone is a warning to cold callers to stay away. Notices to this effect are displayed in the area and they have proved to be effective in deterring potential cold callers. To help local residents deal with persistent callers the trading standards service is providing them with information packs as well as Notice to Callers display cards with the telephone numbers of the police and trading standards on the reverse.

The village of Gorsley consists of some 360 households and consultation through Neighbourhood Watch has indicated strong support for the 'No Cold Calling Zone' scheme. Councillor Phil Edwards, cabinet member for the environment, said: 'Rogue trading and distraction burglary can affect all members of society but particularly those who are vulnerable. The people who undertake such activities are totally heartless in the methods they employ and have no regard for the suffering or distress that they may cause. I see this initiative as an effective means of working in partnership to protect our community and enhance their quality of life.'

The No Cold Calling Zone has the backing of West Mercia Constabulary as part of its 'Knock, Knock' campaign, which aims to make it much harder for distraction burglars to target victims.

PC Charles Naylor, Crime Risk Manager for Herefordshire said, ''No Cold Calling Zones have proved effective elsewhere in the country and it is hoped that the Gorsley scheme will prove an equally effective deterrent to criminals. Residents across the county should always be cautious when they receive unexpected callers and must never invite someone into their home until they are satisfied they are who they say they are. Keep the door on the chain and ask to see an identification card.' PC Naylor added, 'Check the identification card carefully and call the company the caller claims to be from to ensure they are genuine. Reputable callers will always be happy to make an appointment for another time when a friend or relative can be with you.

If a tradesman turns up on the doorstep offering to do work, don't hand over payment until you are satisfied it has been done properly. Always get several quotations from reputable companies and ask your friends and family for recommendations. Do not take the caller's word for it that the work needs doing without checking first.

If you are at all in doubt, keep the cold-caller out and call the police to report the incident.'

The Gorsley No Cold Calling Zone was set up by the trading standards service in partnership with the police, Consumer Direct, Neighbourhood Watch and BT, whose grant covered all costs involved. Anyone wishing to set up a 'No Cold Calling Zone' should contact Tereza Atyeo on 01432 383229. Information about the 'Knock, Knock' campaign and advice on how you can make yourself less vulnerable to criminals is available on the West Mercia Constabulary website at

Music for

Upton Bishop's

Church Tower Appeal

The people of Upton Bishop have put together a series of quality and fun music events, under the heading "John-the-Baptist Appeal Music" (JAM), in order to raise money to save Upton Bishop's church tower.

Music formats have been designed to appeal to the widest possible range of tastes and include a "Midsummer Music Madness" of recitals, music making and talent shows; a Messiah Workshop and formal concerts.

The first event is a major launch concert in Hereford Cathedral, with the proceeds to be shared with Macmillan Cancer Support. The Oxford New Orchestra will be conducted by rising star Hugh Brunt and famous English tenor Adrian Thompson will perform.

The concert programme includes works by Vaughan Williams and Elgar and the Finzi Clarinet Concerto, which was first performed at the Three Choirs Festival in Hereford in 1949.

The concert begins at 7:30 pm and tickets are available from the Cathedral Shop, through Macmillan or they may be ordered on 01989 780321. For further information email:

Yes, Very Droll!

Yes, I found it amusing the first two dozen or so times but the next person who asks me if I would like to buy a Sat Nav might find themselves having to have one surgically removed! :-)

I did replace the device which was taken as I use it a lot when finding photo locations. I managed to pick a replacement up in the January Sales whilst in Cheltenham on Tuesday but it's not as good as the original. If you are thinking of getting one in the future, my advice from experience is, go for Garmin. The talking directions on my original seemed somehow, more polite and the device itself was much more accurate and easier to programme than its replacement - which I have already nearly thrown through the car window a couple of times in frustration. (I shall not mention what make the new one is, in case somebody bought you that particular model for Christmas.)

No Black and White Stripes - Just Good Music!

In case it has escaped your attention in the past, I thought I would just mention that the Zebras are my favourite local rock band and point out some future events at which they will be the main attraction. Actually, you could probably read the poster below in two ways. One: as their gig list and two: as the Wyenot News Beer Drinking Schedule for the first quarter of 2007.

The Ross Rowing Club event is billed as a 'Valentine's Dance' but it is free to get in and all are welcome. It would be great to see you there.

The Zebras will be performing elsewhere as well on different dates and information about these events will be published on the What's On page of Wyenot News. The band have just been confirmed as the headline act on the Sunday of the White Lion Real Ale and Cider Festival, which is due to take place between Friday, 22nd and Sunday 24th June. Otters in the river, Zebras in the garden. What a great way to spend the midsummer weekend! More info to follow later - keep an eye on the What's On page.

Right click the poster below to print and send or to email it to a friend. Click here for a full size printable version.

Ross Lions Support Marches Family Network

Ross Lions, Gordon Lucas and Bernard Fowkes were recently delighted to meet up with four young ladies from the Marches Family Network. Claire Bufton, Carol Holloway, Debbie Morgan and Emma Bufton were in town for a specific purpose. They visit Ross-on-Wye once every month, coming from Ludlow and Leominster to look after up to twelve young people with special needs.

Playleader, Claire Bufton from Leominster, told Bernard that not only do they look after the children with special needs but also their siblings, where necessary. This gives their carers the chance of days respite. They meet at the Ryefield Centre and the team provide craft activities and toys for the children to play with on the second Saturday of each month between 10.00 am and 3:00 pm

Ross Lions were there to make a presentation of 240 to the Marches Family Network for the purchase of equipment. Gordon told these dedicated young women, on handing over the cheque, that it gave him and the Lions club great pleasure to support such a worthy cause. It was also a delight to meet all the young children, who were lovely and such a happy lot. Claire responded with heartfelt thanks saying the group depended on supporters like the Lions in order to carry out their work.

The Marches Family Network are looking for a few volunteers in the Ross area. If you are interested in doing something for your community and ready to give up one Saturday a month, why not give Alison Lamb the project manager a ring on 01568 614908 and have a chat with her?

No Smoking begins at the New Inn

With less than one week to go, Nigel Maud and his team at The New Inn are preparing to make the pub a no smoking establishment from 16th January 2007. 'This is something that we felt should be done early as the food business here is good,' said Nigel. 'We in fact asked all the locals to choose a date for Charity. The date pulled out of the hat was 16th January and we raised 180, so we have had good support in making this decision.'

As a thank you to customers the New Inn held a Final Night Smoking Party on Monday, 15th with a free buffet, free beer for locals and the odd cigar being given out to smokers.

Over the next couple of months, The Mauds will be spending £20,000 to improve facilities in the garden. This will include a shelter for diners and smokers. The couple hope that they have planned for the ban well enough to maintain the current trade. The New Inn is open all day for food and drink.

'There is a lot of speculation in the trade press and emotions are running very high with publicans believing that a smoking ban will decimate the industry.' Said Nigel. 'I believe that there will be an impact but as long as it is planned for now and not the day before, most pubs with even the smallest piece of land should survive. I would not however want to operate a pub with no land such as in the town centres, and the council is going to have to work very closely with these business to ensure they have a fighting chance when the ban comes in.'

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Daz's Taxi Service, Ross-on-Wye.
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